New Navigation now available

The Small Improvements sidebar navigation has been overhauled and is now ready for prime time. As of today admins may test the new navigation for themselves, and then enable it for their companies. Starting May 24 we’ll enable the new navigation everyone.

Beyond the May 24 there will be a grace period during which admins can opt out of the new nav. Anyone in the middle of a review cycle, or not able to update internal documentation in time, can decide to postpone rolling out the new navigation for a few more weeks.  We will however start updating our own documentation in the next couple of days, and we encourage everyone to give the improved navigation a spin!

As posted before, here’s an overview of what is new and improved:

Dedicated “your content” section

Until now the sidebar was split up strictly by module, showing submenus depending on the user’s role. An individual contributor would see their own review in the Performance Review menu, while a manager also saw their team’s reviews in an additional menu item.

We’re now dropping these role-specific menus, moving to a much cleaner and simpler layout: Independent of role every use immediately sees their own content – 1:1 meetings, objectives, 360s, reviews — in one section:

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New “Team” and “Company” sections

All team- and company-wide content is now located in dedicated “Team” and “Company” pages. These new pages provide immediate insight into what happened in the person’s team and in the company by defaulting to an Activity tab. Both pages are available to all users. Inside these pages, the Activity and Objectives tabs are available to everyone, while additional tabs for reviews and 360s are displayed to managers and HR only. This makes it much easier for managers to think of their team as a whole.

Also, the staff directory is now available (and a bit streamlined) via the Company screen as well.

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Clearer access to cycles

Once you select a tab for Reviews, 360s or Objectives, we’re now listing all cycles, rather than immediately diving into the most recent one. This allows users to make a conscious decison what cycle to focus on. New or casual users will find the cycle overview approach much more natural to work with. Experienced SI Power users (who want to keep jumping straight into a cycle) can skip this new screen by using the “Jump to..” shortcut on the top-right of the screen.

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Objective browser repositioned

The Objectives browser becomes far more prominent in the new navigation. When selecting the Objectives tab on either the Team or Company view, non-managers are shown the Objectives browser immediately. Managers and HR default to the cycle list, but can easily toggle the display to “Browse” mode at the top of the screen. This makes objectives of peers and managers much more visible than before, further strengthening our Objectives feature.

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Take it for a ride

We’re inviting admins to either test the feature for their own account, or to enable it for their entire company.  To test it for yourself, head to “Your Settings” and enable new Navigation:Screen_Shot_2017-04-24_at_13_49_33

To enable it for the entire company, go to the Admin -> Features screen, and tick “New Navigation”.

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Once you enable it for the entire company, everyone will get to see a welcome-screen that explains the changes:

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We’d love to hear your feedback!

We’ve conducted plenty of in-depth user tests and several beta customers have used the  new navigation as well, but we’re always keen to learn on how to become even better. Do you like the new approach? Are you keen to roll it out to your entire company? Or do you have concerns or reservations? Let us know your thoughts at product@small-improvements.com.

New in Small Improvements: Instant Notifications

We’re excited to announce a new way to get all your Small Improvements updates: instant notifications, right in your header.

The new notifications menu provides an at-a-glance way to keep tabs on your account activity. Whether it’s a significant update (like new 360 Feedback) or a minor one (like a reply to your objective), you’ll receive an alert on your SI header.

All notifications will appear in the upper right-hand corner of the header. New notifications show up in red.

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When you click on the notification, you’ll see an overview of recent events.

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We love how it highlights even small events that don’t trigger an email or Slack notification, such as “Someone liked the praise you sent.” That’s not only gratifying, but it encourages further positive feedback.

It’s a small tweak, but it has an impact – we’ve been testing it within our own Small Improvements’ account and have seen a clear boost in engagement. We’re betting you’ll notice a difference, too.

