Performance review – evaluating employees at Silicon Valley companies

In Silicon Valley companies, it is popular to evaluate employees using the performance review method. Different organizations have their own nuances and peculiarities of conducting surveys, but the general principles are the same almost everywhere.

Evaluation Criteria

Every six months, team members are evaluated according to two criteria:

  • performance
  • development

Productivity is evaluated by how well a person is doing their job, doing what has been asked of them. There are 3 evaluation options:

1 – does nothing, chugs away at tasks.

2 – does all of his obligations, but no more and no less than that.

3 – does more than what is asked of him. Takes responsibility, asks for additional tasks, organizes something.

Learning and development of an employee is the second criterion. They assess whether an employee develops or just works and performs his tasks, how quickly he learns. A person can do his job perfectly well and get a high score for his productivity. But not develop and get a low score for this parameter. This will affect the overall review score.

Developmental scores:

1 -never learned anything. For half a year, did not learn anything new, did not come with questions, not interested in the development strategy.   

2 – asks questions only within his level. For example, he is a mid-level developer or mid-level manager and studies problems only at this depth, does not look higher or lower.

3 – learns extra and exceeds expectations in this area. He may be an entry level manager, but is thinking about a development strategy for his growth. Or solves problems not of his level that no one has been able to solve for a long time. Read something somewhere, asked around, went to a conference and found a solution. Trains other employees.


Managers (team leaders) grade their employees for each criterion and calculate a total score.

If someone qualifies for promotion, he must show excellent performance and give top-performance on both criteria. If a high score is only for performance or only for development, there will be no promotion. Guys like that are very important to the company. They do everything to make it grow and develop.

Those who got 1 or 2 can be fired or given a chance to improve. It is decided on an individual basis.

There are the mediocre ones. They do their job, they learn, but they haven’t yet achieved outstanding results. They are believed in them, they are supported and helped in every possible way. The development strategy is discussed with them, advice is given, and it is believed that they need a push to get over their hurdle.

Based on the results of the review, the question of a salary increase is decided. Usually the manager is allocated some budget, which he/she allocates to team members at his/her discretion. He may give everyone a percentage of that budget, or he may give the entire amount to one employee who has shown outstanding results.

Review Mechanics

The evaluation consists of many steps. It’s quite a complicated process, of many stages.

The first stage is self-assessment

Anyone should be able to evaluate themselves. Without it there can be no career growth. How will he evaluate others if he can’t adequately evaluate his own work? How can he ask for promotion if he can’t formulate what he needs to be promoted for?  

If a professional seeks promotion, his evaluation will be read by the vice presidents. Therefore, he must be able to clearly articulate the report. If he writes it badly – sorry, there will be no promotion, you do not know how to build your career.

To help the employee, they can send him a special form with different questions: “What did you do well?”, “What did you not do well? Every year such a form changes dramatically.

The second stage is the evaluation by the manager

In parallel, the person is evaluated by his or her immediate supervisor.

The team manager asks the person being evaluated for a list of 5 people who can attest to their competence. These people are called endorsement (endorsement). The list is advisory in nature. The manager can ask everyone on it, or he or she can ask the opinions of entirely different colleagues.

Endorsements write a brief report in 2-3 sentences in which they must confirm the employee’s evaluation. These reports are compared to the person’s self-report. Sometimes it turns out that people agree with each other and the usual copypaste comes in.

If the supervisor doesn’t get reports that confirm what the person being evaluated says, it goes to the latter’s disadvantage. It means that the dude didn’t prove his competence.

There is such a notion – a 360 degree review. In order to get the overall picture about a specialist, they interview those with whom he works, whom he has trained, those who work with him and are on a lower level, his team, the team of those with whom he interacts.

For example, from a team that works in parallel, you might get feedback that the person throws around clever words, doesn’t care about being understood, and so on. That would be a disadvantage.

This kind of universal coverage takes a lot of time, but it gives a 360-degree review.

The final package of his opinions, the opinions of his colleagues, his supervisor, colleagues from other departments are gathered from the supervisor, who reads all the feedback and writes a summary – a performance review, a supportport – gives an assessment and comments on it.

