This week is the preparation week for the most important aspect of the entire cycle, the Talent Review Meetings (TRMs). I’m not going to discuss the details of the the TRMs this week, that will be for next week. Instead, I’m just going to go over the preparation for the TRMs.
The preparation of the TRMs consists of the following four steps – making a ranking sheet, making the TRM schedule, printing PAs and building the TRM notebooks, and communicating the TRM’s to the managers.
But before we go any further, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the TRM in order to understand why it takes an entire week preparing for them. Talent Review Meetings are where a Talent Review Board (TRB) of managers meet to review each direct report’s Performance Appraisal in order to insure fairness. Each manager must review and defend, to their peers, the scores they gave their direct reports. Again, I will go into more detail in next week’s post.
I’ve put together a set of example documents for this stage of the cycle. In it I created an organization with 43 non-exempt employees, nine Managers, seven exempt non-managers, three Directors, and five Sr. Managers. All of the example documents will be based on this organizational structure.
So now that you have a basic understanding of the TRM and understand the example organization I established, let’s go over the four steps of preparation.
Create a ranking sheet of all the Performance Appraisal scores:
The first thing that should be done this week is take all the scores from the preliminary PAs and enter them into the Preliminary Score column on the ranking sheet. The ranking sheet is a very important tool for the TRMs as the rankings clearly show how each manager scored their direct reports. It gives the TRB a quick snapshot of the score distribution in the organization and shows which managers are tough scorers and which are generous scorers. It makes it much easier to calibrate the scores.
The ranking sheet consists of four columns:
1. Manager Name
2. Employee Name
3. Preliminary Score
4. Final Score
At the bottom of the sheet is a box that calculates the mean, median, and mode for both the Preliminary Score and the Final Score.
I’m including the Excel template of the ranking sheet I use. There are tabs on the bottom of the worksheet consisting of a ranking sheet for each TRB in my example organization. In the example ranking sheet, I have just filled in the Prelim Scores. The Final Scores will need to be filled in during or after Week Seven, Deadline Week for Final PAs and Objectives.
Click here for the example HHHR PA Ranking Sheet: 20XX HHHR PA Ranking Sheet (Example Organization)
Scheduling the TRM:
Depending on the size of the organization, the TRB can be very simple for organizations ~35 or less employees or complicated for organizations ~36 or more employees.
The TRBs for smaller organizations are easy to schedule because they are typically just senior management and HR. Only one version of the TRM notebook needs to be built for each member of the senior management team containing the PA of every employee in the organization separated by manager. It should take approx 20 minutes to discuss each PA so the schedule is only a day or two depending on how many employees are being reviewed. Multiply the number of employees by 20 minutes then divide that result by 60 which results in the total number of hours that are needed to schedule the TRM.
The TRBs for larger organizations are more complicated to schedule. The senior management team will typically not want to or have the time to do four to five days of TRMs. The schedule needs to be broke down by hierarchy because larger organizations have more layers of management. For example, non-exempt level employees will be reviewed by a TRB consisting of the Managers, the Managers will then be reviewed by a TRB consisting of the Directors and Senior Managers, and the Directors will be reviewed by a TRB consisting of the Senior Managers. Of course, senior management should be invited to sit in on the non-exempt TRBs. Again, it should take approx 20 minutes to discuss each PA so use the same calculations as above for making the schedule.
In my example organization, the non-exempt population schedule takes two full days while the exempt level population is scheduled for two half(ish) days. Also in the example you will note that I don’t have specific times scheduled for the non-exempt employees as this allows for more flexibility since some will be quicker than 20 minutes and some will be longer. With the exempt employees, however, I schedule times because this allows the busy Directors and Senior Mangers two things: to know when they are defending their scores to their peers and to make sure they are present when they want input on a particular employee. The management team in any organization is busy and it can’t be expected that every manager will be present throughout the discussion of every PA. It’s OK to allow them to come and go throughout the meetings just as long as you have some continuity in the TRMs. By scheduling the times at the exempt level, you are helping them with their time management, which is always a good thing!
Click here for the example HHHR PA TRM Schedule: 20XX HHHR PA Talent Review Meeting Schedule (Example Organization)
Printing PAs and building the TRM Notebook:
Once the schedule is complete, the notebooks can be built by referring to the names listed for each TRB. A notebook is made for each person who will be serving on a TRB. The notebook will contain tabs for each Manager/Director/Senior Manager who has direct reports and behind each tab will be the PAs for that manager.
So for the example organization I created, using the TRM schedule, for the Non-exempt Day 1 and 2, nine notebooks need to be built (one for each Manager) with nine tabs containing each Manager’s direct reports which is nine copies of 42 employees! That’s a lotta time standing at the copy machine.
When each employee’s PA is printed for for each notebook, enter that date on the checklist so it reflects the completed date.
Keep the notebooks in a secured and locked location until they are given to the managers in the TRB. Its best to hand out the notebooks just before each TRM but sometimes the Senior Management group likes getting them early in order to review them beforehand. Remember that the notebooks contain a tremendous amount of confidential performance information so remind all the managers to keep them secure once they have them.
This is one of the busiest weeks for HR in the cycle and it’s important to remember to stay organized in the ways I’ve suggested in the last two posts. Things can rapidly fall apart if you don’t stay organized!
Communicate the TRM schedule to the managers:
You’ve done all that work so don’t forget to let all the managers know when the meetings are! Here is a sample email to send out to the managers in the TRBs.
Attached is the Talent Review Meeting schedule with Talent Review Board assignments.
I broke the meetings down into the following four sessions:
- Nonexempt Day 1: Wednesday, February 3, 8:00AM – 5:00PM
- Nonexempt Day 2: Thursday, February 4, 8:00AM – 5:00PM
- Exempt Level Day 1: Monday, February 8, 12:00PM-3:30PM
- Exempt Level Day 2: Tuesday, February 9, 1:00PM – 4:30PM
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Occasionally changes will have to be made to the schedule as things come up particularly with the Senior Management team. Stay flexible to the needs of the company and make the revisions as needed. It’s not going to be the end of the world if you don’t get the TRMs done on schedule!
Well that’s it for Prep Week for the Talent Review Meetings. Next week I’ll finally get to discuss the actual details of the best and most important aspect of the entire cycle, the Talent Review Meetings!