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Appraisal Smart Performance Appraisal and 360 Degree Feedback User FAQs
Appraisal Smart Performance Appraisal and 360 Degree Feedback User FAQs
Client Login to Appraisal Smart  User Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)                
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Employee Performance Management and
Appraisals Demystified


Appraisal Smart System Users, please click on "answer" next to your relevant question below to take you directly to its answer.

DEFINITIONS
What do the following terms mean?

SYSTEM SETUP & ADMINISTRATION (CorpAdmin)

  • Is there a User Guide for the Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin)? answer
  • What is the fastest way to set up the Appraisal Smart System? answer
  • What does the Bulk User Import Functionality do? answer
  • Where can I get the Bulk User Import Template? answer
  • Will the system automatically update User Files and Appraisal Forms if the names of Units, Locations, and Job Titles change? answer
  • Is it compulsory to add the organization hierarchical structure? answer
  • What is a "top level unit" in the Unit Administration Page? answer
  • Why do I get "empty" units or sub-units when setting up the structure of my organization in the system? answer
  • Can you assign more than one manager/appraisor to the same unit level? answer
  • How can the system be set up for Teams? answer
  • What is an Appraisal Template? answer
  • Is it compulsory to create Appraisal Templates for all roles? answer
  • Is it possible to lock individual Performance Measures in Appraisal Templates? answer
  • Do downloaded Appraisal Templates (Performance Agreements) update when I edit them in Template Manager? answer
  • How does the Job/Role Description Functionality of the system work? answer
  • Will completed Job/Role Descriptions be deleted if this functionality is disabled in System Settings? answer
  • Is it compulsory to use the Job/Role Description Functionality of the system? answer
  • How do I move the system to the next Performance Period after completion of all appraisals in the current one? answer
  • What is the purpose of the Language Sensitivity Filter? answer
  • How do I add my organization's own Competencies into the system? answer
  • What does it mean if the Edit Template or Agreement links show bold red? answer
  • How can I transfer the measures in an Appraisal Template to its corresponding Job Description? answer

SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR ROLES

  • What is the role of the Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin)? answer
  • What is the role of a Divisional System Administrator (DivAdmin)? answer
  • How are the CorpAdmin and DivAdmin Roles assigned in the system? answer
  • Why do I (in my DivAdmin Role) not see any Appraisals in Appraisal Manager? answer
  • What is a UserAdmin? answer

USER MANAGEMENT (CorpAdmin, DivAdmin, UserAdmin)

  • Can I delete or deactivate the User Files of employees who have left? answer
  • When creating a new User File, what do I have to enter as the new user's Login ID and Password? answer
  • How do I provide employees with their login details? answer
  • Is a Login ID and Password required for someone who does not have access to a computer (and "blocked" ticked in their User File)? answer
  • Is it compulsory to enter details in User Files such as Telephone Numbers and Addresses? answer
  • Should the Telephone Numbers and Addresses of users be private or
    work-related?
    answer
  • What email address should be entered in User Files? answer
  • I cannot find the name of a certain Appraisor in the Appraisor dropdown list in a User File answer
  • How can I get to someone's User File to make changes to it? answer
  • Can an Administrator reset the Password of Users? answer
  • What need we do with employees who do not have access to a computer? answer
  • Can a user, who had been made "inactive", get access to the system? answer
  • As CorpAdmin, I have selected the role of Appraisor for myself in my User File, but that role link does not show answer

RATING KEY / SCALE

  • Why is a 5-Point Rating Key/Scale recommended? answer
  • What level of performance does the "3" in the Rating Key represent? answer
  • What is a T-Rating? answer
  • Is it possible to give rating fractions such as 3.5? answer
  • How does the Performance Percentage calculation of the system work? answer

WEIGHTINGS

  • Can the weighting of Performance Measures be disabled? answer
  • How can Goals be treated differently from Competencies? answer

PERFORMANCE-BASED REMUNERATION / COMPENSATION

  • How can I do performance-based bonus and salary increase calculations using
    the system?
    answer

APPRAISORS

  • Is there a User Guide for Appraisors? answer
  • What is the best way to conduct an Appraisal Interview? answer
  • Can an employee have more than one Appraisor? answer
  • How can I set a specific appraisal date for an Appraisee? answer
  • How can I change an incorrectly downloaded Rating Key? answer
  • Why are the 1 to 5 rating options in the Rating Key not accessible, and only a
    T-Rating option shows?
    answer
  • Why can't I edit the contents of a specific Performance Agreement? answer
  • How can Appraisees view their Performance Measures and Standards? answer
  • Can Appraisees help their Appraisors draw up (or edit) their Performance Agreement Forms online? answer
  • How does the "Agreement Release to Appraisee" feature work? answer
  • Who are allowed to enter Performance Record Notes on an employee? answer
  • Does the system allow me to view the Appraisal PREP Form of an Appraisee prior to the appraisal interview? answer
  • How can I view the appraisal forms of my "indirect reports" (those below my direct reports)? answer
  • How do I sign off as Higher Level Manager (HLM) in a system that has been set up with 3-level signoff? answer
  • What is the 3-level signoff sequence (i.e. with HLM feature activated)? answer
  • How should 3-level signoffs be handled with appraisal disputes? answer
  • Should the Summary/POP Form be signed off before or after the face-to-face appraisal interview? answer
  • How can I UNDO the signoff of an Appraisal? answer
  • Can the Higher Level Manager (HLM) view the Official Appraisal and Summary/POP Forms of Appraisees before Appraisor signoff? answer
  • What do the headings "This Period" and "Yr Cum Avg" on the Appraisal Manager page stand for? answer
  • What should be done if the Appraisee refuses to sign off the appraisal? answer
  • Can you create and complete Appraisals in a past/previous (and signed off) Performance Period? answer
  • I cannot find the appraisals of employees who have left the organization answer
  • Can the Appraisal Form pages be printed with logical breaks? answer
  • How can I get rid of the headers and footers when printing out a form? answer

APPRAISEES

  • Is there a User Guide for Appraisees? answer
  • Why should Appraisees be able to log onto the system? answer
  • How can I change my User ID or Password? answer
  • I have lost my User ID and/or Password. Can the system send me a reminder of what they are? answer
  • Why can't I see my Appraisal on my Appraisal Manager page? answer
  • When can I start entering information on my Appraisal Prep Form? answer
  • Why can't I select any ratings or enter information on my Appraisal Prep Form (all the fields are dead)? answer
  • Who will be able to view my Appraisal Prep Form if I release it for viewing? answer
  • Why can't I type into my General Comments field on my Appraisal Summary/POP Form (under Sign Off)? answer

AD-HOC APPRAISALS

  • What is an Ad-Hoc Appraisal? answer

MULTIRATER MODULE

  • What is the Multirater Module? answer
  • What is the difference between the Multirater Module and the 360-Degree Feedback Module? answer
  • What is the difference between Regular and Ad-Hoc Multirater Appraisals? answer
  • What does it mean if the MULTIRATER link shows red? answer

GENERAL

  • What is the "Org Code" on the system signin page? answer
  • Does the system have a time-out - potentially causing unsaved entries? answer
  • How can we prevent different line managers from assessing the same level of Appraisee performance differently? answer
  • Can the system pages be saved on a computer? answer
  • Why do the graphical report/360 graphs and colors not print? answer
  • I struggle to save an exported Excel Spreadsheet answer
  • Why do my Browser BACK and FORWARD buttons not always work? answer

SMART360 TECHNICAL FAQs                    For 360 Theoretical FAQs click here

What are suitable 360 Feedback Questionnaire Rating Keys to use? answer



DEFINITIONS

Performance Appraisal
A face-to-face interview/meeting between an Appraisor and Appraisee to review the achievement of set Goals, Objectives, KPIs, Competencies and Values (Performance Measures). Synonyms for "Appraisal" in this context are: Review, Evaluation, Assessment.

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Appraisor
The person conducting/facilitating the appraisal interview. Normally an employee's direct line manager. It can also be a Project Manager whom the employee reported to for a specific project.

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Appraisee
The person being appraised. This includes managerial and non-managerial employees/staff.

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Performance Year
The 12-month-period for which employees' work outputs are agreed, monitored and appraised. A Performance Year is normally aligned with the Financial/Fiscal year of an organization (but does not necessarily have to be).

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Performance Period
Appraisal Smart divides a Performance Year into evenly-spaced Performance Periods
(or Cycles), each ending with Performance Appraisals for all employees. For example, Quarterly Appraisals translate into four, three-monthly Performance Periods. The Corporate System Administrator can set Appraisal Smart at any of 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, or 12-monthly Performance Appraisals on the System Settings Page.

Performance Periods are set for the entire organization, and not individual employees. This way Appraisal Smart can logically cluster all appraisals together that take place during the same P
erformance Period.

Appraisal Smart accommodates two different Performance Cycles, e.g. exempt employees on an annual cycle, and nonexempt on a quarterly cycle.

NOTE: Anniversary-based appraisals can also be set, to work for any cycle frequency setting.

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Performance Measure
A quantitative or qualitative process or output measure on which performance is assessed. The most common types of Performance Measure are Goals, Objectives, KPIs, Competencies and Values. As a rule of thumb, there should be approximately 5 to 15 Performance Measures (any combination) per position/role. Having more than 15 may bog the process down, and lead to overlong appraisal interviews.

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Objective
Short-term in focus (up to 2 years), Objectives are formulated (starting with an action verb) as specific results/outcomes to achieve by a certain date, e.g.: "Implement a new Accounting System by 'x' date". Additional Performance Standards are normally added to guide and measure jobholder performance.

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Goal
Medium to long-term in focus (2 years plus), and bigger in scope, Goals are formulated similarly to Objectives , e.g.: "Achieve 40% market share by Dec 31, 2016". Goals (and Objectives) should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Results-focused, Time-bound.

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KPI
Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable OUTPUT MEASURES such as: $ Sales, Customer Satisfaction %, Avg $ Value per Transaction, Staff Retention %, ROI %, Market Share %, etc.