Then there is work between the supervisors. All reports are collected. The scores received are reviewed. Ratios are checked: so that people at the same level have the same characteristics and competencies. A normalization process is set in motion. First it is done at the level of their team, then it goes to a higher level and so on, until everything is combed out according to the same logic. Managers discuss grades among themselves and sometimes change them up or down. The normalization process can change the initial grade by +-2 points. About 20% of the time the initial grade changes. But only people within the company are compared, not average market specialists.

When the final verdict comes out, the reverse process begins. And the score with all levels of comments goes back down to the employee. The team manager goes to the employee and tells him or her the results.

No one but the manager sees all the evaluations and feedback. When feedback is given to the employee, they use wording like “you’ve been reviewed so-and-so.” No specific names. During the review, some colleagues may say they want to show their name to the employee, but usually it is anonymous.

At the end of the review, the employee and the immediate supervisor sit down for at least an hour and discuss the results, analyze what can be done to improve them.

An important point – when discussing a performance review, we only talk about the employee’s performance, not about salary. If there is a discussion about salary, the person thinks only about salary and cannot discuss anything else. These are two separate processes: first the performance and career talk, and only 2 weeks later the salary discussion. Some of the time the employee doesn’t even know if he was promoted or not. A high grade doesn’t mean an instant raise in salary or level.

At the end of the conversation, always one-on-one, the manager and team member come up with a plan together on what needs to be developed before the next review. During the two weeks before the salary conversation, a plan and goals for the next year are made.

There are two types of goals. The first are those that affect the performance review. The second are self-development, self-development. 20-30% of the plan should always be focused on employee self-development. Personal goals are set. The goal is to learn how to work in a team. Learning the methodology.

If there are no development tasks, that’s bad. It means that the company does not know its employee well enough.

Then every supervisor should meet one-on-one with his employees at least once a week. The main goal of the manager is to teach the subordinates to do all the work, to coach them so that without the manager, the work will continue just as effectively. During these meetings, the supervisor and team member communicate as close friends and can discuss not only work, but also family matters. This makes the team more cohesive and open.

After setting goals, there is a discussion about salaries and budget reallocation.

Similar articles


View all

постановка целей через OKR

OKR — цели и ключевые результатыЦель в том, куда (к чему) я хочу прийтиКлючевые результаты — это все, что нам нужно знать о том, как и когда мы планируем достичь нашей цели. Стандартные цели и показатели против OKR Метрики и KPI ориентированы на прошлые показатели.OKR нацелены на результат в будущем.Управление через стандартное целеполагание = годовое управление эффективностьюУправление через OKR = непрерывное управление эффективностьюСтандартные цели и показатели против OKRЦели и основные результаты Основные принципы: Максимум 3-4 цели на команду/сотрудникаМаксимум 3-5 ключевых результатов на одну цельФормулируйте так, чтобы было понятно другим людямКлючевые результаты должны быть конкретными, измеримыми, амбициозными и в то же время в пределах зоны контроля.Формула на 3 месяцаСтавят на 1 год, в идеале на 3-4 месяца, но не на каждый месяц. Мы можем отслеживать результат каждый месяц. Контрольный список для создания OKR— в моем списке не более 5 целей— по каждой цели определяется 3-5 ключевых результатов— каждый из ключевых результатов может быть оценен в цифрах или процентах или может быть однозначно идентифицирован как достигнутый или недостигнутый результат через ответы да/нет— У меня достаточно ресурсов, навыков и возможностей для достижения ключевых результатов— В моем календаре запланирован еженедельный или раз в две недели анализ прогресса на основе зазубренных результатов.— мои OKR могут быть достигнуты за 3 месяца— по крайней мере, некоторые из моих OKR амбициозны и выводят меня из зоны комфортаАлгоритм работы с...


