Managing performance – 3 – review types

Review types is where most of the heavy lifting gets done in terms of controlling how your review process works (obviously, if you’re doing performance without reviews, you can skip this bit). For each review type you create, you can select criteria that determine how reviews of this category work. There are five criteria:

  • Enable workflow for this type
  • Status of new review
  • Allow edit in final review
  • Enable manager sign off
  • Enable employee sign off

For these parameters to make sense, you have to understand a little bit about how reviews work, so you can manipulate these options to give the desired end result.

Reviews in Talent are status driven – that is, they move through a series of states, in a specific sequence, to capture data from different people at different points in the process. In some states the form is visible to the employee, in others to the manager, in some visible to both in edit mode, in others visible to both in view only mode. You can manipulate the above parameters to reflect the process that should be in operation in your company. Be aware – these settings are not legal entity specific. You can also choose if it is possible to move between these stages manually, or if workflow should be triggered (which potentially gives you the luxury of routing reviews through HR or through senior managers prior to completion).

The statuses are:

Not started
This is pretty much the setup phase of the review. Both the manager and the employee are able to see all sections of the review form, and can edit it. In practical terms, this usually happens at the start of the review period. The manager and the employee have met and agreed the goals which the employee will be measured against in this review period, added in any agreed activities and so on. They can both have input to the review form and add and edit things as the performance period progresses. Towards the end of the performance period, the review process will start.  The review then gets moved into the ‘In progress’ status. It’s worth knowing that the final rating is not editable at the ‘Not started’ stage, but individual goals added to the review are already available for both parties to rate separately (the manager adds ‘Manager rating’ for each goal, and the employee adds ‘Employee rating’ for each goal. They don’t see each others’ rating yet, although there is a status later where the manager gets to see what the employee has entered).  You don’t have to wait until you’re actively in progress on a review to record a rating, if a goal is completed. 

In progress
Up until this point the review has been an interactive document between manager and employee. Now it starts to be finalised as a record of the employee’s performance over the selected period. The employee is now working independently on the review. The manager’s view is restricted just to the ‘General’ tab, while the employee sees everything. The employee can still add goals, activities, ratings etc as they could before, but they’re preparing the final version of the form which the manager will subsequently check over.

Ready for review
At this stage the employee has completed their bit, and their view is now restricted to just the ‘General’ tab. The manager though can see everything the employee has entered, including the employee’s ratings against goals. They can now add their own goal specific rating alongside the employee’s rating, and add a final (overall) employee rating. Once this is complete, it’s ready to move to the next stage.

Final review
In final review both the manager and the employee can see the whole form again. Depending on the review type settings they might, or might not, be able to edit it. If not, the only buttons available will be on the ‘Sign offs’ tab. The review doesn’t move to the next stage until all the workers who are required to sign off the review (set in the review type settings) have done so. If none are required, any sign off will move the review to the next stage.

The review is finalised and becomes a non-editable record of performance for that period.

There are other statuses, but these relate more to the workflow status than the review status, so I’ll ignore those for now as this isn’t a workflow guide.

The review type settings then dictate how the process works as follows:

Enable workflow for this type
Indicates whether the review should be pushed through the stages using workflow, or whether the stages must be updated manually. In my humble opinion, you get a slightly better user experience if you have this checked, but you need to have the confidence with setting up workflow, monitoring it, and troubleshooting (the workflow itself is available under Personnel Management > Setup > Human resources workflows, and it’s called ‘Worker review’). It’s also worth knowing that if you have this checked, you are forced to set ‘Status of new review’ to ‘Not started’, and you don’t get any choice about enabling manager and employee sign off any more. Basically, if you switch the workflow on, you have to follow all stages of the process from beginning to end. You can, however, edit the workflow if you have the necessary skills.

Status of new review
This dictates the start point for your review. If all that needs to happen is that the manager and the employee need to have a simple conversation and agree it, you might think about jumping straight in at the ‘Final review’ stage, and skipping everything before it. This works for simple coaching check ins, ad hoc meetings, etc. If you’re using this functionality to record the outcome of a performance improvement meeting (which works) – maybe you want the manager to write everything, so you’d start at ‘Ready for review’. If you’re doing a full blown annual appraisal, it makes sense to start at ‘not started’.

Allow edit in final review
Speaks for itself really – do you want both parties to be able to change the form at this stage. If you started here (see my comment about performance improvement meetings) – then of course you want this checked. If this is the final stage for both to check over and sign off – then not so much.

Enable manager sign off/Enable employee sign off
This is not so much about ‘enabling’ as about ‘requiring’. If you have one or both of these boxes checked, then that party must click the sign off button on the sign offs tab to move the review through to completed status. If neither box is checked, then either party signing off will change the status. If both are checked, then both must sign off or the review stays at final review status.


Now you know what review types do – you can see how critical they are to setting up your review process. Now you can think about creating some review templates to help your users out.

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