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Competency
Job-critical skills, knowledge, abilities,
characteristics, attributes and attitudes that combine to produce outstanding performance in a specific role.

Organizations have learnt the hard way that to focus only on the WHAT (OUTPUT) of a job
(i.e. achievement of Objectives/KPIs) and not also on the HOW (the WORK PROCESSES and BEHAVIOR of employees), can seriously impact job output (i.e. the HOW is the means to the END RESULT or OUTCOME; or put another way: JOBHOLDER QUALITATIVE WORK BEHAVIOR AND PROCESSES PRECEDE REQUIRED QUANTITATIVE END RESULTS).

Examples of Competencies are: Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, Teamwork, Accuracy, Creativity, Customer Focus, Integrity, Selling Skills, etc.

Where Goals, Objectives and KPIs have Performance Standards, Competencies and Values have Behavioral Indicators (prime behavior examples describing the Competency), e.g.:


ORAL COMMUNICATION
w Provides clear instructions
w Is an effective listener
w Speaks with authority and conviction
w Probes for key information when necessary


COOPERATION / COLLABORATION
w Willingly accepts assignments from line manager
w Volunteers for work and willingly pitches in to handle high workloads and crises situations
w Contributes expected share in team context
w Works effectively in cross-functional project teams (where required)
w Follows through on commitments to others


Appraisal Smart comes pre-loaded with 80 Generic Competencies, any of which can be edited or deleted. Some of these Competencies have quite a long list of Behavioral Indicators, which should be carefully analyzed with a view to editing or even deleting those ones not relevant to your organization. Consider adding your own, more relevant, Behavioral Indicators as well. However, try to avoid overly long lists of Behavioral Indicators as they will all need to be considered with performance appraisals.

You can also add your own Competencies to the Competency Library. Read more about this HERE

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Values
The way we like to operate and do business; our guiding principles.
What we as an organization considers to be appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
What we stand for: our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors towards customers, employees, each other, and our products/services.


A value (such as "Integrity in all that we do") without illustrating the expected behaviors as to what we mean by it (and how it can be exhibited and observed), is not very useful. So values are not much different from competencies. Some examples:

INTEGRITY
We apply the highest standards of ethical behavior and practice
w We behave in a fair and ethical manner towards our customers and each other
w We have an excellent work ethic, is trustworthy and reliable
w We accept responsibility for our own actions

PASSION
We are passionate about our people, our business and our brand
w We are proud of who we are and what we do
w We are committed to each other, our company and our collective goals

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Outputs
The job results produced by individuals or teams (e.g. completed projects, manufactured products, turnover/income, satisfied customers, etc.)

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Knowledge
Information and understanding of information that an individual needs to possess to be able to perform optimally (e.g. policies, procedures, rules/regulations/legislation, processes, product knowledge, etc.)

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Skills
The cognitive and physical abilities required to deliver outputs (e.g. typing, brick laying, negotiating, using telephone, designing clothes, etc.)

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Performance Standards
Written statements, describing HOW WELL Performance Measures should be performed; i.e. the benchmarks against which to evaluate work performance. Performance Standards should be clearly definable, unambiguous, and simple.

There are, broadly spoken, two types of performance standards: QUANTITATIVE and QUALITATIVE.


1. QUANTITATIVE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (quantifiable and objectively measurable):

  • Numbers, quantity of products/services to deliver ("300 items", "10 service calls per day")
  • Duration, deadlines, target dates ("one month", "by 15 November")
  • Frequency ("monthly")
  • Costs, expenses, budgets ("$5,000")
  • Income, savings, profit, turnover, sales targets ("$10m")
  • Percentages ("increase by 35%", "25% ROI", "40% market share")
  • Ratios ("output:input", "staff complement:customers", "debt:equity", "sales:cost of sales")
  • Technical tolerances ("2 microns")
  • Error/reject rate, wastage, downtime ("not to exceed 3%")

2. QUALITATIVE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS (descriptive):

  • Certain critical steps to include with goal/objective execution ("Present recommendations to Management Team for final approval")
  • The following of an official process, policy or legislation ("Legislation XYZ", "Checklist B", Standard Operating Procedure Z")
  • Required behaviors to exhibit during objective achievement ("Smile and great customers entering the store", "Answer incoming calls within three rings", "Treat all customers with courtesy and respect").

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Importance Weighting
A Performance Agreement/Plan consists of a number of Performance Measures (typically around 5 to 15) relevant to a specific role or jobholder. However, these measures would normally not all be equally important - so they need to be "weighted" to indicate their relative importance to each other, i.e. the higher the importance of a measure, the higher its weighting should be.

In Appraisal Smart (with the WEIGHTINGS feature enabled), the weightings off all Performance Measures need to add up to a total of 100.

These weightings are factored into the equation that calculates an employee's overall performance percentage, leading to a substantially fairer and more realistic end result.

Weightings also indicate to employees where they should focus there energy and effort more. Performing poorly on a high-weighted measure will have a big negative impact on their overall performance percentage and weighted rating average (and vice versa) - hence reinforcing the critical behaviors and performance you want.

NOTE: The system can also be set to NOT work with weightings and performance percentages, but just ratings for each measure, with an overall rating average calculated in the end.

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SYSTEM SETUP & ADMINISTRATION

Is there a User Guide for the Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin)?


Yes, please CONTACT US for a copy. Links to download this, plus other resources such as flash tutorials, can also be accessed by clicking the Knowledge Base link on your home page in the system.

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What is the fastest way to set up the Appraisal Smart System?

1. Bulk Importing of Users

Use the CSV (Comma Separated Values) and XLS (Excel Spreadsheet) bulk user importing utility of the system. To access this capability as CorpAdmin, go to Users >> Import Users. With this option, the updating/maintenance of existing (previously imported) User Files need to be done manually. Read more about this utility HERE

Download the Bulk User Excel Import Template by clicking HERE

2. Assign Divisional System Administrators (DivAdmins)
With larger and/or geographically widespread organizations, it is recommended that you "appoint" Divisional System Administrators (DivAdmins in short) in the system to handle the system administration, and monitor the status of appraisals of their assigned divisions, units, branches, or regions. Do the following:

  • Tick the "DivAdmin" access privileges tick-box in such identified employees' User Files.
  • Go to System Admin >> Units and click "edit" next to the relevant top level unit (or lower-level unit). This will reveal a DivAdmin dropdown list from where you can select the appropriate DivAdmin for the specific unit (it is even possible to select a second DivAdmin for the same unit). You only need to do this for those units you want to assign DivAdmins to. A specific DivAdmin can be assigned to more than one unit.
  • Ask these DivAdmins to now log into Appraisal Smart and to click on their DivAdmin role link, top right of their screen. From there they can assist you in creating User Files for new employees appointed to their assigned units, or edit existing ones. They will also, most importantly, be able to monitor the status of the appraisals of employees in their assigned units.

3. Temporary Administrator Status
Any employee can be given temporary administrator privileges to help create User Files, Appraisal Templates and Job Descriptions. Just tick the CorpAdmin or DivAdmin access privileges tick-box in their User Files, and they will then have all CorpAdmin or DivAdmin access rights, except that they will not be able to access the System Settings or Performance Periods pages (these are strictly reserved for the person selected as the primary CorpAdmin in System Settings). Once they have created the required items, just UN-tick the Corp-/DivAdmin boxes in their User Files again.

4. Line Managers
Line managers (in their Appraisor Role) can also update/edit some aspects of their direct reports' ("subordinates") User Files (such as work addresses and telephone numbers) by going to Users >> Browse Users. There they are able to open each employee's User File by clicking the red "User File" link on the far right of each person's name (which only shows for their direct reports).

5. Copy and paste from MS Word or other electronic documents/sources
Similar data, that will be needed repeatedly for different users (such as email extensions, work addresses and telephone numbers), need not be entered from scratch for every person/user. Create these first in e.g. an MS Word document, then copy and paste it repeatedly from there to the User Files. Use the ALT + TAB keys on your keyboard to toggle easily between the two screens. Copy and paste by using the right-hand button of your computer mouse.

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What does the Bulk User Import Functionality do?

With this functionality you can bulk-import any number of employees into Appraisal Smart, limited only by your allocated number of User Licenses (as purchased by your organization). This obviates the need to create individual employee User Files one at a time.


Start off by exporting the required employee data from your HRIS/Payroll system into the pre-formatted Excel Spreadsheet Template, downloadable HERE (or complete it manually). Follow the example provided on the spreadsheet. Only work-related details of employees of course, nothing private (employee numbers, start dates, telephone numbers and addresses are not compulsory to add, and can be left out). Do not add or delete any columns or change the headings. Also do not add anything as ALL CAPS, as it does not look good in the system. Do not change the column headings in any way. Also, leave any unused columns empty, and do not delete them.

RE the 3x GREEN-SHADED columns:
· For managers/supervisors having people reporting to them, add a 1 in the Appraisor Column.
- For Divisional Directors, also add a 1 in the DivAdmin column.
- For anybody who should see ALL company appraisals, add a 1 in the CorpAdmin Column.

When importing the spreadsheet, the '1' will then activate that role for the individual.

Unit allocations need to be done manually by accessing each person’s User File via the Browse Users page, or better still, by filtering on an Appraisor’s name on the Bulk-Manage Users Page, so all his/her direct reports can be assigned to their unit in ONE action.

Please send the populated spreadsheet to us first to check for technical accuracy, before importing it into the system.

NOTE: After the initial import, the same (edited) user import spreadsheet can be used any number of times again to update the existing user files in the system with any changes to employee job titles, email addresses, locations, appraisors, etc. (i.e. ALL user-specific values/items in the spreadsheet can be changed, plus additional/new users added), obviating the need to do so manually for each user. BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS WHEN IMPORTING NEW USERS—if the spreadsheet also contains users already in the system (i.e. previously imported), the import program will overwrite those existing User Files with the values contained in the spreadsheet. IN OTHER WORDS: WHAT IS IN THE IMPORT SPREADSHEET WILL BE IMPORTED INTO THE EXISTING USER RECORDS EXACTLY. So, unless you do want to make changes to existing User Files via the spreadsheet, you should rather delete those users from the spreadsheet first before importing new users.

