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Create and manage a performance review cycle


Performance reviews allow managers to evaluate the performance and growth of their direct reports. Administrators can create multiple ongoing performance review cycles and manage them separately.

What's in a performance review?

A review can include three question types:

  • Rating-scale questions: It gives you the option to create rating questions with up to 5 choices. The lowest is scored 1 while the top choice is scored as a 5.
  • Open-ended questions: Freeform open text area with rich text editing capabilities.​
  • Assessment groups: This is a set of performance ratings that managers, Admins, and HR Business partners can assign to each employee.​ Only one assessment group can be included per performance review cycle.

Tip: Performance question types are different from question types used in Engagement, Experience, and Effectiveness.

Only administrators can create a performance review cycle. Once created, managers and administrators/HRBPs can update all responses, even after an administrator ends the performance review cycle. Until a review cycle has been manually closed by an Admin, managers are able to submit and update their review responses.

Updates to the review are noted in the activity log for each employee along with who made those changes.

Creating a performance review

Scheduling and creating questions

Go to Admin > Performance reviews > Create cycle

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Follow the steps outlined in the creation flow to complete the setup. You can save and exit at any time to create a draft state of your cycle to return to at a later date.

  • Name and schedule - You can set the dates and time zone of the review cycle as appropriate. Managers can submit reviews until you manually close the cycle. The end date is a communicated close used to trigger email reminders to managers.

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  • Add questions - Culture Amp provides default questions for your review cycle but you can also use your own custom content or choose to duplicate the questions from a previous cycle by selecting Duplicate cycle from any existing cycle's dropdown menu.

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You can amend labels on multiple-choice questions to match your company culture. You can also add descriptions to assessment groups to provide more clarity to managers during the review process.

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Sharing & previewing questions:

  • Select sharing - Choose which questions you would like to have managers share with their direct reports when sharing is later enabled by an Admin. You can amend this selection before the cycle's start date; after the cycle begins, questions selected for sharing are no longer editable.
  • You can wait to enable sharing (e.g. until after managers have finished their reviews and calibrations have occurred). Sharing can be enabled/disabled before, during, or after a cycle has ended.

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  • Preview review - Questions with an asterisk (*) will be shared when sharing is enabled by an administrator.

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Adding employees manually or with a CSV:

Add employees manually using the filters provided or by uploading a CSV.

  • Add manually: Select everyone in the organization by clicking on the box to the left of Team members. If you click it again, it will deselect everyone.
  • Upload from CSV: Click on upload a CSV to import employees into the review. The CSV should have a single column of your employees' emails.

Conversely, you can click Finish to postpone selecting employees for the review cycle.

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You can add people to a cycle even after it starts. Once you're satisfied with the selection, click Finish.​

Final reminders appear on the confirmation screen after creating an review cycle:

  • If you need to make any changes to questions or what questions you'd like to be shared, these must be done before the cycle has started.
  • Managers with direct reports in the review cycle will receive both an email and Task list item when the cycle opens.

Tip: Save your review cycle in draft form at any time by selecting Save & Exit. You can choose to omit any field and proceed to subsequent steps while the cycle is in draft form. The cycle will only become scheduled when all fields have been entered and you click Finish on the final step. Once the cycle has been scheduled, it cannot return to draft.

Review features

  • Edit name and dates - You can edit the start date until that date has passed. You can change the end date as needed. The name can be edited at any time.
  • Edit questions - You may edit the questions until the start date of the review has passed. Then you may only view the questions.
  • Duplicate questions - You may duplicate a cycle's question set by selecting Duplicate cycle from the cycle's drop down menu. Only the questions will be duplicated.
  • Add employees - You can update which employees are included at any point, even if the cycle is in progress. If you remove someone whose manager had started a review and then add them back into the cycle, their manager's original responses will be preserved.
  • Close/Open a review - This gives you the ability to re-open a closed review cycle, or close one that's in session. A closed status means that no one can submit a review. If the cycle is open, even if the due date has passed, managers will have the ability to submit their employee reviews.
  • Export review results - This gives you access to all review data including responses in a CSV format sent directly to your email.
  • Export to PDF - As an Admin or HR Business Partner, you can also export any individual review to PDF at any time.
  • Complete reviews on behalf of managers - As an Admin or HR Business Partner, you have the ability to complete an review on a manager's behalf. You can do this if the cycle is open or closed.
  • Updating an employee's manager - This will notify the new manager by email that there are new direct reports for them to review.
  • Enabling sharing - You can enable sharing at any time, which will notify managers with an in-app notification only. They will need to take action to share their reviews when they are ready. You can also share reviews on behalf of managers once sharing is enabled.

Automated reminders

Managers will receive both an email notification and in-app Task list item when the cycle opens.

Culture Amp sends automated email reminders if reviews have not been completed seven days before the due date. Reminders are also sent three, two, and one day before the due date. Reminders are not sent if the reviews has been completed.

Reviewing performance review progress

When you open a cycle that's in session, you'll have access to view the reviews and see completion rates. You can also complete a review on behalf of a manager or add collaborators to the review.

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