Calibration Overview & Setup

Content

Overview of Calibration

The purpose of calibration for most organizations is to review the performance feedback given about employees and ensure that it's 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, Super Admins and HR Admins (scope applied) can create a calibration cycle which refers to a time period in which the talent planning exercise is done. A cycle usually consists of several meetings to discuss specific groups of employees. These meetings are represented as a sessions in Betterworks.

Configuring Calibration

You'll need to engage the help of your Program Architect to design your calibration program. They'll then need to create a custom template with all of your required calibration settings (on the backend) before you can begin configuring calibration in the Betterworks user interface. 

Enable Calibration

Super Admins can enable the Calibration module from within the Admin module:

Admin → Program Management → Calibration → Settings

Once there, toggle the feature on and refresh your internet browser to see the Calibration module:

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The Calibration module will only be available to Super Admins and HR Admins (scope applied). Enabling the module will provide an additional option ("Map to Talent Record Field") when creating a scheduled conversation.

You can rename the Calibration module by going to:

Admin → Platform Configuration → Organization Branding → Naming → Calibration


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Note: You can use all of your custom fields as talent records or filters. However, this option is not enabled automatically and should be discussed in more detail with your Program Architect. 

Set Up A Conversation

A mapping step is required to instruct the Calibration module on which conversation questions to use during the calibration process:

Admin → Program Management → Conversations → Settings → New Scheduled Conversation

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The "Map to Talent Record Field" is often used with a manager's confidential questions (as opposed to questions that the direct report can see):

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For each question, decide if you'd like the data to be used during a calibration session and choose the closest match from the list of available talent fields:

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 (i.e. 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.

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

Note: There is also an option to hide the 9 box and/or histogram for calibration cycles. However, this option is not enabled automatically and should be discussed in more detail with your Program Architect. 

Create a Calibration Cycle

Super Admins and HR Admins (scope applied) can create a calibration cycle. The cycle is used to group together all calibration data across a period of time and will use data from a single conversation cycle. The calibration cycle needs to be created in the Admin module before it will appear in the Calibration module:

Admin → Program Management → Calibration → Cycles → Add Calibration cycle

When naming the cycle, we recommend a naming system that makes the cycle easy to identify, such as including the year and quarter and referencing the name of the conversation template that will be used to source employee calibration data (i.e. "Q4-2021 Talent Planning"). Once you've named the cycle:

  1. Review the start and end date of the cycle and amend if required.
    • Note: These dates are for reference purposes only.
  2. Select the calibration template that was created for your organization.
  3. Select the conversation template and cycle that was used to collect data for calibration purposes.
  4. Save.

Note: Deleting a cycle will delete all of the associated calibration data.

Enable the Calibration Lock Flag

The calibration lock flag prevents users that are not Super Admins from making changes within a calibration cycle:

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This flag can be turned on/off at any time. While the calibration cycle is locked, Super Admins can still make changes within the calibration cycle. Super Admins (scope applied) will be able to view sessions, but will not be able to make changes to the cycle or sessions including:

    • Changing ratings of employees
    • Adding comments
    • Changing the status of sessions
    • Creating sessions
    • Deleting sessions
    • Editing sessions

There will also be a lock icon by the calibration cycle name in the Calibration module:

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The session view will also display as locked:

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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. However, the cycle needs to be processed or re-processed. In order to do this, go to:
 
Admin → Program Management → Calibration → Cycles → ... (under the "Actions" header) → Process (or Re-process)
 
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A cycle can be processed more than once while the conversation is open to refresh the data being used. This is because some employees may conduct their conversation past the due date (during the grace period), so you'll want to make sure their conversation data is included.
 
Note: Processing or re-processing a cycle does not override any data that was created during a calibration session.
 