CHECKLIST of Apple, Google, Facebook processes

Modern corporations have abandoned management to come to leadership. Management - you hire people to set tasks for them and control the execution. Leadership - you gather people for an idea, with whom you formulate goals and, instead of monitoring execution, you are engaged in freeing the team's paths from obstacles, most often in communications with other departments. Management - puts on positions, writes instructions, where a hierarchy of positions arises. LEADERSHIP- management at the level of interest for the joint achievement of goals, in order to develop first and second, to make money, where a hierarchy of goals arises, for which leaders take responsibility In other words, the leader manages through the mission, vision, principles of the organization, so that the team within internal agreements achieves its goals I digitized the most relevant processes at the start of the transformation of organizations, turned them into a mind map, which can be downloaded from the link in my profile @malikone In fact, here are the main points: Mission, vision principles and communication processes to the teamTeam - how do we find people like us, whom do we hire, adapt?Goals - how we set goals so that they are transparent at all levelsCommunication - how we conduct daily meetings, retrospectives, what channels we use, as task books, automationDevelopment - what processes help us understand who gets the promotion for what? So that the best find development inside, and not leave to look for a place for development on the sideOne-on-one meetings - the process of meetings every two weeks between the leader and team members, in order to sort out current goals, any other questions from personal life - is carried out in a coaching...



OKR are objectives and key results The goal is where (to what) I want to come Key results are all we need to know about how and when we plan to achieve our goal. Standard goals and metrics vs OKR Metrics and KPIs focus on past performance. OKR focus on the results of the future. Management through standard goal-setting = annual performance management Management through OKR = continuous performance management Standard goals and metrics vs OKRs Objectives and Key Results Basic principles: 1. Maximum 3-4 goals per team/employee 2. Maximum 3-5 key results for one goal 3. Formulate in a way that is understandable to other people 4. Key results should be specific, measurable, ambitious, and at the same time within the control area 5. Formulate for 3 months 6. They are put for 1 year, ideally for 3-4 months, but not for every month. We can monitor the result every month. Checklist for creating OKR — there are no more than 5 goals on my list — 3-5 key results are identified for each goal — each of the key results can be assessed in number or percentage or can be unambiguously identified as an achieved or unreached result through yes / no answers — I have enough resources, skills, and capabilities to achieve key results — I have a weekly or biweekly progress analysis scheduled on my calendar based on barbed results — my OKRs can be achieved in 3 months — at least some of my OKRs are ambitious and take me out of my comfort zone Algorithm for working with...


Hiring process

Before you start, you need to register and add employees to the service: instructions Where: Catalog - category “HR and staff development” - process “Hiring. Remote interview and candidate assessment ”link to the process This process will allow the bot to independently conduct a preliminary interview with candidates, then send their responses to the team for evaluation and suggest options for further actions for the candidate. Create this process and get a link that you can send to all applicants who applied for your vacancy - using this link they will have access to the remote interview process. How to add a process: Click the “Add” button to add the process to your personal account. It will be copied to the Processes section.Click the "Go to Process" button to open its settings How to set up a process: Who will evaluate the candidate - select the employees who will evaluate the candidate after he passes the interview through the bot before the answers are sent to the decision-maker (manager, owner, HR)Candidate Evaluation Questions - Questions that the bot asks your employees to evaluate a candidate. You can edit existing questions or leave as is 3. Questions for the candidate - questions that the bot will ask the candidate. Leave existing questions or edit them 4. The decision-maker will receive the results of the candidate's survey and his assessment by other employees 5. Selecting a bot, starting date and a group for the candidate - you can leave it by default 6. Link for an invitation - you can click on it to copy and send to candidates. However, the process must be running (Run button) for the link to work How do I set up notifications about candidate replies to private messages? Open the recruitment process (tab "Processes") and click the "Notifications" button Click the "+ Add notification" icon to create a new notification, come up with a name Select an employee who will receive the interview results Check the interview questions that will be answered by this employee Click the "Add" button How do I set up notifications for candidate responses to a specific group? Create a notification and switch to the “group” tab, then press the “Find” button and follow the instructions Press the button "Check" and...