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Where can I get the Bulk User Import Template?

Download it by clicking HERE

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Will the system automatically update User Files and Appraisal Forms if the names
of Units, Locations, and Job Titles change?

Yes, this is easily done by changing the existing names on the Units, Locations and Job Titles pages.

Correct the relevant item, and click "Save Changes".

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Can you assign more than one manager/appraisor to the same unit level?

You would normally not have more than one manager in charge if a specific unit (division, department or section), as the employees in that unit should normally only have one manager to report to.

However, let's look at this (system) technically, should you want to do this for some reason:

If a unit has sub-units, then you should NOT assign more than one manager (appraisor) to that unit level. The reason is that ALL managers assigned to that unit level will then be able to view the appraisals of the sub-unit employees as well (while this should only be the prerogative of one manager). These sub-unit employee appraisals will be viewable by all such managers via the UNITS dropdown list in the filter of the Appraisal Manager page, where the sub-units will show.

But if there are NO sub-units, then more than one manager can be assigned to a specific unit level (i.e. when managers and staff are all assigned to the same unit level).

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How can the system be set up for Teams?

First, create a Job Title "Team".

  • Create a User File for each team. Give teams unique names, e.g. Alpha Team, Green Team, etc. Put the word "Team" always in the "Last Name" field to ensure that teams are grouped together alphabetically in the system (i.e. the team thus becomes a "User" as for individuals).
  • The contact details of a team is that of its Team Leader.
  • The Appraisor to select is the line manager the team reports to.
  • The rest of the performance documentation is set up for the team as you would for a single person.
  • The appraisal gets handled "one-on-team", i.e. the whole team is present (or just the team leader).
  • Performance Rating, etc. is handled as for individuals.

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Is it compulsory to add the organization hierarchical structure?

No, but through the organization structure (and by "assigning" employees to their relevant units), the system links everybody together.

Other benefits of having the organization structure in place:

  • Enables you to search for (filter) users and their appraisals according to units or sub-units.
  • DivAdmins can be assigned to selected units (the use of DivAdmins, a hugely beneficial feature of the AS System, would become obsolete without an organization hierarchical structure been set up).
  • Enables line managers to view the appraisals of their "indirect" reports as well, i.e. those in sub-unit levels lower down (in addition to their direct reports).
  • Enables reporting of appraisal results for any unit level in the organization.
  • Enables the bulk-creation of appraisals.
  • Is needed for the Bulk Email functionality to work.

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What is a "top level unit" on the Unit Administration Page?

A top level unit (indicated in BLUE below) could e.g. be any of the following: Head or Corporate Office, Divisions, Regions, Departments, or Branches. Consider carefully how you want to set the system up.

If the organization is small (typically up to 50 employees), then enter one top level unit only (e.g. "HO" or "Corporate"), followed by the Divisions, Regions, Departments, or Branches on the next level. The result may look something as follows:

HO / Corporate
Marketing, Accounting, HR, Logistics
Branch A
Branch B

With larger organizations you may wish to add the Divisions as top-level units, and add a unit called "Executive" to which you can assign the company President or CEO. In this case the result may look as follows (large Corporate Office):

Executive
Marketing
Accounting
HR
Operations
(President/CEO)
Sales, PR
Acc Rec, Acc Pay
Payr, Recr, Traing, Adm
Branches A to Z

Below is another possible variation (small Corporate Office):

Corporate
Operations
Marketing, Accounting, HR
Warehousing
Branches A - Z

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Why do I get "empty" units or sub-units when setting up the structure of my
organization in the system?
answer

This happens when you press "ENTER" or create new lines in the "Add Units" field without entering any unit or sub-unit names on these lines. To get rid of such "empty" units, click "delete" on their far right.

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What is an Appraisal Template?

The ability to create Appraisal Templates in Appraisal Smart for the various roles in your organization solves the age-old problem of employees with the same Job Title and job contents getting quite different Performance Measures and Standards to perform to, due to them having different line managers and/or being at different locations.

The answer is to have a generic Appraisal Template drawn up by job content experts (JCEs) for each distinctly different role (job title) in the organization, and to then make these templates available in a database from where they can be downloaded by line managers for their direct reports, irrespective of where they are located (even internationally). This prevents the reinvention of the wheel everywhere. It also ensures the standardization of work expectations for the same role where relevant, and a consequently much fairer performance management system.

Once downloaded for specific employees, these Appraisal Templates (now called Performance Agreements after the download) can still be edited and tailored to suit specific local conditions and employee-specific position requirements and targets - so they need not be inflexible or fully prescriptive. However, System Administrators have the ability to "lock" entire templates (or individual measures) so that they cannot be edited once downloaded by managers for their employees (so as to ensure that exactly the same measures and standards are used throughout the organization for the same role where appropriate).

JCEs are typically exemplary performers in these roles, their line managers, and HR staff (developing such templates in focus groups of 3 to 5 members). The process of developing Appraisal Templates is similar to doing a Job Analysis when developing Job/Role Descriptions and Person Specifications, and should ideally be developed during the same Job Analysis exercise. Alternatively (or additionally), use existing Job Descriptions and Person Specifications as primary sources for deriving relevant Performance Measures to include in Appraisal Templates.

It is recommended that Appraisal Templates be reviewed at least annually.

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Is it compulsory to create Appraisal Templates for all roles?

No, Performance Agreements can also be created for employees from scratch, without the use of Appraisal Templates (e.g. Appraisal Templates for Senior Management may not be appropriate).

To do this, Appraisors should select the option "Create New Appraisal" on the ""Create New Appraisal" page.

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Is it possible to lock individual Performance Measures in Appraisal Templates?

Yes. See tick-box "Lock this Measure" for each measure in the Appraisal Template Builder. Ticking this box will lock the measure, and its text will turn red to indicate that it is locked. A locked measure cannot be edited by managers after downloading the template for their employees.

If you want to lock the weightings of such locked measures as well (with weightings feature enabled), you need to click the link "Lock Weighting" on the Edit Weightings page. This will then also prevent managers from changing the weightings of such locked measures.

TIP: Because the Edit Weightings page will require that all weightings add up to 100, you may need to add one or more "placeholder" items, e.g. as follows (see item 6 below):

Performance Measure
Weighting
1. Leadership (locked)
15
2. Communication (locked)
10
3. Teamwork (locked)
10
4. Administration (locked)
5
5. Planning and Organizing (locked)
10
6. Replace this item with any number of Goals/Objectives/KPIs, with weightings totalling 50 (unlocked)
50

Item 6 above will be necessary if you want to allow managers to add Objectives, Goals or KPIs of their own design to a downloaded template - to replace the placeholder item - and they must have a weighting total of 50 (in this example) to allocate to the extra measures they add; while the CorpAdmin has the assurance that the locked measures and weightings cannot be tampered with.

NOTE:
If you want ALL template measures to be locked, and not give managers the ability to edit anything in a downloaded template, or add any additional measures, it is not necessary to lock the individual measures. Just select the Lock Template radio button below the template title (or the tick-box on the right, next to the template on the Template Manager page). The text of all measures will remain black with the entire template locked this way.

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Do downloaded Appraisal Templates (Performance Agreements) update when I edit them in Template Manager?

No, they do not and should not update, as a downloaded Appraisal Template (called a "Performance Agreement" after download) may have been edited and customized by Appraisors (managers) for specific Appraisees (employees), based on local and individual requirements.

If an Appraisor has downloaded an Appraisal Template for a specific employee, and the CorpAdmin subsequently edits the template measures, and wants the Agreement to reflect the changes, then the "old" Agreement has to be deleted first, and the new Appraisal Template downloaded. All of this is done in seconds through two easy clicks.

However, if the template measure titles did not change, but only the performance standards of all or some measures, then these can be updated in the Performance Agreement by clicking the link "Update Matching Measures From Appraisal Template".

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How does the Job/Role Description Functionality of the system work?

The Job/Role Description functionality is activated by means of a tick-box in System Settings. With it being activated, the following will appear on the Template Manager page:

  • A link to the Job Description Template Manager (below the heading "Regular Appraisal Templates"). Click this link to reveal a detailed Tutorial with full instructions as to how the format of your Job Descriptions should be set up in the system. Also ask us to send you the User Guide on using this functionality, which includes how Performance Measures can be easily transferred from Job Descriptions to Appraisal Templates.
  • A new column with two links next to each Job Title (JD-Edit & JD-View)

On the Appraisal Manager page in all system roles, a new link, "Job Description" will show at the top of the list of links with each employee's appraisal. Line managers can, therefore, view (and print) the Job Descriptions of each of their direct and "indirect" reports, Appraisees can view their own, and System Administrators can view everybody's. As System Administrators edit the Job Descriptions in the central JD database, everybody has instant access to these updated versions.

Job Descriptions (once populated and completed) need to be made available for viewing by users by ticking the "Mark as completed" tick-box at the top of the JD Edit page. Once released this way, the JD-Edit & JD-View links will turn blue. This makes it easy for you to monitor which ones are completed and released, and which ones not yet.

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Will completed Job/Role Descriptions be deleted if this functionality is disabled in System Settings?

No, they will stay in the database, and can easily be made available to everybody again by re-activating it in System Settings.

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Is it compulsory to use the Job/Role Description Functionality of the system?

No, the activation and use of this functionality is optional. Although you are able to copy Performance Measures (including Competencies) from a Job Description to its corresponding Appraisal Template, you can also add the Performance Measures directly into
the Appraisal Templates instead.

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How do I move the system to the next Performance Period after completion of all
appraisals in the current one?


You do this by signing off the current Performance Period. Go to System Admin >> Performance Periods, and read the detailed instructions provided. Signing off the current Performance Period will "move" the system automatically to the next period. If you do this too early or by accident, and want to move the "current" period (in bold red) back, you can easily do so - follow the instructions provided.