Running Calibration

A calibration session can only be created and used by a Super Admin or an HR Admin (scope applied). 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 such as performance ratings, eligibility for promotion, or compensation increase. These can be added as notes. 
    • Any additional notes about why an employee's data was amended, to keep track of changes and refer to later if needed.
  3.  Complete the session and advise managers of any changes made or export reports if required

Create A Calibration Session

Note: HR Admins cannot include users that are outside of their scope in a calibration session. For example, if Jane Doe's scope only covers the Finance Department, she cannot include users from the Engineering Department in her 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 it in a grid for use during the meeting.

To create a session:

  1. Go to the Calibration module.
  2. Review the cycles listed and find the current cycle. If a cycle is not on the list, click the cycle heading to expand.
  3. Click the "Create a session" button at the top-right of the page.
  4. Enter a name for the session. Use a name that indicates the group of employees being discussed (i.e. department name or manager name)
  5. Select a start and date for the session.
    • Note: These dates are for reference purposes only.
  6. Use the "Add Participants" field to locate the managers who will attend the session. All of their direct reports will automatically be included as the subjects of the calibration session.
  7. For each manager selected, choose if only their direct reports are to be discussed, or choose specific levels below them to include more people within the organization. 
  8. Consider if anyone who reports or rolls up to the manager select should be excluded (i.e. contractors, interns, new hires, employees going on long-term leave, etc.).

Conduct A Calibration Session

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

  1. Click the session name on the calibration page to open the grid and list of employees to be discussed.
  2. See if any 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 into each box to see the people who have been assigned to that box listed in the table beneath the grid.
  4. Discuss each employee's ratings and make changes if needed in the table below the grid. You can also move employees 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 an employee's data on a row in the table, scroll to the right and enter a note using the comment bubble icon and click "Save" to save your changes.
  6. When an employee's data has been changed, a blue checkmark will display near their name to indicate that edits were made.
  7. When all employees have been discussed and the session has ended, click "Complete Session" to mark the status of the session as complete.
    • Note: 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 employees 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 module.
  2. Click the "Program Management" tab. 
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the "Calibration" heading. 
  4. Click "Cycles" to open the calibration cycles page. 
  5. Under the "Action" header, use the ellipsis to select the "Send Manager Notifications" option.
  6. Each manager with direct reports whose data was changed will be sent an email with details on what changed (including the before and after values).

To export calibration cycle data:

  1. Go to the Admin module.
  2. Click the "Program Management" tab. 
  3. Scroll down on the left-hand side until you see the "Calibration" heading. 
  4. Click "Cycles" to open the calibration cycles page. 
  5. Under the "Action" header, use the ellipsis to select the "Export" option.
  6. The administrator who is logged in will be sent an email containing a link to the CSV report.

Talent Records Export Report

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This report contains a row for each participant in the related conversation cycle 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
    • Note: This is not the employee ID, but a separate user ID.
  • department
  • manager_name
  • manager_id
    • Note: This is not the employee ID, but a separate user 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

Talent Records Export Report (By Box)

This is not identical to the Talent Record Export Report and rather distributes each talent record into a separate spreadsheet tab based on the calibration box. The report can be exported by going into the calibration session view and clicking the download button at the top-right corner of the page. 

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The report data contains:

  • Employee ID
  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Manager Name
  • Title
  • Box Number
  • Label
  • Talent record comments
    • Note: This is for the calibration comments field, not the text modal for notes.
  •  Custom labels from custom fields 01-05 in the user data upload
    • Note: There will be more labels if you've added additional custom fields.

Decisions Log

This feature enables administrators to see who made which changes in the calibration of employees. A field at the end of the talent record table will have a clock icon which, when clicked, will open the Decisions Log:

decision_log_-_list.pngdecision_log_-_count.png

Note: If changed, the text area type talent keys will only say "changed".

Ratings In Conversations

Super Admins can choose to show calibration ratings to managers, skip level managers and above, or to employees. This selection is made from the corresponding conversation template:

 

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While the rating will be visible in the conversation itself:

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