Script training

Before you start, you need to register and add employees to the service: instructions Script training is hidden from the personal account of new users. To connect them, write a request to the support service The service has a salesperson voice training system that analyzes the manager's responses to the client at different stages of sales - for compliance with scripts (speech modules). You only need to add your scripts to the system and come up with a training script through a bot, after which you can launch this process for a sales department of any size. How to add your scripts: 1. Go to the "Scripts" tab and click on the "+" sign, in the "name" field write the name of the script stage (for example, "greeting" or "objection handling") 2. In the window that opens, click "add script text" and write a script that the manager should speak when communicating with the client. If the manager uses words in the script that should change in each dialog (for example, the manager's name), then instead of this word, several spaces or "_" characters are inserted in the script, for example, "Hello _ my name is _"‎ How to create a training: 3. Go to the "Training" section, press the "+" sign and follow the further instructions. 4. When you reach the item "Training questions" - click on the line "new question" to edit it. This question will be received by your manager, to whom you will set up the training. Set the question type to “Audio” to receive only voice responses. After that, in the “Script:” field, be sure to select the reference script previously entered into the system that corresponds to this question. After each question, you can create the next one by entering it in the "next question" column according to the same principle, and then click "save" to make it appear. You can create very long workouts that include a series of scripting questions. In this example, the first message will contain a greeting and an invitation to click the "Yes!" to receive the following message prompting you to train your welcome script: 5. Specify the date and time for starting the workout, select the default bot, and set up notifications if you need them, after that, you can start the process - the manager will receive a notification about the workout at the time that you specified. Process algorithm: 1. When the manager receives a question from the bot that you configured, for example, "Imagine that the client said" expensive "to you, what will you answer to him?", Then he must answer using the script that you previously added to the service and associated with it a question. The task of the manager is to hold down the microphone icon and speak the script for working out this objection, as closely as possible matching the script in the system. 2. The manager's voice message is sent to the service, the voice is transcribed into text and the analysis of the correspondence of its contents with the reference script is carried out. As a result, the answer is evaluated on a scale from 10 to 100, where 100 is in full compliance with the script. 3. If there are several questions in the training that involve the answer with a voice message with the analysis for compliance with the script, then as a result the arithmetic mean of the compliance is calculated for all stages of the script that were used in the training 4. The arithmetic mean is formed into points and displayed to the manager in the form of a training report, for example: 5. Manager's voice messages, as well as the results of his training, can be sent to any employee of the company or in a separate chat, depending on how you decide to set up notifications 6. Additionally, the manager's response is analyzed for the presence of parasite words and stop words, for example, "Well ... I don't know ... damn it ..." if they are found, they are automatically included in the generated report View and listen to the results of managers' training for a specific period or specific...


Meetings 1: 1

Before you start, you need to register and add employees to the service: instructions Where: Catalog - category “HR and staff development” - process “Meetings 1:1” How to set up a process: Add a process from the catalog Choose a mentor to conduct a meeting with your menteeDialog - opens the message builder, which already contains a template for all the questions needed for this process. Click on the first message to provide the name of the employee with whom the meeting is scheduled, and also insert a link to the document in which you collectively record the arrangements for these meetings (e.g., a google docs document) Choose the date and frequency of this processYou can leave the default bot and nameNotifications can be set upStart the...


Peak Experience Exercise

What is a 'Peak Experience'? Peak experiences are joyful and energizing moments in someone's career that give the employee a sense of value and purpose. What are they needed for? The Peak Experience Exercise is a coaching tool that allows training participants to look at their own values and career experiences through introspection or self-reflection. They will then be able to assess their current situation and determine what their career path might look like. Who can host this seminar? Within the framework of the seminar, the Peak Experiences Exercise can be conducted by HR teams or managers with their teams. What is my role as a mediator? Use this guide to guide your training participants through peak experiences and help them develop their careers. Ask open-ended questions and encourage the exchange of views between participants. This will help participants discover their own values and a potential path forward. How does it work? Participants will be asked to identify 3-5 experiences in their careers when they felt they were at their "peak" and 3 experiences that they felt like failures. The most important part is thinking about your discoveries. Can the participant identify any common themes or characteristics of their experience? For example, does time matter? Do they like working in a team environment more? Have they identified specific or abstract objectives? What are peak experiences for? Peak Experiences is a coaching tool that allows training participants to self-observe or self-reflectively look at their own values and career experiences. They will then be able to assess their current situation and determine what their career path might look like. Then the participants define their core values. Participants can value everything from financial rewards to recognition. The important thing is not to judge them and to make them honest themselves. If someone is motivated by the recognition, position, and job they want, they should be able to make it happen. If they are motivated by financial rewards, they can choose a job that has a quota or bonus incentive associated with it. Finally, the practice of peak experiences forces participants to reflect on how their current role or projects meet their values and how often they reach their peak of the experience. Is there a role that naturally fits? Is there an opportunity for them to experiment multi-functionally? Download questions for conducting training on peak...



