Improvements To Performance Review Signature Quirk

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We set ourselves a goal in early 2017 to fix some annoying bugs and functionality issues associated with some of our features.

One of those pesky UI/UX flaws had to do with the “editable until” field for performance reviews within Small Improvements, and how its relationship to the “sign by” field. The problem appeared when admins would set an earlier date for edits than for the signature.

When the “editable until” deadline passed, the review would lock, meaning it was impossible for both manager and reviewee to sign the review.

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Mark the Manager can now sign off on a Performance Review, regardless of whether it’s been locked down.

We needed to take action. So we made some tweaks and now it’s possible for both the manager and reviewee to sign off on a review, even after it’s been locked down.

We understood more flexibility and clarity was needed here, and appreciate everyone who provided feedback.

Improvements To Secondary Reviewer

The fluid nature of modern work environments means we sometimes find ourselves outside of traditional team structures, working in flat hierarchies or lending our skill sets to ad-hoc projects.

We have a host of features supporting feedback reviews from anyone to anyone, but the performance review is still generally between one employee and their direct manager. The secondary reviewer concept allows admins to add a second person to contribute to a manager review, thereby making it a more complete review. 

We’ve been wanting to improve our current secondary review feature for a while – in particular, to incorporate feedback from some of our customers. While a full overhaul is still planned, here’s what we’ve tweaked to enhance your experience:

  • We increased visibility for the administrator. Admins now have a clear overview of who within the organization is participating as secondary reviewers.
  • We increased visibility for the secondary reviewer. In the past, the secondary reviewer had to implicitly know that a review was happening, i.e., we didn’t notify them of their status. Now, the secondary reviewer receives both an action item and an email – at the start of a cycle as well as during (in the form of a nudge).
  • Notification for the manager. A hint at the top of the review screen will inform managers that a secondary reviewer is also participating.

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5 Ways To Take Your 1:1 Meetings To The Next Level

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Over the course of 2016, we traversed the USA and Europe to moderate our “Helping Managers” panel discussions in five different cities. One commonality we noticed among our panelists was how strongly they advocated for regular check-ins, or 1:1s, with their employees. These open, honest conversations have proven to be beneficial for both parties, but for managers they’re particularly advantageous because they help identify problems early within a team.

There’s a clear difference, however, between simply scheduling regular 1:1s and building a culture of successful 1:1s within your team or organization. So how can you revamp individual meetings within your own company? Below are the five key approaches that top HR leaders recommend.

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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.

What makes a great boss? Successful UK managers reveal their secrets

Great managers are crucial to business success; they help employees maximize their potential, engage their teams and create workplaces that are productive and profitable. That’s why we’ve traveled the globe to learn more about how to help managers go from good to great. From San Francisco to New York, Berlin to London, we had the pleasure of speaking with some of the most forward-thinking HR and management professionals to get their insights.

At our London panel discussion in December, we sat down with:

  • Neil Morrison, Director of Strategy, Culture and Innovation at Penguin Random House UK
  • Jess Critchlow, Learning & Development Manager at Salmon
  • John Catterfeld, Head of Software Engineering at OpenTable UK

We’ve attached a video of the event below, but here’s a quick recap of the highlights:

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Webinar: Making Feedback Less Painful

We all know feedback is good for us. Effective feedback, both positive and negative, can help employees keep track of performance, feel more involved in the workplace and enhance employee engagement. Yet Gallup reports that, only 13% of worldwide employees are engaged at work.

So how can we leverage feedback to foster better communication and engagement?

Jason Lauritsen explains that most feedback processes fail due to a disconnect in how businesses and employees view the employment relationship. Employees nowadays don’t view work as a contract where compensation is exchanged for manual labor. Instead, they experience work as a relationship. Most approaches to performance management are traditionally designed with a “contract fulfillment” mindset – often at the expense of the relationship.

Join Jason as he explores how we can modify feedback processes by designing them to foster healthy relationships. His “relationship test” will illustrate how traditional feedback approaches have been damaging rather than building relationships, and help us better understand how we can make performance management more human-friendly.

Register for our 30-minute webinar

January 31st, 2017 – 10am PST / 1pm EST / 6pm GMT


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Presenter: Jason Lauritsen is an employee engagement and workplace culture expert who will challenge you to think differently. A former corporate Human Resources executive, Jason has dedicated his career to helping leaders build organizations that are good for both people and profits. http://www.JasonLauritsen.com

6 Expert Tips On How To Help Your Managers Succeed

Choosing the right managers is one of the most critical decisions an organization makes. But what makes someone a great manager? While a lot of research have identified qualitative traits of great managers and the different ways they contribute to business success – there is still a lack in understanding of what great managers actually do on a daily basis.

Our most recent panel in the Helping Managers Become Better Managers series was held in Berlin. We welcomed expert speakers from TAM Trainer Akademie (Lorenz Illing, MD), Marley Spoon (Cindy Rubbens, Head of Culture & People Operations) and SoundCloud (Jennifer Beecher, Learning & Development) to discuss the importance of managers in organizations. Below we’ve summarized a few key takeaways:

What behaviors do great managers exhibit?

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