You do not have to wait till ALL appraisals have been completed in the current period, to move the system to the next period. Managers and employees can still complete appraisals of previous periods by selecting them in the filter on the Appraisal Manager page.

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What is the purpose of the Language Sensitivity Filter?

A CorpAdmin can enter any number of undesirable words or phrases in the Language Sensitivity Filter (e.g. "idiot", "too old", "poor attitude" - even swear words). This will prohibit Appraisors from using these when typing in Appraisal Smart, as an alert will pop up, saying that such a word or phrase is not allowed. This will prevent the use of insensitive language with Appraisees, which may potentially also land your organization in legal hot water.

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How do I add my organization's own Competencies into the system?

In the CorpAdmin role, go to Appraisals >> Template Manager >> Competency Library. The Competency Library comes pre-loaded with 80 Generic Competencies. These you can edit or even delete.
You can also add your own. To do so, do the following:

Click on the link "Add New Competency" top right of the screen. Do this for each new Competency you add. The fields that open will allow you to enter a Competency Name/Title, and any number of Behavioral Indicators.

You can copy and paste these from e.g. a Word document. Enter the Behavioral Indicators, each on a different line, e.g.:

Analytical Skill
Is very methodical when conducting analyses.
Draws meaningful conclusions from data analyses.
Structures arguments lucidly and logically.


Notice that you should add the Behavioral Indicators without bullets in front. The system will add bullets automatically when you click "Save".

NOTE: Competencies can also be imported in bulk by means of a spreadsheet template. To get hold of this template, please CONTACT US (it is also downloadable from the Knowledge Base which is accessible via the system home page).

You can also create competency categories if you like (e.g. for different job categories). See link: "Manage Competency Categories (optional)".

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What does it mean if the Edit Template or Agreement links show bold red?

This happens when one or more of the following problems
exist with the Template or Agreement:

  • It does not have any performance measures
  • One or more measures do not have a Rating Key
  • The importance weightings do not add up to 100 (if weightings are enabled)

Click on the bold red link to trigger a pop-up that will tell you exactly what is wrong with it.

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How can I transfer the measures in an Appraisal Template to its corresponding
Job Description?


Do the following:

  • Click on the template Preview link (a new page will open).
  • Press ALT+TAB on your keyboard to go back to the Appraisal Manager page.
  • Click JD Edit for the corresponding Job Title.
  • Press ALT+TAB again to return to the template Preview page, and copy and paste the measures one at a time by consecutively pressing ALT+TAB to toggle between the two pages.

NOTE: Transferring measures from a Job Description to an Appraisal Template is the normal requirement (and recommended process sequence), which can be done by clicking only one button at the bottom of the JD Edit page.

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SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR ROLES

What is the role of the Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin)?

Sets up and manages the system for the organization. Adds and edits the User Files of employees (users). Monitors the status of appraisals of all employees in the entire organization (and "chases them down" if necessary). Can view the appraisals of everybody for training, coaching and quality moderation purposes. Can also run a variety of reports based on the performance of organization-wide units and employees.

There can only be one "primary" CorpAdmin for the organization, but any number of additional "secondary" CorpAdmins can also be assigned, e.g. you may also want to give your President/CEO (others?) secondary CorpAdmin status so that they can also view the appraisals of all employees in the organization.

Secondary CorpAdmins have all primary CorpAdmin access rights, except that they are not able to access the System Settings or Performance Periods pages (these, being very sensitive system pages, are strictly reserved for access by the primary CorpAdmin only).

Only the primary CorpAdmin can select a different (current secondary) CorpAdmin to become the new primary CorpAdmin. That is done on the System Settings page (see first dropdown field on this page).

Where a primary CorpAdmin has left the organization without selecting a new primary CorpAdmin in the system, please contact us to assist you in setting up the new primary CorpAdmin.

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What is the role of a Divisional System Administrator (DivAdmin)?

Views and monitors the status of appraisals of everybody in their assigned Divisions (or departments/regions/locations) and "chase them down" if necessary. Adds and edits the User Files of employees in these units. Can view all appraisals of everybody in their assigned units for training, coaching and quality moderation purposes. Can also run a variety of reports based on the performance of division-wide units and employees.

DivAdmins assist the primary CorpAdmin in the above tasks, thereby ensuring that everything does not fall on the shoulders of the CorpAdmin.

Any number of DivAdmins can be assigned in the system, and to any unit level (not just top unit levels). DivAdmins can also be assigned to multiple units, at any level. You can also assign a second DivAdmin to the same unit, for further flexibility.

The assignment of DivAdmins is not compulsory, but useful for larger and geographically widespread organizations, e.g. with offices in different countries, continents or time zones (where a local DivAdmin has more convenient access to employees during normal working hours).

NOTE: Divisional directors/managers can also be assigned as DivAdmins to their specific units so they can see the appraisals (and aggregate reports) of everybody in their divisions. Since theirs will normally not be an administrative function as DivAdmin, you should consider disabling all such administrative functions in System Settings, under DivAdmin Access Rights, so they only have viewing rights.

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How are the CorpAdmin and DivAdmin Roles assigned in the system?

By ticking the relevant "System Access Privileges" tick-boxes in the selected employees' User Files. This will give them these additional role links to access when logged into the system.

To assign DivAdmins to specific Divisions/Departments, g
o to System Admin >> Units and click the "edit" link next to the relevant top-level (or lower-level) unit/s. This will reveal a DivAdmin dropdown list from where you can select the appropriate DivAdmin for the specific unit. You only need to do this for those units you want to assign DivAdmins to. A specific DivAdmin can be assigned to more than one unit (at any level), plus you can also assign a second DivAdmin to the same unit.

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Why do I (in my DivAdmin Role) not see any Appraisals in Appraisal Manager?

This happens when you have not yet been assigned to any unit/s by your CorpAdmin, as explained HERE. If this is true, then you will also not see any units in the Units dropdown list in the filter on the Appraisal Manager page.

It could also be that no appraisals were created yet by any manager in your assigned unit/s (in this case your assigned unit/s will show in the filter).

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What is a UserAdmin?

A UserAdmin (of which there can only be one) is assigned on the System Settings page. This would normally be an administrative, non-managerial staff member who you would like to manage (creating and editing) the user files of all employees in the system, but who should not have the ability to view the appraisals of everybody in the organization (such as CorpAdmins can).

A UserAdmin can also (optionally) be given access to the Template Manager, Competency Library, and Rating Key Library paged, should you want them to assist you in these areas as well.

It is not mandatory to assign a UserAdmin, and this role should not be given to primary or secondary CorpAdmins as they have access to all the abovementioned pages and features anyway (so will be an unnecessary duplication).

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USER MANAGEMENT

Can I delete or deactivate the User Files of employees who have left?

You cannot (and should not) delete the user files of employees who have left your organization
(and who have appraisals in the system database). However, you can hide their appraisal records in the system so these do not show by default every time you view the appraisal records of current employees.

To do this, go to their user files (Users >> Browse Users - click the red links on the right), and UN-tick the "Active" box at the bottom of their user files (i.e. deactivate it). Use the Bulk-Manage Users feature of the system to deactivate multiple users at the same time.

When a person rejoins your organization, just RE-tick this box (i.e. activate it again). To get a full list of inactive users, select the option "Display all inactive users in the system" in the filter (see the "Advanced filter options" dropdown at the top).

Deactivating a user file releases a user license that can be used for a new employee.

NOTE: The user files of employees without any current or past appraisals CAN be deleted.

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When creating a new User File, what do I have to enter as the new user's
Login ID and Password?


Login ID: It can be anything, but we strongly recommend that you use the employee's work email address here (and that they should keep it that way).

Password: You can leave the Password field empty. When you "save" the user file, the system will automatically generate a random 8-letter password, which will be "hashed" in the user file (i.e. appearing as 4 stars, for security purposes). But you can also enter any password of your choice. (A random password is also automatically created for each employee when you import the Bulk User Import Spreadsheet.)

PLEASE NOTE: When a number of employees share a common computer for performance appraisal purposes, you will need to enter a provisional password for them into their user files, and then give these to them verbally. Never use first or last names only; rather combine a name with a minimum of three random numbers, such as John486. When they log into the system for the first time, they should change their passwords to anything they like, but they should not use only a single first or last name either, for obvious reasons. It is not necessary to enter an email address in the user files of employees who use a common computer.

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How do I provide employees with their login details?

New user first-time login: Having created new user files, such new users need to retrieve their User IDs and Passwords via the system's Password Reminder functionality.

Send such new users the following instructions by email:

"Go to the Appraisal Smart Website, by clicking this link: www.appraisal-smart.com. Next, click on the Client Login icon top left of the home page (or the AU-NZ Client Login icon on the right if so instructed), which will take you to the Appraisal Smart System login page. Now click the link 'Forgotten Your User ID or Password?' In the field that opens, enter your work email address, and click 'Email my Login Details'. Your temporary User ID and Password will be sent to your email inbox within a few seconds. Our Org Code is (enter it here) which is the same for all employees. Log into the system with these, and then change your User ID and Password if you wish (on your My User File page in your Appraisee role). For best security, always make/leave your work email address as your User ID. When using your first name as Password, combine it with a minimum of three random numbers, such as John486"

IMPORTANT: Please notify your users which client login icon (left or right) to use, as they connect to two different servers altogether (the one on the left to our US server, and the one on the right to our Australian server). The Org Code (providing an enhanced level of security) is different for each company but the same for all employees at a company, and will be provided to you.

Read more about our dedicated servers HERE

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Is a Login ID and Password required for someone who does not have access to
a computer (and "blocked" ticked in their User File)?


Technically YES, but the employee will not be required (or be able) to log into the system, or sign off their own appraisals (electronically).

If a user does not have an email address, just put their name in the Login ID field (anything will really do, but it cannot be left empty).

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Is it compulsory to enter details in User Files such as Telephone Numbers
and Addresses?


No, these are "nice-to-haves", but very useful if you want to utilize the Contact Manager Functionality of the system. Every name in the system is hotlinked, i.e. if you click on a name, that person's read-only user file will pop up, showing all their non-confidential work details such as work telephone numbers, work postal and physical addresses. You are also able to email people directly from their pop-up user files by clicking the link "Click here to email"

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Should the Telephone Numbers and Addresses of users be private or
work-related?