A new navigation is coming in Q1

In the past year we’ve improved quite a few navigational elements: User and cycle search, upcoming admin dates, global create, and general speediness. More recently we’ve shifted our attention to the sidebar, and we’re proud to enter a public beta phase now.

The new navigation has been battle-tested internally by our own staff and select alpha clients, and we’re really pleased with it. But we won’t rush it. We plan on phasing out the “old” navigation by the end of Q1, so there’s plenty of time to take a look and give us feedback!

Here’s an overview of what is new and improved:

Dedicated “your content” section

Until now the sidebar was split up strictly by module, showing submenus depending on the user’s role. An individual contributor would see their own review in the Performance Review menu, while a manager also saw their team’s reviews in an additional menu item.

We’re now dropping these role-specific menus, moving to a much cleaner and simpler layout: Independent of role every use immediately sees their own content – objectives, 360s, reviews — in one section:

Screen Shot 2016-12-16 at 09.40.21.png Continue reading

New in Small Improvements: Request feedback any time

Imagine you just finished a project, or you’ve been working with a new skill. You’re curious as to how you did and want some feedback from your peers. But how do you go about getting it?

You might email your colleagues or ask them in person – both approaches have their place, but both lack structure. On top of this, it will be difficult to refer back to your feedback at a later date.

With this in mind, we’re excited to introduce our new Request Feedback feature – a big step towards better helping your employees take ownership of their performance and make continuous improvements. This update allows every employee in your company to request feedback from whomever they want, whenever they want. Not only have we shortened the feedback cycle, but your employees can request feedback as they see fit.

Request Feedback in practice

Let’s say you just organized an event for your company, and want to get some feedback on what your peers thought of it, and how you can improve the next event.
Head over to your dashboard and click on the +Create button in the top right corner. You can read all about the functionalities of this new button on this blogpost. Select “Request Feedback” to reach the feedback form pictured below.

 

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Announcing our new HipChat integration

Our Slack integration has been a resounding success, driving up usage and visibilty of praise and objectives within organisations. We’re now starting to integrate with HipChat too. Today’s release promotes public praise and public objectives to HipChat, encouraging a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

How it works

Admins can set up the integration so that each public praise and each public objective get pushed into HipChat channels immediately. You can find all the details in the documentation page. Then, once any SI users praises another one publicly, this praise gets immediately displayed in the channel you chose. The channel could be a new channel, but you could also pick a common channel everyone is already subscribing to, ensuring engagement is even higher.

Here’s a praise inside Small Improvements:

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We’re phasing out our JIRA and Confluence integrations in March

We integrated Atlassian Confluence and JIRA back in 2011 when we started Small Improvements. We had planned to aggregate dozens of third party systems so that we could display a convenient summary of what a reviewee had been working on.

Despite our best efforts, it turned out that this kind of aggregation was in much lower demand than expected. And unfortunately, even rarely-used integrations constantly incur costs on the development team, and stop us from focusing our full attention on the features that customers really want.

With that in mind, we will phase out the Confluence and JIRA integrations beginning March 1, 2017.

A new hope

Atlasssian Aficionados need not despair though – we’re launching our new HipChat integration today!  Unlike the “passive” integrations with JIRA and Confluence, the HipChat integration will be instant and proactive, we hope it will increase your team’s engagement just as our Slack integration has for those who use it.

Two Small UI Improvements to spice up the navigation

On Monday, December 5th, we’ll introduce two small changes to the SI user interface. We’re adding a new “create-button” and we’re renaming “Dashboard” to “Home”.

The changes are really small, but in case you’re rolling out SI for the first time next week, then you may want to take these into account for your documentation. Let us know if you’d like early access.

Create content from the menu bar

Small Improvements is more fun when more people contribute. We’re on a mission to make it truly engaging for you to create and share objectives, praise coworkers, and request feedback. Via the new “Create” button in the menu bar, everyone is now able to create content from any screen, anywhere inside Small Improvements.

Have a look at the workflow:

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