Calibration

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by The Betterworks Team
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Overview of Calibration

The purpose of calibration for most organizations is to review the performance feedback given about employees and ensure that it is used to fairly assess talent within a group. Every person can interpret ‘performance’ differently, so coming together to discuss employee ratings and ensure that those ratings are aligned and have equivalent meaning across managers is essential to having a more objective review.

Within Betterworks, a Super Admin or HR Admin can create a calibration cycle, which refers to a time period in which the talent planning exercise is done. A cycle will usually consist of several meetings to discuss specific groups of employees, which is represented as a session in Betterworks.

Configuring Calibration

You will need to engage the help of our Professional Services team to design your calibration program. They need to create a custom template with all your required calibration settings before you can commence configuring calibration in the platform.

To configure calibration, you will need to:

  1. Turn on Calibration
  2. Set up a Conversation
  3. Ask the Professional Services team to set up your calibration template
  4. Create a Calibration cycle
  5. Process a Calibration Cycle 

Turn On Calibration

As a Super Admin, you can enable the Calibration module from the Admin menu. 

  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Calibration heading
  4. Click the Settings option to open the Calibration Settings page
  5. Use the toggle to switch on the module
  6. Refresh your browser page to see a new Calibration menu appear to the left of the Admin menu

The Calibration menu is only available to Super Admins and HR Admins. Enabling the module will allow you to see an additional field Map to Talent Record Field when creating a conversation.

Set Up a Conversation

Calibration has been designed to use some employee and manager created data from a scheduled conversation. The conversation must be created after the Calibration module has been enabled to see an additional field Map to Talent Record Field. A mapping step is required to instruct the calibration module which conversation questions to use during the calibration process. 

  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Conversation heading (this may have been re-named to say Check-ins, or another term at your organization)
  4. Click the Settings option to open the Conversation settings page
  5. Create a new scheduled conversation as per. If you have a previous conversation template that was created after the calibration module was enabled, you can use the clone button to create a new conversation.
  6. When you are at Step 6 and the conversation questions are being designed, there is a field called Map to Talent Record Field with a drop-down of choices. For each question, decide if you want the data to be used during a calibration session, and choose the closest match from the list of available talent fields.

The table below outlines each possible Talent Record Field to help you with the mapping step.

Talent Record Field Possible conversation question Conversation Answer Type Notes
Compensation Raise Please enter the recommended dollar amount of this person’s salary increase Paragraph  
Compensation Raise % Please enter the recommended salary increase as a percentage for this person Paragraph  
Development Opportunities List skills, experiences or ways in which this person can develop further.
What development is needed to help this employee reach their potential?
Paragraph  
Employee's Critical Skills What are the employee's strengths to leverage? Paragraph  
Employee Comments Can be any data you want to capture and read during a calibration session. E.g. does the person want a promotion, lateral move or to stay where they are? Paragraph  
Employee Performance Rating Looking back over the past 6 months, how do you rate your own performance? Scale or Star Rating Is always read only in calibration
Impact of Loss If this person gave their two weeks' notice, how would you rate their departure's effect on the business? Scale (Low, Medium, High) Can be more than 3 choices, can be any text 
Manager Comments Can be any data you want to capture and read during a calibration session. Paragraph  
Manager Performance Rating Looking back over the past 6 months, how do you rate this person’s performance? Scale or Star Rating List worst to best, can be any text 
Nominate for Internal Mobility Should this person be considered for a lateral move or secondment? Scale (No/Yes) Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first  
Nominate as Mentor Should this person be considered for our Mentorship Program? Scale (No/Yes) Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first  
Nominate for Special Program Should this person be considered for our Leadership Program? (or any other program you run) Scale (No/Yes) Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first  
Open to Fellowships Should this person be encouraged to apply for a fellowship? Scale (No/Yes) Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first  
Open to Relocating Would this person consider moving to another State or Country for the right role? Scale (No/Yes)  Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first 
Potential Next Roles What is the potential next role(s) that could help this employee realize their potential? (job title or short description of role) Paragraph  
Potential Rating Looking forward to the next 6-12 months, how do you rate this person’s potential to excel in their current role? Scale or Star Rating List worst to best, can be any text 
Promote Is this person ready for promotion? Scale (No/Yes) Can only be No and Yes as options, No must be first 
Promotion Rationale Why should this person be promoted to the next level? Paragraph  
Promote To (role) What role should this person be promoted to? Paragraph  
Risk of Loss How likely is it that this person will leave the organization soon? Scale (Low, Medium, High) Can be more than 3 choices, can be any text  

 

Your Calibration Template

Not every conversation question needs to be mapped, only map the data you wish to see during a calibration session.

Use this spreadsheet as a guide with your Professional Services team to communicate your required calibration design. Many items are configurable and the spreadsheet helps with clear communication of your preferences.

You can also go through this template together over a video call.

Your Professional Services team member will need to generate this template on the back-end on your behalf. The template will then be used later when creating a calibration cycle.

Create a Calibration Cycle

A Super Admin or an HR Admin can create a calibration cycle. The cycle is used to group together all calibration data across a period of time. A cycle will use data from one Conversation in Betterworks.

A cycle needs to be created in the Admin area before it will appear on the Calibration page.

  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Calibration heading
  4. Click the Cycles option to open the Calibration Cycle Settings page
  5. Review the list of cycles to ensure one has not already been created for you
  6. Click the Add Calibration Cycle button if a new cycle needs to be created
  7. Type the name of this cycle. We recommend a naming system to make the cycles easy to identify, such as including the year or quarter, and referencing the name of the conversation template that will be used to source employee calibration data. For example Q2-2020 Talent Planning
  8. Review the Start Date and End Date of the cycle, and amend if required. These dates are for reference purposes only.
  9. Select the calibration template that was created for your organization
  10. Select the conversation template and cycle that was used to collect data for calibration purposes
  11. Click Save

The calibration cycle will now be displayed and has an Active status depending on the Start and End dates that were entered. This cycle can be deleted (all calibrated data is deleted also) and the calibration data can also be exported using the ellipsis option to see possible actions.

