Performance Reviews: Recommended Conversations Configurations

Use Case Attributes:

  • Includes both a self-evaluation and a manager evaluation
  • Output of the conversation is a rating needed for other processes
  • Managers participate in a calibration/review process
  • Reviews should only be shared after calibration/review process are complete

Example Timeline used in this example:

  • Conversation starts January 1
  • Direct Reports provide self-assessments by January 30
  • Managers attend Calibration Sessions between January 15-February 15
  • Managers submit final ratings by February 20
  • Managers have performance conversations with their teams starting February 28 through March 15

1. Description

We recommend including the timeline that you would like to communicate to your employees. This can include information around when self-assessments are due, and when manager preliminary ratings are due. 
We also recommend including a link to a library of resources, which typically would include rating descriptions, competencies, "how to" resources, etc. When deployed, links will open in the same tab.
Note: once deployed, any changes in the description will not update during an active cycle. Thus, if you have several different timelines throughout the organization, it may be best to surface general guidelines, and have them reference a link for more specific dates. If you want to test a cycle, you can initially deploy to yourself, or utilize Preview. 

2. Participation Selection

Many customers can have multiple cycles running concurrently as they may have different questions for different levels/areas of the organization. You can segment the audience of each template two ways:
  1. Department and/or Admin Generated Groups
  2. CSV upload (just need one column of emails for all direct reports; heading is not required)

Note: If the conversation has been deployed and additional participants need to be added, just make sure the user accounts meet the criteria of option 1 OR upload another file containing their email address for option 2. If you have to delete a conversation, reach out to


3. Question Settings

Many customers have a mix between Scale and Paragraph questions. They may also require that users respond to most (if not all) of the questions. When questions are required, a user will need to input content in the answer box in order to Submit/Share their conversation. 

Note: If you have an admin review period in place, users may submit the responses without completing all required questions. Admins can report on all submitted responses. 



4. Notifications

Do not to use the Conversation start notification: Due to the more detailed timelines that are typically part of the Performance Review process, customers typically opt to send their own communications to kick off the process.

Use the Mid-cycle reminder: Send an email to managers to share their answers during the performance conversation period at the end of the cycle.

Use the Conversation due notification: Send an email to managers the last day of the conversation.

Overdue reminder is optional: Depending how you want to follow-up on managers who have not yet completed 



5. Conversation Cycle Dates

Cycle Start and End date:

Include the start and end date for the entire timeline. These two dates will dictate when conversations are available to your template participants. They will also help determine when the enabled notifications are scheduled to be delivered.

Grace period:

We recommend adding a grace period so that participants that miss the end date can still complete their conversations without admin intervention.


Additional locking options: 

We recommend enabling "All answers lock when shared" for performance reviews to maintain a system of record once Shared.

We recommend adding an earlier lock date for direct reports to signal the due date for self-assessments.

If you need the ratings from managers for processes like compensation, we recommend adding an earlier lock date for the one question. This would be used in conjunction with an admin review period.


Adding a review period: 

Typically we see customers have a calibration timeframe for a performance review. To support this calibration process, they set up an admin review period on the manager side so that managers can submit their responses without it being shared with their direct report. Functionally, this means a Submit button will show instead of a Share.

  • The submit deadline is signaled to the manager as when they should submit their answers.
  • The review deadline will be the last day to submit. The next day the Share button will be available.