Performance Review Protocol
It should be in +6mo and +12mo intervals. Based off when the team member joined (not the calendar year).
The superior must come prepared with notes that include the following. Adhere to this template to ensure that we have continuity across team members.
Things done above and beyond the call of duty
Things done well, as expected of the job. "good job" comments
Things that can be improved. But aren't a problem. This is constructive mentoring.
Things that are a problem and need to be improved.
Promotion/demotion details including: role changes, salary, title, key dates and conditions.
All points need to be discussed with the report. .
Give the report opportunity to speak. Do they have career goals? Are there things getting in the way of their performance?
The superior must record meeting notes that cover all discussion topics. Not only action points.
Both parties can end up with action points.
There should be no sidenotes that the superior has, but the report hasn't.
Superior must send complete notes to report afterwards. Report must return a signed copy.
Unlike 1::1s, performance reviews are not confidential. They are shared with the Management team.
Give a heads up. Anticipating a performance review can be stressful. As the superior, give an indication of whether it's all-great, mostly-great, or not-that-good, so that your report can prepare emotionally.
In cases of roles with dual-superiors (Engineer, PM, QA), you are jointly responsible so work as a team to prepare and give the performance review.
If there is a promotion/demotion involved, get it ratified before the performance review so that you can present a holistic picture.
Performance reviews shouldn't feel like a dominance ritual. It's really about helping develop people's abilities (accelerating career progressions), and keeping our skill/compenatation matrix fair as people's abilities and roles change.
Be very cautious of the Peter Principle when it comes to people who have been promoted into a role that they are not effective at and/or have failed to grow into. This is tough, but in such cases, try to find alternative roles.