Process a Calibration Cycle

Once a cycle has been created and the conversation has started, it's possible to pull the conversation data into a cycle, so it can later be used in a session.
 
There is a step required first to "process" or "re-process" the cycle to update the cycle with conversation data:
  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Calibration heading
  4. Click the Cycles option to open the Calibration Cycle Settings page
  5. Review the list of cycles to locate the cycle that is current
  6. Use the ellipses menu for Additional Actions and choose the Process option. If a cycle has already been processed before, a Re-Process option is displayed instead
A cycle can be processed more than once while the conversation is open to refresh the data being used. For example, some people may conduct their conversation past the due date during the grace period, so you'll want to make sure their conversation data is included. Processing or re-processing a cycle does not override any data that was created during a calibration session.
 

Running a Calibration

A calibration session can be created and used by only a Super Admin or HR Admin. When a date has been set to meet with managers to discuss employees, a session is created to facilitate those discussions and record any changes or decisions from that meeting.

To run a calibration session you will need to:

  1. Create a Calibration session, detailing who will be calibrated and when
  2. Conduct a Calibration session with your laptop and record:
  • Decisions made about an employee, e.g. performance ratings, or eligibility for promotion, or compensation increase can be added as notes
  • Any additional notes about why a person’s data was amended, to keep track of changes and refer to later if needed
  1. Complete the session and advise managers of any changes made, or export reports if required.

Create a Calibration Session

A calibration session is an event that is recorded in Betterworks, usually a meeting that is held with people managers to discuss the performance, or potential of employees. A session must be created in Betterworks to collate conversation data and display in a grid for use during the meeting.

To create a session:

  1. Go to the Calibration menu
  2. Review the Cycles listed and find the current cycle. If a cycle is not in the list
  3. Click the cycle heading to expand
  4. Click the Create a session row
  5. Type a Name for the session, something that helps you identify the group of people being discussed (such as a department name, or manager name)
  6. Select a Start Date and End Date for the session. These dates are for reference purposes only.
  7. Use the Add participants field to locate the managers who will attend the session. All of their direct reports will be automatically included as the subjects of the calibration session.
  8. For each manager selected, you can choose if only their direct reports are to be discussed, or choose specific levels below them to include more people within their organization. Only senior managers with levels below them will have the option to choose more than just direct reports.
  9. Consider if anyone who reports or rolls up to the manager selected should be excluded (maybe contractors, interns, new hires, people on long term leave, etc).
  10. Click Create button to save the session

Conduct a Calibration Session

Once a session has been created, it can be viewed by the HR Admin or Super Admin and used to focus the talent planning discussion. Any changes or notes can be added to the Betterworks session to record decisions made.

The calibration process is:

  1. Click the session name on the Calibration page to open the grid and list of employees to be discussed.
  2. See if any people were unrated as part of the conversation cycle. Click the Unrated box and review these employees, completing each field in the table about them.
  3. View and discuss the spread of people being allocated to each box on the grid. You can click in each box to see the people who have been assigned to that box listed in the table beneath the grid.
  4. Discuss each person’s ratings and make changes if needed in the table below the grid. You can also move people into a new box by clicking their row in the table, then using their photo in the grid to drag and drop them to a new location.
  5. When editing a person’s data on a row in the table, scroll to the right and enter a note using the comment bubble icon and click the Save button to save your changes.
  6. When a person’s data has been changed, a blue check mark is displayed near their name to indicate edits were made.
  7. When all people have been discussed and the session has ended, use the Complete Session button to mark the status of the session as complete. The session can be re-opened again if needed.

Advise Managers of Any Changes Made

To close the loop on the talent planning cycle, managers like to know which people had their ratings or data changed. The conversation data is frozen and will not reflect any changes that were made during the calibration session. A manager may need to discuss the employee’s performance with them, or take action following items discussed during the session.

The changes made during a session can be emailed to managers, and all the calibration cycle data can be exported.

To email calibration session changes:

  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Calibration heading
  4. Click the Cycles option to open the Calibration Cycles page
  5. Under the Action heading use the ellipsis to choose the Send Manager Notifications option
  6. Each manager who has employees whose data was changed will be sent an email with details on which data changed, showing the before and after values.

To export calibration cycle data:

  1. Go to the Admin menu
  2. Go to the Program management tab
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the Calibration heading
  4. Click the Cycles option to open the Calibration Cycles page
  5. Under the Action heading use the ellipsis to choose the Export option
  6. The signed-in Admin will be sent an email with a .csv report of all the calibration data for the cycle

The Report

Talent_Records_Export.png

The email contains a link to download the .csv file. The file contains a row for every person included in the conversation and data about their calibration if they were included in a calibration session. The columns in the report are:

full_name
title
email
user_id
department
manager_name
manager_id
comments_employee
comments_manager
compensation_raise
compensation_raise_percent
critical_skills
development_opportunities
fellowships
internal_mobility
nine_box_position
nominate_as_mentor
potential_next_roles
promotion_promote
promotion_rationale
promotion_role
rating_loss_impact
rating_loss_risk
relocate
special_program
rating_performance_calibration
rating_performance_employee
rating_performance_manager
rating_potential_calibration
rating_potential_manager
decision_by_name
decision_by_id
session_name