The first of the year, of course, is the time many of us are working through the Performance Appraisal and Objective Setting cycle in our companies. I know that a lot of small HR departments don’t even do PAs, much less objective setting but I believe it is a critical and a very important part of what we do in HR. Despite what many in HR think.
Today, even though it’s February and many of us are finishing up our cycle, I’m going to share how I do the Performance Appraisal and Objective Setting cycle. This post is a quick overview of what I do. I have a seven week process and in the coming weeks, I will devote a post to each of the the weeks in the process.
Pre and Week One – Prep and Training Week
The first thing I do is send out an email in December to all the supervisors in my company reminding them that the PA cycle will start in January. I also include a timeline of deadlines in that email. They, of course, love getting this email just before the Holidays!
I then take the time to update all the documents from the previous year to the new year and make any edits to the process of forms that supervisors suggested the year before.
After the Holidays, the cycle starts full swing. The supervisors already got the heads up from my email in December so there is no surprise when I start sending out all the information about the PAs and Objectives at the first of January.
Then I make all the updated current year documents available on our SharePoint site designated for HR.
Finally, the most important part of this week is training. I conduct a webcast training session for all the supervisors in our three locations on why and how we do PAs and Objectives setting.
Week Two – Writing Week for PAs and Objectives
Supervisors write the PAs for each of their direct reports. These are preliminary as I will explain later in this post. They also have a discussion with their direct reports during this week about objectives they will collaboratively set for the year.
Week Three – Deadline Week for Preliminary PAs
The preliminary Performance Appraisals are due to me on Wednesday of this week. I make the deadline Wednesday because very few supervisors get these in on time and it gives me two extra days until the end of the week for them to get turned in. It’s a way to trick my chronic procrastinators into getting their PAs turned in on time. It generally works except for the real professional procrastinators who probably know what I’m up to anyway. There are always several who take longer but if you can get the majority in by the end of week three, your doing OK.
Week Four – Prep week for Talent Review Meetings
This is the week I construct Talent Review Notebooks for the Talent Review Meetings that will be held next week. What the heck are Talent Review Meetings, you ask? Well, I will explain the Talent Review Meetings more in depth in the coming weeks since it is one of the most important parts of the cycle but you may get the gist of things here.
Week Five – Talent Review Meeting Week
The Talent Review Meetings are where we review every single preliminary PA and the performance scores for each employee are calibrated for fairness. The PAs are finalized during these meetings before they are to be delivered to the employee. Again, you’ll learn more about the Talent Review Meetings in the coming weeks.
Week Six – Delivery Week
Supervisors deliver the PAs to their direct reports and have a final discussion on what their objectives for the year will be.
Week Seven – Deadline Week for Final PAs and Objectives
Completed PAs and Objectives are due to me by Wednesday of this week. You, of course, know why I have Wednesday as a due date…
This the schedule that has evolved in the seven years I have developed this cycle. It works very well for my company and HR Department of One.
As I write more in depth about each of these weeks, I will include copies of the versions of the documents I’ve developed. They will be different, but similar, to the documents and forms I use at my company.