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There’s a better way of doing performance reviews

Ah, performance reviews. They’re not always easy, and for some they feel like complete chaos! In these cases, it's unlikely performance reviews produce anything meaningful. More likely, they produce more anxiety, bigger workloads, increased frustration, and in the worst cases can even lead to higher churn.

We know from experience and extensive research that a great process is what stands between organisations and great performance review cycles. So here at Leapsome, we’ve been hard at work sanding and polishing our Performance Reviews features to give you a tool that’s right there every step of the way, just how you want it to be. 

Whether you’re a manager being reviewed by your direct report or vice versa; an employee writing a peer review; or a team leader evaluating yourself, the feature covers every perspective and relationship there is while keeping everything tidy. 

How different types of performance review work


Start with confidence, and save what works for later

Beginning a review cycle couldn’t be easier. You can use our best practice frameworks to test the water, or handpick settings to design your own. Whichever way you choose to set up the review in our review builder, you can save it for reuse later on. That means you only have to decide once which questions to ask different teams and departments; and which skills matter most in each area. In this way, each review framework stays highly relevant to its respective participants without having to be reset from cycle to cycle. 

Leapsome's best practice framework changes automatically depending on your chosen review template


If you want to get really micro and customise questions based on seniority level, you can do that too. Similarly, if you’d rather set up a review cycle for a specific project, you can swap long term organisational managers for temporary project managers. That means you still get an accurate picture of someone’s work, even when they’ve been working more closely with a team leader than they have with their direct manager. 

If your organisation is applying a decentralised management model, you can also hand over control of a review to your managers or even employees. Simply set up a template and allow your managers or employees to kick off their own reviews.


Dodge your natural biases with ease 

One of the biggest pitfalls of performance reviews is their vulnerability to bias. In fact, unfair or inaccurate reviews are listed among the top reasons for why employees choose to leave a company. Unfortunately, it’s hard for companies to remedy bias when each and every one of us has natural inclinations and aversions. For example, humans are biologically designed to put more weight on recent events, meaning that an employee’s achievement from last week might get considerably more praise than another employee’s achievement from last month. This is known as “recency bias.”

With Leapsome you can check your recency bias so your reviewees get a balanced and fair performance evaluation. Leapsome helps you do this by making it easy to cross-reference their progress towards their goals; 1-on-1 meeting notes; and past feedback they’ve received, all from within the reviews feature. This is especially useful if you’ve set up a cycle that asks for comment on current and recently completed goals! It gives you more awareness of the bigger picture and fills in your memory’s blind spots, leading to a fair review. 


Just sit back and automate

When your review cycle is truly up and running, there’s no need to set reminders for yourself in your calendar; nor do you need to worry about manually updating each employees’ progress or reminding them to complete their pending reviews. If it can be automated, consider it done with Leapsome. 

Each review cycle is launched on the start date you chose within the review builder, and the platform sends out automated completion nudges and updates as participants move along the timeline you have chosen. You can watch things progress without worrying about those people we all know who will need two or three reminders to get things done – Leapsome will chase them for you. 

And if you want to set up a probation period review for each employee after X months at the company, or decentralise all employee’s annual reviews, you can automate those too. Imagine hiring someone with the knowledge that their first performance review and future annual reviews will be triggered automatically! Of course, there might be times when you prefer to keep an eye on these things yourself. If so, you’re welcome to take control back into your own hands and move things forward manually.

Speaking of keeping an eye on things, you can be crystal clear about each cycle’s visibility settings from start to finish. So, in a 360º review where learning is more important than evaluation, the reviewee can set up a cycle which doesn’t allow their manager to see contributors’ answers and comments. This setting gives people the freedom to write 100% honest reviews without having to consider the impression it’ll give to the reviewee’s manager. 


Performance combined with engagement - the data you’ve been waiting for

And now the part we’ve all been waiting for – reaping the rewards of a performance review cycle done well. How do we do this? With the help of slick data analytics, which we’ve helpfully configured for you in multiple ways!

For example, you can use the spider graphs to map out all the perspectives in one person’s review: overlaying areas of strength and improvability so you can see where things match up and where perspectives clash. It’s important to resolve areas in which reviewee and contributor judgments diverge: if team members aren’t on the same page, this could be a good opportunity to check for deeper misunderstandings.

Understand the relationship between different perspectives in your organisation


If you’re more interested in comparing results by time, rather than by contributor, you can lay out the same data in a development timeline for individuals or teams. As the name suggests, this gives you an overview of progress over time – a crucial insight that keeps you informed in the way you help employees learn and grow.

Alternatively you can display the data as a timeline, scatter plot or heat map


Alternatively, you can compare the skill strengths of teams and individuals using a heat map, or a scatter plot with flexible dimensions, depending on preference. 

You can also compare results and skill distributions across cycles and teams over time, which helps you understand what needs more attention. Is one of your teams delivering consistently high results? Celebrate their work – and see if other teams could learn from them! Did one person get significantly different results from what they did two quarters ago? Figure out what changed to cause that so you can understand them more. 

Every company is concerned about retaining its best employees. Leapsome allows you to detect early if your top-performers are at risk of leaving the company. How do we do this? We allow you to segment your (anonymous) engagement data by performance quantiles. Combine performance and engagement - two valuable data sources - to get even more powerful insights.


Take all the ownership you want – and leave the rest to us! 

With all these options at your disposal, you can choose where you want to be in control and where you’d rather leave it to Leapsome’s best practice defaults. That means you have more time for meaningful processes that only humans should be doing, allowing you to focus on the highest impact areas of your job – not the repetitive processes.

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If you’re interested in getting started with Leapsome Reviews for your team, you can request a demo and we’ll be happy to show you the platform. There is no minimum team size requirement to get started. Leapsome’s platform combines all the necessary tools for Performance Management and Employee Engagement into one place - Reviews, Employee Engagement Surveys, Goals & OKR Management, 1-on-1 Meetings, Team Check-Ins, and Instant Feedback & Praise - making it easy for you to align, enable and develop high-performing teams. Get started with Leapsome here.

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And lastly, you can check out our launch day announcement on Product Hunt here:

Leapsome on Product Hunt


Download our free eBook

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Leading companies drive engagement and performance with Leapsome