Every company is different. This means the ideal performance management process will and should be unique to your company.

With this in mind, we built the Reviews feature to be flexible enough to handle how you want to run performance conversations at your company. Whether you want your team to answer questions in Charlie before the review meeting or simply stores notes after a check-in, it’s all possible with Reviews.

Though flexible, our Reviews feature is better suited to some companies than others.

Reviews is perfect for companies that:

✅Run a simple review process or want to start running performance reviews.
✅Want text formatted answers.
✅Make and store notes from review conversations.

If your companies has a more sophisticated process, our Reviews feature may not be for you.

 This includes needing:
❌Anonymous 360 feedback.
❌Numeric/ scale answers and complex reporting.
❌To upload documents or record things in tables.

To use CharlieHR to run your performance management process, you'll need to look at the following:

  1. Planning and Roll-out 

The first step to take when establishing your performance management process is to be clear about why you want to run performance reviews in the first place.

At the most basic level, reviews act as a feedback opportunity. They’re a chance to reflect on the past and plan for the future. 

Though there isn’t a one size fits all solution, there are some good guidelines to follow on how and how often to run them:

  • As a rule, create frequent in-person feedback opportunities. These could range from informal coffee catchups to full-blown appraisals. The important thing is they're done frequently enough that feedback is relevant and actionable.
  • Document these check-ins, especially formal ones, on Charlie. Storing notes from these conversations holds people accountable and means they can be referred to in the future.
  • A good cadence for an ‘informal’ check-in is to run them monthly.
  • Run more formal reviews quarterly or bi-annually. If frequent informal check-ins have been done well, nothing said in formal ones should be a big surprise. 
  • Establish several probation check-ins and spread them throughout the probation period. Have the final one, a week or two before the end of someone’s probation. Do this by creating probation review types in Charlie for each probation check-in.
  • Next communicate what the (new) review process is to the whole company by email. Charlie sends your team reminder emails about upcoming reviews. However, it's still worth sending round a message internally to provide greater context on why you're running them and what to expect. 

2. Creating reviews in Charlie

To create reviews in Charlie, you set:

  • When they’re happening.
  • Who they're for.
  • The review form template.

The review form can be filled in before, during and/or after the review meeting. When setting up the form template, you can write instructions about how the review should be run. These instructions will appear at the top of every review form.

The instructions box is also a good place to remind people of the importance of the review.

3. Getting the team prepared

If you want your team to answer certain questions before review meetings, you can include this in the review form template's instructions.

If you want participants and reviewers to prepare before a meeting, you can set this up too:

  • Set specific questions you want the person being reviewed to reflect on.
  • You can also set questions you want their reviewer to answer about them.
  • Response sections are free text. However, if you want your team to give numeric or scale answers, provide a key in the question you’re asking. eg 'On a scale of 1-3, how happy are you? 1= Sad 2=Neutral 3=Happy'. Then your team can put a number as their answer.
  • If you want participants to comment on what another person has written, you can set questions for them to respond to other’s comments. Alternatively these comments can be documented in the summary box – note that this can only be done by reviewers.

4. During review meetings

In the meeting, you may want to refer to the instructions or preparation questions that have been answered in Charlie.

To refer to the review form, have it open on a laptop or mobile phone – make sure you let other participants know that you're not just checking Facebook! We’d recommend taking brief meeting notes and typing up a summary later.

You can print the review form if necessary, however leaving it online is better for the 🌎

During the meeting, you might discuss what happens going forward. This could mean setting objectives, goals, targets and action plans – make sure you capture these ideas. You can write these up in Charlie later when they've been finalised.

5. Concluding reviews

From the Reviews overview page you can see at a glance which reviews have been completed and which haven’t.

What happens after the review meeting completely depends on your process. That said, it’s a great time to reflect on what was said in the meeting and for the participants to finalise the outcome of the review.

After the review meeting, we recommend some reflection time to set and decide on goals, targets and objectives. You many also want to document topics to revisit in your next review.

Once that’s done, write everything up in the summary notes section of the review form on Charlie.

With all notes documented on the review form, and outcomes finalised, the review should be marked as complete in Charlie. This means the review has been locked and is no longer editable.

6. Improving the process

Running performance reviews is a process. And it’s one that’s likely to change.

Reviews in Charlie don't just make frequent feedback conversations easier, but should also make it less daunting to change your performance review process over time.

To understand how to improve things, get feedback from across the company and make changes to your process accordingly.

As you discover what works for you, you can always edit review types or create new ones to help you grow and develop your team.

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