Strictly work-related. Nothing private should be entered into user files.

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What email address should be entered in User Files?

A user's work email address would normally be the safest, but where it is more practical to use a private (home) email address, that should be fine, except for a possible increased security risk, as this is also the email address that is used by the system for password reminders. Read more about this HERE.

All email reminders and notifications, generated by the system or sent by System Administrators via the system, also utilize the email addresses in user files (not the one, if any, in the User ID field, but the one in the body - middle - of the user file, marked 'Email').

PLEASE NOTE: We strongly recommend that you do not use an email address which will send messages to a computer accessible by anybody other than the intended user.

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I cannot find the name of a certain Appraisor in the Appraisor dropdown list in
a User File


First tick that Appraisor's 'Appraisor' tick-box (under System Access Privileges) in his/her user file.

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How can I get to someone's User File to make changes to it?

Go to Users >> Browse Users, and click on the person's "User File" (red) link on the far right-hand side of the screen.

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Can an Administrator reset the Password of Users?

Sure. Open the employee's user file (on the Browse Users page), and overwrite the four stars of the current password with a new password, and click the Update button. The new password will be hidden ("hashed") again (appearing as four stars for security purposes).

But note that, preferably, employees should retrieve their User IDs and Passwords
themselves via the Password Reminder functionality of the system, as described HERE.

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What need we do with employees who do not have access to a computer?

Tick the "Blocked" tick-box in their user files. This way their appraisals can still be done on the system by their line managers (who should have computer and Internet access). However, such appraisees will not be required to access the system to electronically sign their appraisals off themselves. The system will sign it off on their behalf the same moment the appraisor signs off (or when the HLM signs off, if this feature is activated).

Their appraisal forms (Prep & Official) should be printed out as hard copies by their line managers, and handed to them.

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Can a user, who had been made "inactive", get access to the system?

No, making a user "inactive" (i.e. deactivating their user file), also blocks them from accessing the system. So it is unnecessary to also tick the "Blocked" tick-box in their user file.

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As CorpAdmin, I have selected the role of Appraisor for myself in my User File,
but that role link does not show


You need to log out of the system, and back in again, to activate that new role and link.

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RATING KEY / SCALE

Why is a 5-Point Rating Key/Scale recommended?

A 5-point Rating Key is generally regarded as the best option for Performance Management and Appraisal purposes. However, some organizations may prefer a 2-point Rating Key, having two options only, e.g. "Competent" and "Not Yet Competent" (which is especially appropriate for competencies). Appraisal Smart includes this option, plus other variations such as 3- or 4-point.

A 4-point Rating Key, eliminating the mid-level 3-rating (i.e. "forced choice") is, in our opinion, NOT the answer for performance management and appraisal purposes, as you need a middle position "On Target/Standard", "Fully Meeting Expectations", or similar, indicating the minimum (but stretching) expected level of performance (but note, technically, the system CAN accommodate such a 4-point Rating Key if this is what you really want).

Appraisal Smart has five standard Rating Keys in the Rating Key Library to select from, but you can also add any number of your own homegrown Rating Keys. Please remember that the 3-level rating (e.g. "On Target/Standard" or "Fully Meeting Expectations") should always represent the minimum (but stretching) expected performance level, i.e. 100% achievement level, which you will be 100% satisfied with if achieved.

The system allows you the flexibility to use different Rating Keys for different performance measures - as appropriate for each measure type (even in one appraisal), but you are also able to set a specific Rating Key as the DEFAULT Rating Key for all performance measures.

The key with any QUANTIFIABLE Performance Measure such as "Sales", is for line managers to pre-agree with their direct reports (as part of a written Performance Agreement at the start of a performance period), which ACTUAL PERFORMANCE will earn which rating. This way they will know exactly what is expected of them, and can there be no argument as to which rating the Appraisee deserves, or should get, for a certain level of performance.

So, when developing such pre-agreed Rating Keys for quantifiable measures, consider
providing a sub-scale FROM - TO for each level of the Rating Key. Example:

WEEKLY SALES
5. $44 000 and more
4. $42 000 - $43 999
3. $40 000 - $41 999
2. $38 000 - $39 999
1. $35 000 - $37 999
0. $34,999 or less (a zero-level rating can also optionally be activated)


Such pre-agreed Rating Scales can be added for a specific employee for a specific period/project directly in their Performance Agreements, or it can be treated as a company standard where appropriate. Load such company-wide Rating Keys into the Rating Key Library.

Download our handy Excel Rating Scale Calculators HERE

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What level of performance does the "3" in the Rating Key represent?

This is the "On Target/Standard" level; also known as the "Meeting" or "Fully Meeting Expectations" level. This is the minimum expected level of performance at which new employees are appointed, i.e. a fairly stretching level of achievement. The system calculates a 3-rating as 100% performance (with the WEIGHTINGS and PERFORMANCE PERCENTAGES feature enabled), as you should be 100% satisfied if people perform at this level.

So, when employees perform at this level (give or take small deviations), Appraisors should award them a rating of 3. To attain a 4-rating, much MORE than the expected level of performance is required, and a 5 asks for some EXCEPTIONAL ACHIEVEMENT - consistently.

Appraisors generally award 4- and 5-ratings much too easily. Please reserve these for the "better-than-expected" levels of performances. A 3-rating does not mean AVERAGE (Ratings such as Average, Below Average, and Above Average should never be used, as they are too subjective, PLUS compare employees to each other, which is not what you want to do. You want to compare an employee's performance to their job requirements, and whether they have met the required performance standards or not, and how well).

NOTE: There is a 33.33% "gap" between the different rating levels (0 - 5), if your system is set to work with IMPORTANCE WEIGHTINGS and to output PERFORMANCE PERCENTAGES and WEIGHTED RATING AVERAGES (it can, alternatively, be set to work without weightings, and to just output unweighted rating averages).

Companies should train and coach managers and staff in Performance Management and Appraisal Interviewing skills, including the interpretation of performance levels and corresponding deserved ratings.

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What is a T-Rating?

Appraisors should give Appraisees a T-Rating in respect of those Performance Measures that are TOO EARLY TO ASSESS, i.e. new Goals, Objectives, KPIs, etc. given to them very close to appraisal time (as they may not have had sufficient time to achieve it or to demonstrate competence in it).

With WEIGHTINGS enabled, the relative importance weighting of such measures must be set as ZERO on the "Edit Weightings" page, for the T-Rating option to appear in the Rating Key on appraisal forms.

T-Ratings have a value of ZERO, thus resulting in a Weighted Rating of also ZERO. This means that they are effectively excluded from the Performance Percentage calculation (or Rating Average calculation when weightings and percentages are disabled in the system).

To include them with future appraisals, remember to give them appropriate weightings first.

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Is it possible to give rating fractions such as 3.5?

The AS System does not support a 0.5 rating fraction (or 10-point rating scale for that matter), as it is generally very difficult to distinguish between, say, a 7- and an 8-rating on a 10-point scale (or 3.5 and 4 on a 5-point scale)), and could, therefore, easily be cause for unnecessary conflict between Appraisor and Appraisee.

Having a more distinct difference between one rating level and the next, forces the parties to make a decision one way or the other (based on actual performance) without opting for a "cop-out" middle ground.

Behavioral/performance descriptions should also be linked to each rating level to assist the two parties to more easily identify the appropriate level of performance, e.g.:

5. Consistently Exceeding Expectations - reflects performance that is consistently exceptional on a continuing basis.
4. Frequently Exceeding Expectations - reflects performance that exceeds expectations on an intermittent but frequent basis.
3. Fully Meeting Expectations - reflects steady, competent performance (100% level).
2. Frequently Below Expectations - reflects performance that is regularly not meeting established standards.
1. Consistently Below Expectations - reflects performance that is consistently not meeting established standards

This will be virtually impossible to do with a 10-point rating scale, i.e. to have sufficiently differentiated descriptors/definitions for all 10 levels.

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How does the Performance Percentage calculation of the system work?

The AS System uses a 5-point Rating Key/Scale, with the 3-level rating "On Target/Standard" or "Fully Meeting Expectations" being the midpoint. This is the level at which employees are employed to perform (at minimum).

Attainment of a 3-level rating should be reasonably stretching; so that when achieved, it could be regarded as 100% satisfactory performance. This means that when an employee has achieved better than "On Target/Standard" (i.e. better than 3) on average, they would get a Performance Percentage HIGHER than 100% (and vice versa if they have performed lower than a 3 on average).

Another most important argument for using the 3-level as the 100% performance level, can be explained by looking at the alternative, namely making the 5-point level the 100% performance level. Should an employee, in such a case, achieve an average rating of 3 ("On Target/Standard" or "Fully Meeting Expectations"), the performance percentage will come to only 60% (3/5 x 100 = 60). Our experience is that employees will, understandably, be very unhappy with this scenario!

The calculation by the AS System works as follows:

Formula: (WRT/300) x 100
Key: WRT = Weighted Rating Total

(1) The Weighted Rating for each Performance Measure is calculated:
Rating times Weighting = Weighted Rating (e.g. 4 x 10 = 40)

(2) The Sum Total of all the Weighted Ratings (WRT) is calculated:
(e.g. WRT = 350)

(3) The Actual Performance Percentage is calculated (with a 300 WRT representing 100% Performance):

Example 1 (WRT of 350): 350/300 x 100 = 116.66% (117% rounded)

Example 2 (WRT of 300): 300/300 x 100 = 100%

Example 3 (WRT of 225): 225/300 x 100 = 75%

Where does the 300 come from? By multiplying 100 by 3, the expected ("On Target/ Standard") level, representing 100% performance.

NOTE: The system has a report that can (optionally) convert the Performance Percentages to Weighted Rating Averages, should you prefer to rather work with the latter. The Weightings and Performance Percentages of the system can also be altogether disabled in System Settings so only a unweighted Rating Average is calculated, based on the ratings of all measures in an appraisal (this will apply to all appraisals in the system).