Before you start, you need to register and add employees to the service: instructions The process helps the team to recognize achievements, plan a new work sprint and ask ourselves the question: how can we become better? It is important to use the principles of good feedback, not to criticize, but to help colleagues and the team find solutions. Where: Catalog - Project Management category - Team retrospective How to set up a process: Add a process from the catalogSelect who will participate use a ready-made question template or make changes to any of themChoose the date and frequency of the launchSelect the name of the process and bot (you can leave the default)Set notifications (optional)Start...


How to increase employee engagement?

The world is currently experiencing a crisis of employee engagement, and the latest data show that only 13% of workers worldwide actually do their job in the workplace. The Gallup Organization, an American Institute of Public Opinion, has tracked employee engagement in the United States since 2000. In 2018, they noted that in the United States, engagement was only 34%. The remaining percentage of employees were categorized as “uninvolved”, who are generally satisfied with their place of work, but not emotionally connected with it; they just come to work, do the minimum, and leave the company quickly if they get the best deal. In Russia, in 2019, the Theory and Practice project published a study of the corporate training and development industry, during which 270 respondents from 237 Russian companies were interviewed. 30% of respondents said that for them the key challenge of the personnel market is the low involvement of their employees in achieving business goals. So why aren't employees involved, and what can organizational leaders do about it? After all, numerous surveys and studies show that employee engagement has a positive effect on a company’s bottom line and increases customer satisfaction. Here's what Gallup offers: Include involvement in your human capital development strategy Gallup research shows that fast-growing companies have clear goals for increasing employee engagement. These include broad and active management involvement, a communications strategy, dedicated systems that enable leaders and managers to obtain and use employee engagement data, and training and development of team members. The best approach to engaging staff is not just "start and finish." Engagement needs to be an ongoing process that works in parallel with your day-to-day business processes. Use science-based tools to measure the engagement Since the study of employee engagement began in the late 1990s, many have started offering their own tools to measure and measure it. Almost every employee survey, regardless of its purpose, is called an “engagement survey”. But few tools have been validated or peer-reviewed. As a result, many companies are trying to increase engagement by focusing on issues that do not affect employees in any way and, as a result, waste their time. Understand where the company is today and where it wants to be in the future Many companies aim to increase employee engagement in a month, a year, or two. But the capabilities of each company are different. On average, companies are advised to outline a 3-year roadmap. However, it all depends on the needs of the company. The main thing is that the goals are realistic and achievable. 4. Focus not on specific numbers, but on the process Some companies focus on changing the overall percentage of employees involved, ignoring tactical elements that drive productivity. Engagement is the result of specific performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, providing people with what they need to do their job, ensuring development, or working on positive communication with colleagues. 5. Make engagement on par with other workflows Engagement means investing in day-to-day work and incorporating the concepts of engagement into the workflow, even as the organization changes and takes new initiatives. When leaders prioritize new initiatives, managers must provide employees with new resources and enable them to do what they do best. Building a culture of engagement requires more than just completing annual employee surveys. This requires the company to take a close look at the critical elements of engagement that will align with the organization's performance and human capital strategy. Managers and leaders should always keep employee engagement in mind because every interaction with employees can affect their engagement and the effectiveness of the organization as a...