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WEIGHTINGS

Can the weighting of Performance Measures be disabled?

Firstly, to regard all Performance Measures as equally important would be flawed thinking, as that would hardly be the case. Some measures would normally be more important than others.

Having said that, you can (technically and mathematically in the system) eliminate differences in importance and weighting by just giving all measures the same weighting of course (e.g. 100 divided by the number of measures).

BUT, the Weightings and Performance Percentages feature of the system can also be altogether disabled in System Settings so only an unweighted Rating Average is calculated, based on the ratings of all measures in an appraisal (this will apply to all appraisals in the system)..

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How can Goals be treated differently from Competencies?

If Goals (or Objectives/KPIs) are more important to your organization than Competencies, then decide what the percentage split between them should be, e.g. 70:30. On this basis, split the weightings of the Goals within the 70%, and that of the Competencies within the 30% (totalling 100%).

Most organizations regard both (1) Goals/Objectives/KPIs (OUTPUTS) and (2) Competencies (INPUTS) as important with respect to employee performance. That would be best-practice thinking.

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PERFORMANCE-BASED REMUNERATION / COMPENSATION

How can I do performance-based bonus and salary increase calculations using

the system?


The Appraisal Smart System calculates an overall Performance Percentage (or Rating Average) for each employee. Remember that an employee can achieve a performance percentage of more than 100% (or less than 100%), as the 3-level rating represents an "On Target/Standard" or "Fully Meeting Expectations" performance level of 100% (see RATING KEY Q&A above). So, to calculate performance-based bonuses, the following very simple (linear) formula can be used:

Decide what percentage of annual salary an employee can potentially receive as a bonus - say 10%. So for somebody earning $50,000, this will come to $5,000. Let's now imagine the employee achieved a performance percentage of 85%. All you need to
now do is to multiply $5,000 by 85% = $4,259. Similarly, should an employee perform above 100% they will get more than $5,000, using the same formula.

You may have to adjust all the bonuses up or down
(same percentage) to ensure the company only pays out in total what it has set aside for bonus purposes (communicate this reality upfront).

The same calculation principles as illustrated above can be used when the weightings and percentages are disabled in the system, and rating averages are used instead. Here is an example (for salary increases):

Rating Average (% increase)
4.1 to 5 (10% increase)
3.1 to 4 (7.5% increase)
2.1 to 3 (5% increase)
2 and lower (0% increase)

There are, of course, more sophisticated compensation models than the simple, linear ones illustrated above (which we cannot all cover here),
but the principle remains the same.

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APPRAISORS

Is there a User Guide for Appraisors?

Yes, please ask your Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin) for a copy, or CONTACT US. Links to download this, plus other resources such as flash tutorials, can also be accessed by clicking the Knowledge Base link on your home page in the system.

Please note that there is also a separate (3-page) user guide illustrating how the system is used with the HLM (Higher Level Manager) signoff feature activated.

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What is the best way to conduct an Appraisal Interview?

To view best-practice performance review steps and principles click here
A link to download a tutorial on this can also be accessed by clicking the Knowledge Base link on your home page in the system.

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Can an employee have more than one Appraisor?

All line/project managers, whom an Appraisee has worked with during a specific performance period, should provide input into the appraisal for that period.

If an Appraisee was transferred somewhere in the middle of a performance period, the input of both his/her line managers for the period should be required (unless the time spent with the first was insignificant, in which case it can be ignored).

Appraisal interviews, needing the input from two line managers, can be handled as a two-on-one discussion (not ideal due to the additional pressure put on the appraisee), or the current line manager could get the first line manager's input first, before conducting a one-on-one appraisal with the Appraisee.

Another solution would be for the Appraisee to be temporarily "transferred" (in the AS System) to a previous line manager who can then conduct and complete a portion of the appraisal (or just add narrative comments where relevant); after which s/he should "transfer" the Appraisee back to his/her current line manager.

To "transfer" Appraisees within Appraisal Smart, go to Users >> Browse Users (in your Appraisor role), and click on their (red) User File link next to their names on the far right. In there, select the name of the Appraisor you want to "transfer" the Appraisee to, and click "update". The Appraisee's name will now disappear from your list of direct reports, and appear in the other manager's list, from where the relevant appraisal forms can be accessed (on the"Appraisal Manager" page). The Appraisee should next be "transferred" back to the original line manager in the same way.


Corp- or DivAdmins can also transfer (any number of) employees from one manager to another. This is done on the "Bulk-Manage Users" page (go to Users >> Bulk-Manage Users - and follow the instructions). Alternatively, simply allocate the new manager as appraisor in the employee's User File (go to Users >> Browse Users to access the relevant User File/s).

MULTIRATER MODULE
Another way to get feedback from others on an employee's performance, is to use the Multirater (add-on) module. This functionality allows you to, as part of the regular or Ad-Hoc Performance Appraisals, request up to FIVE "other" (Multi-) raters to provide input to an employee's performance (i.e. a "mini" 360). Read more about this HERE.

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How can I set a specific appraisal date for an Appraisee?

On the Appraisee's Performance Agreement Form (click the Agreement link on the far right of the Appraisee's name on the Appraisal Manager page, change the default Appraisal Date to the date the appraisal is to actually take place (this is also the date used by the system to trigger the automated appraisal due and overdue email alerts, and can be different for your different employees). The system-generated default date is the last day of the performance period, or the employee's anniversary date when the Anniversary-Based Appraisal feature of the system is enabled.

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How can I change an incorrectly downloaded Rating Key?

This is easily done by downloading the correct Rating Key, which will overwrite the incorrectly downloaded one. See the button at the bottom of the Agreement Form: "Load Rating Key From Database".

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Why are the 1 to 5 rating options in the Rating Key not accessible, and only
a T-Rating option shows?

This happens when the importance weighting of the measure is ZERO (with the system's WEIGHTINGS feature enabled).

A measure should only be weighted ZERO if it is too early to assess for a specific Appraisee (e.g. the measure was added shortly before appraisal time, and the appraisee would not have had sufficient time to implement it). In such a case, only one rating option shows on the Appraisal Form for that measure, namely a T-Rating ("Too early to assess"). See description bottom of the Appraisal Form and on the Edit Weightings page.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
A measure with a ZERO weighting cannot be rated 1 to 5, as it would have no effect on the overall performance percentage, as any rating (1 to 5) times ZERO gives a ZERO weighted rating (see Summary/POP Form how the calculation works).

HOW TO ACTIVATE THE 1 to 5 RATING OPTIONS:
Go to the Agreement form, click EDIT WEIGHTINGS, and give the ZERO-weighted measure a weighting of at least 1 (one).

Read more about the T-Rating HERE

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Why can't I edit the contents of a specific Performance Agreement?

This is because your System Administrator has "locked" the entire Performance Agreement or certain measures in it, to prevent you from editing it
. Unlocked Performance Agreements and measures can, however, be edited, plus you can add additional measures.

If only some measures in a Performance Agreement are locked, they will show as red text
. If the entire Agreement is locked, the measure text will be black, but none of the buttons on the Agreement Form will be "live" (so you cannot edit it). It will also clearly state at the top of the Agreement in red:"This agreement was locked by your Corporate System Administrator and cannot be edited."

If you believe that you should be able to edit locked Agreements or measures, ask your System Administrator to unlock them on the relevant Performance Agreement in their CorpAdmin role (Appraisal Manager page).

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How can Appraisees view their Performance Measures and Standards?

Once their appraisals have been created by their Appraisors (e.g. Appraisal Templates downloaded), they can view these via the "Agreement Preview" link on their Appraisal Manager page, or in their Appraisal Prep Form, or by clicking the Step 1 oval icon, "Agreement Preview" on their home page.

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Can Appraisees help their Appraisors draw up (or edit) their Performance Agreement Forms online?

Yes, if the "Agreement Release to Appraisee" feature is activated in System Settings by the CorpAdmin. To see how this functionality works, see the next FAQ.

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How does the "Agreement Release to Appraisee" feature work?

This feature must first be activated by your CorpAdmin on the System Settings page. Once activated, all Agreement Forms in the system will show a new tick-box in its header: "Release Performance Agreement to Appraisee (to edit)".

If Appraisors want Appraisees to assist them in drawing up or editing their Performance Agreements ONLINE, they should tick this box. From there a system-generated email can be sent to Appraisees to inform them that the Performance Agreement Form has been released to them, and what steps to follow to access it. The Agreement Form will show as a red "Agreement" link on the Appraisee's Appraisal Manager page.

While the Appraisee has access to the Agreement Form, the Appraisor cannot change its contents (you can't have two people working on the same form at the same time). Once the Appraisee is done, they can send a system-generated email to the Appraisor to notify them of this. The Appraisor then regains control again by UN-ticking the "Agreement Release" tick-box. This will remove the "Agreement" link on the Appraisee's side, and pass back the editing rights to the Appraisor.

NOTE:
Do not use this feature unless you specifically want the Appraisee to edit the Agreement Form online (normally, only the Appraisor will access the Agreement Form to do this, and enter the Measures and Standards after a face-to-face performance agreement discussion with the employee).

Employees can view their Performance Measures & Standards by clicking the Step 1 oval icon, "Agreement Preview" on their home page, so the Agreement Form does not have to be released to them for that purpose.


CorpAdmins have the ability to release Agreements in bulk to all or selected Appraisees (to do so, they need to go to Appraisals >> Bulk-Release Agreements).

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Who are allowed to enter Performance Record Notes on an employee?

Normally, only the assigned Appraisor in the system (direct line manager) of the employee should be enabled to add such notes on a direct report. The reason for this is that managers should (ideally) not allow others to enter such performance notes on their direct reports that have not been passed (vetted) by them first. Managers should get such suggested notes via email/letter or verbally from others (ask clarifying questions if necessary, and even reject it) and only then enter the details in a Performance Record Note themselves, with a reference to the source person, e.g.: "Note entered on behalf of (manager) Joe Bloggs, after being discussed with (employee) Jane Soap". Correspondence from such third parties (e.g. emails) can than be attached to performance notes as "evidence" and record.

This channelling of performance notes via the line manager is necessary to protect the employee and to ensure that everything stays aboveboard and legal. Otherwise it can too easily become a free-for-all, with a consequently very negative experience for the employee.

Also remember that such performance notes (especially if negative) should not be entered into the system unless the incident had been discussed with the employee first. There should be no surprises for employees at appraisal time, where they hear something negative about their performance or behavior for the first time (which might have happened many months ago). The feedback and coaching opportunity ("teachable moment") would then also have been lost at the time of the incident.

Employees can also add
performance notes on their own performance in the system at any time. Both parties can see each other's notes, except that (if the "hide" feature is activated by the CorpAdmin) an Appraisor will be able to hide any specific performance notes from employees. Employees, however, cannot hide any performance notes from their managers.

NOTE: Due to some client demand, we have added the ability for CorpAdmins and/or DivAdmins to also add
Performance Record Notes on any employee in the organization or assigned division, with a copy of the system-generated email (sent to the employee) being sent to the employee's direct line manager (Appraisor) as well, so they are kept in the picture. This capability has to be specifically activated by the CorpAdmin on the System Settings page.

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Does the system allow me to view the Appraisal PREP Form of an Appraisee prior to
the appraisal interview?


Yes, ask the Appraisee to select the "Release this Prep Form to my Appraisor" option on their Appraisal Prep Form.

A red link "Appraisee Prep" will appear in the list of links for the Appraisee on your Appraisal Manager Page.

NOTE: Company policy normally dictates whether Appraisees are required to release their Appraisal Prep Forms to their Appraisors prior to appraisal interviews.

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How can I view the appraisal forms of my "indirect reports" (those below my direct
reports)?


In your Appraisor role, go to Appraisals >> Appraisal Manager. In the filter, click the UNIT dropdown arrow. This will list all the sub-units under your "jurisdiction". Select the one you wish to view, and click Apply Filter. All the appraisals created by this sub-unit's Appraisor will show in the filtered results.

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How do I sign off as Higher Level Manager (HLM) in a system that has been set up
with 3-level signoff?


(a) When you are specifically assigned as HLM to an employee (in his/her User File)

In your Appraisor role, go to the Higher Lvl Mgr Signoff page, where you can access the appraisal forms of all those employees you are assigned to as HLM. Click on the Summary/POP link (far right of screen) of those employees whose appraisals you want to sign off.

When you are specifically assigned as HLM, nobody but you will be able to access the HLM general comments field and signoff link on a Summary/POP Form.

This general comments field and a signoff link will become active only once the employee's Appraisor (direct line manager) has signed off.

Once you have signed off, the Appraisee's own general comments field and signoff link will become active (which only they can access).

NOTE:
The Appraisee cannot access the Official Appraisal or Summary/POP forms until the HLM has signed off.

(b) With NO specific HLM assigned to an Appraisee


In your Appraisor role, select Appraisals >> Appraisal Manager. In the filter, click the UNIT dropdown arrow. This will list all the sub-units under your "jurisdiction". Select the sub-unit of the person whose appraisal you wish to sign off as HLM. His/her appraisal will show in the list of appraisals that come up. Now click on the Summary/POP link (far right of screen) of this employee to enter your general comments and sign off electronically.

NOTE: Check with your CorpAdmin what the organization's policy is regarding WHO should sign off as HLM, as Appraisal Smart allows ANY manager in the "chain of command" above an employee to do so (as can a Corp- or DivAdmin for further flexibility). The system keeps track of who actually signed off by listing his/her name along with the signoff date on the Summary/POP Form, as well as on the Appraisal Manager page.


(c) Corp- or DivAdmin signoff as HLM

By NOT assigning a specific HLM to employees (in their User Files), system administrators can also fulfill this role. Go to Appraisals >> Appraisal Manager to access the Summary/POP links of employees.

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What is the 3-level signoff sequence (i.e. with HLM feature activated)?

The signoff sequence is: (1) Appraisor (2) HLM (3) Appraisee

It is important to have the Appraisee signing off last, as that then "locks" the appraisal so that the Appraisor and HLM (Higher Level Manager) cannot go back and change the contents of the appraisal and their final comments afterwards - with the appraisee potentially unaware of this.

This sequence is the only one that guarantees the Appraisee's protection and peace of mind that nothing can be changed after their signoff. Even if an Administrator should UNDO all the signoffs, the Appraisee has to sign off (last) again

NOTE: The Appraisee cannot access the Official Appraisal or Summary/POP forms until the HLM has signed off.

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How should 3-level signoffs be handled with appraisal disputes?

Appraisee disputes should be handled first, before the Appraisee (and Appraisor for that matter) signs off.

Disputes will generally come up DURING the appraisal interview, even before the Appraisor signs off. In other words, an Appraisee will/should NOT see the area of disagreement the first time when logging on AFTER the Appraisor has signed off.

So the best-practice sequence is:

  1. Area of dispute identified during appraisal interview (Appraisor and Appraisee cannot resolve).
  2. Higher Level Manager (HLM) or HR is brought in to mediate/facilitate (or make) final decision.
  3. Appraisor enters result of appraisal on Official Appraisal and Summary/POP Forms, enters overall comments, and signs off.
  4. HLM/HR enters notes re disagreement and solution on Summary/POP Form (if necessary for record purposes), and signs off.
  5. Appraisee views contents of the Appraisal Form as well as the comments entered by the Appraisor and HLM onto the Summary/POP Form.
  6. Appraisee enters own final comments and signs off. This "locks" the Appraisal and Summary/POP Forms so the Appraisor and HLM cannot make any further changes to it.

This sequence is the only one that guarantees the Appraisee's protection and peace of mind that nothing can be changed after his/her signoff. Even if an Administrator should UNDO all the signoffs, the Appraisee has to sign off (last) again.

Should the Appraisee REFUSE to sign the appraisal off, do as explained HERE

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Should the Summary/POP Form be signed off before or after the face-to-face appraisal interview?

Only AFTER the interview, in order to give the Appraisee an opportunity to give his/her input first during the interview, which may result in changed ratings and notes/comments due to new input from the Appraisee that you were unaware of.

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How can I UNDO the signoff of an Appraisal?

The moment the Appraisor signs off the Summary/POP Form, it locks all the appraisal forms, including the Appraisee's PREP (Self-Appraisal) Form.

NOTE: The Appraisee's Self-Appraisal should always be completed (and released to the Appraisor if necessary) BEFORE the appraisal interview. The manager then completes the Official Appraisal Form based on the appraisal interview, clicks through to the Summary/POP Form, and only then signs it off electronically (which locks all the forms).

If anything needs to be changed on any of the appraisal forms after the Appraisor has signed the Summary/POP Form off, the signoff has to be undone (reversed) first. This is done by clicking on his/her signoff name and date on the Summary/POP Form (the HLM first if signed off as well). This will UNLOCK all the forms so the necessary changes can be made. Then follow the normal signoff sequence again.

A Corp-/DivAdmin can also undo the signoffs by clicking the "Undo Signoff" link on the Appraisal Manager page for a specific appraisal. This is the only way the signoffs can be undone if the Appraisee has signed off as well.

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Can the Higher Level Manager (HLM) view the Official Appraisal and Summary/POP Forms of Appraisees before Appraisor signoff?

Yes, the Official Appraisal Form by default, but the Summary/POP Form only after the Appraisor has given ratings to all measures on the Official Appraisal Form.

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What do the headings "This Period" and "Yr Cum Avg" on the Appraisal Manager page stand for?

If your organization has more frequent than annual appraisals (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, or 6-monthly), then the "This Period" column will show the appraisee performance percentages (with WEIGHTINGS feature enabled) of the "just-completed" Performance Period only, while the "Yr Cum Avg" column will reflect the cumulative performance percentage averages of all the Performance Periods SO FAR since the start of the Performance Year.

For example: Let's say the system has been set for biannual (six-monthly) appraisals, and that a certain employee achieved a performance percentage of 94% for the first six months' appraisal (first Performance Period). At this point, both columns will show a figure of 94%. At the end of the Performance Year, ONLY the last six months (second Performance Period) is reviewed and NOT the full year. So let's say the employee has achieved a performance percentage of 86% for the second Performance Period. The "This Period" column will now show 86%, while the "Yr Cum Avg" column will show 90% (the average of the two Performance Periods).

Why calculating the FULL YEAR performance percentage in this way?

The answer is simply that the shorter the period under review, the more recent the performance data and incidences, and hence the "fresher" everything will be for the appraisor and appraisee, to ensure a more accurate and conflict-free appraisal.

So, once a Performance Period had been appraised, you are done with it and you do not have to review it again later!

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What should be done if the Appraisee refuses to sign off the appraisal?

You should obviously try to first resolve any differences in opinion as explained HERE.

However, should that fail, and you persist in your view regarding the performance of the Appraisee, we recommend you note this accordingly in the Summary/POP Form (i.e. what you did to resolve the issue, but that the Appraisee still refuses to sign the appraisal off). The system does not FORCE an Appraisee signoff.

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Can you create and complete Appraisals in a past/previous (and signed off) Performance Period?

Yes, just select that previous period in the filter dropdown lists when creating and completing such appraisals.

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I cannot find the appraisals of employees who have left the organization

The User Files of employees who have left the organization will be deactivated by the CorpAdmin, so their appraisals do not show by default on the Appraisal Manager page.

To view the appraisals of such inactive users, select, in the OPTIONS dropdown list in the filter, the last option "Show INACTIVE users only", and click Apply Filter. The same can be done with the reports.

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Can the Appraisal Form pages be printed with logical breaks?

Logical page breaks are not possible with HTML web pages, plus the vertical space taken up by the different Performance Measures you add will vary dynamically in length, depending on the extent of their contents. Some measures may even stretch over two pages if there are many Performance Standards and lots of Appraisor notes in the comments fields.

"Illogical" page breaks will not lead to any content loss (cutoffs) when printing or exporting to PDF.

Logical page breaks (if it were possible) would also lead to lots of white space, and hence, increased paper wastage!

NOTE: Forms such as Appraisals, Job Descriptions and 360 Reports can also be exported to PDF and/or WORD (see export icons top of these form pages). In the case of appraisal forms, first click the link "Click for Print View" top right, for the PRINT and PDF exporting links to show.

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How can I get rid of the headers and footers when printing out a form?

Right-click your mouse and select "Print Preview" (only available with Internet Explorer). Next, click on the icon at the top of the page: "Turn headers and footers on or off (ALT+E)". Finally, click the print icon top of the page. The result will be cleaner printed pages.

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APPRAISEES

Is there a User Guide for Appraisees?

Yes, please ask your Corporate System Administrator (CorpAdmin) for a copy, or CONTACT US. Links to download this, plus other resources such as flash tutorials, can also be accessed by clicking the Knowledge Base link on your home page in the system.

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Why should Appraisees be able to log onto the system?

To enable them to:

  • View their Performance Measures and Standards ("Agreement Preview" step 1 oval icon on their home page) at any time throughout the performance period to see what they are accountable for (so no excuses at appraisal time!).
  • Enter Performance Record Notes ("Perf Record" step 2 oval icon) on their own performance, and to view any Performance Record Notes added by their line manager (Appraisor) regarding their performance.
  • Plan and prepare for the appraisal interview on their Appraisal Prep Form (self-appraisal) (step 3 oval icon).
  • View what the Appraisor has entered onto their Official Appraisal Form (step 5 oval icon) (to check its accuracy as discussed during the appraisal interview), to enter their own general comments on the Appraisal Summary/POP Form (step 6 oval icon), and to then finally sign the appraisal off (electronically).

The Appraisee should ideally be involved in this way to make it a two-way process, as well as transparent. This functionality aligns Appraisal Smart with international best practice.

NOTE: The ability to access the AS System is not a prerequisite (i.e. to allow for situations where employees do not have access to a computer). Read more about this HERE

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How can I change my User ID or Password?

Go to your Appraisee role and select My User File in the menu bar. Your User ID appears as text in your User File, and can be changed to anything you like (however, we strongly recommended that you use your work email address for enhanced security reasons).

Your Password is "hashed" (i.e. appearing as 4 stars for security purposes). Change your Password by overwriting the 4 stars with a new Password. When you click "update", your new Password will be hashed again.


Never use your first or last name only as Password; rather combine it with a minimum of three random numbers, such as Susan517.

Change your Password at least once every six months.

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I have lost my User ID and/or Password. Can the system send me a reminder of
what they are?


Sure. Go to the system login page, and click on: "Forgotten your User ID or Password?" Follow the onscreen instructions. You will be required to enter your work email address, and within a few seconds your User ID and Password will be sent to your computer.

Your Password will be reset to eight letters, randomly-selected by the AS System (for security purposes). Use these to log into the system (get the Org Code from your manager or CorpAdmin). Once logged in, you can change your Password to anything you wish, as described HERE.

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Why can't I see my Appraisal on my Appraisal Manager page?

You will only be able to see your appraisal once your direct line manager (Appraisor) has created an appraisal for you. Your home page (in Appraisee role) will clearly state "Your Appraisal Has Not Been Created Yet" if that is the case.

If your system has been set up with a second Performance Cycle, and you belong to that cycle, then select the Cycle 2 radio button at the top of the Appraisal Manager page.

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When can I start entering information on my Appraisal Prep Form?

The moment your Appraisor creates your Appraisal (ideally at the start of a performance period), your Appraisal Prep Form will show on your Appraisal Manager page. On this you will be able to make notes at any time during the year, but this is particularly important just prior to the Appraisal Interview in preparation for it.

You can also use the oval 1-6 step icons on your home page to access the various appraisal forms.

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Why can't I select any ratings or enter information on my Appraisal Prep Form
(all the fields are dead)?

This happens the moment your Appraisor signs the appraisal off (electronically). All your ratings and notes should be entered PRIOR to the appraisal interview, before your Appraisor signs the appraisal off. Once this has happened, all appraisal forms are "locked", including your Prep (Self Appraisal) Form. This ensures proper system integrity and security, and protection of all parties concerned.

The only way your Prep Form can be "unlocked" is if the Appraisor's signoff is undone. Contact him/her about this if necessary. The process is explained HERE

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Who will be able to view my Appraisal Prep Form if I release it for viewing?

Your direct line manager (Appraisor) and the System Administrators (Corp- & DivAdmins).

By selecting the "Hide Prep Form" radio button option (the default), your Prep Form will not be viewable by anybody but yourself.

Organization policy will/should dictate whether Appraisee Prep Forms should be released or not
.

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Why can't I type into my General Comments field on my Appraisal Summary/POP
Form (under Sign Off)?


This field only becomes accessible after your Appraisor (and Higher Level Manager if activated) has signed your appraisal off. This will appear as a "signed off date" directly above your General Comments field on the Appraisal Summary/POP form.

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AD-HOC APPRAISALS

What is an Ad-Hoc Appraisal?

Appraisal Smart can handle any performance cycle such as 1, 2, 3, 4, 6-monthly, or annually. With a quarterly Performance Cycle/Period setting (for example) you can have an appraisal for each employee once every quarter.

But what if you want to do performance appraisals OUTSIDE this "regular" cycle?

This is where the Ad-Hoc Appraisal functionality of Appraisal Smart comes in very handy, as it allows you to administer appraisals of any kind, whenever required, and as many as you like - even for one employee.

Examples of such Ad-Hoc Appraisals are:

  • 30-, 60-, 90-Day Probation
  • Promotion
  • Succession
  • Performance Improvement

With the Multirater Module activated for your site, you can also do "mini 360s" using the Ad-Hoc appraisal feature, e.g. to get performance or behavioral feedback from up to five:

  • Direct Reports (on their manager's management style and practice)
  • Peers
  • Managers
  • Internal Customers

Every Ad-Hoc Appraisal is treated as "unique" (stand-alone) in the system, in the sense that its overall performance percentage or rating average is not linked to any other appraisal in the system.

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MULTIRATER MODULE

What is the Multirater Module?

The Multirater Functionality allows you to, as part of the "regular" and/or "ad-hoc" Performance Appraisals, request up to FIVE "other" (multi-) raters to provide input to an employee's performance. It acts as a "mini 360" if you will.

This functionality is highly suitable for matrix organizations where you have employees who work with (or have worked with) more than one (project) manager/supervisor during a performance period, or other employees in team context.

Such Multiraters are selected and then notified by system-generated email to complete the online Multirater Appraisal Questionnaires of target employees.

The input of all Multiraters appears jointly on two system-generated reports:

  • A Narrative Report that combines the (averaged) ratings and written comments of all Multiraters onto one page.
  • A Graphical Report that presents the results as two different types of bar charts.

Appraisees can (optionally) be requested to complete a Multirater Self-Appraisal as well. The two reports, mentioned above, will then reflect how the Appraisee's ratings and comments compare with those of the Multiraters jointly.

Managers (Appraisors) are then able to view these comprehensive results in preparation for the Appraisal Interview and/or to base the completion of the Official Appraisal Interview on.

NOTE: The Multirater Functionality is different from the Smart360 Module, as explained in the next FAQ.

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What is the difference between the Multirater Module and the 360-Degree
Feedback Module?

Multirater Module
360-Degree Feedback Module (Smart360)
Is included in the core appraisal system. Forms part of "regular" or "ad-hoc" performance appraisals. Separate from "regular" or "ad-hoc" performance appraisals. Can be activated as an add-on module, or used as a fully independent, "stand-alone" 360 system.
PRIMARY PURPOSE: To get input on an employee's work output/performance and behavior, from all managers (incl. project managers), supervisors and team leaders an employee has worked with during a performance period. (Could be used as input into employee performance-based compensation.) PRIMARY PURPOSE: To get input on an employee's work behavior and competence as perceived by significant "other" people the employee has worked with over the performance period - for the purposes of employee development, and personal self-awareness and growth. (Should preferably NOT be used as input into performance-based compensation.)
The performance measures to be assessed by all Multiraters are the same as those in the Appraisee's Performance Agreement (regular or ad-hoc appraisals). An unlimited number of 360 Questionnaires can be created for any number of 360 target groups or purposes.
Multiraters are selected from internal employees only. Multiraters can be external as well, e.g. external customers/clients.
Up to 5 Multiraters per appraisal are allowed (Appraisee self-appraisal excluded). 20+ (no upper limit) Multiraters can be assigned per 360 appraisal. Multirater Groups selectable: Managers, Peers, Direct Reports, internal/external Customers, Other.
When activated, the Multirater functionality is automatically available for all employees, with every performance period (one per performance period with regular appraisals, but any number with ad-hoc appraisals). 360 Appraisals are individually created for selected employees as required (more than one per employee per performance period can be created).

More details about the Smart360 Module/System can be viewed HERE.

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What is the difference between Regular and Ad-Hoc Multirater Appraisals?

Regular MULTIRATER Appraisals
Ad-Hoc MULTIRATER Appraisals
You can create one regular Multirater Appraisal per Appraisee per performance period. You can create any number of ad-hoc Multirater Appraisals per Appraisee per performance period.
The performance measures to be assessed by all Multiraters are the same as those in the Appraisee's regular appraisal Performance Agreement. The performance measures to be assessed by all Multiraters are the same as those in the Appraisee's ad-hoc appraisal Performance Agreement, but these measures can be tailored for diverse purposes, e.g. 30/60/90-Day Probation, Promotions, and Performance Improvement, as well as Direct Report, Peer and Internal Customer Feedback (i.e. "mini" 360s limited to five Raters; one Rater Group per Multirater Appraisal).
Multiraters should be current or previous line or project managers the Appraisee has worked with during a performance period. Multiraters could be line or project managers, direct reports, peers or internal customers the Appraisee has worked with during a performance period.

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What does it mean if the MULTIRATER link shows red?

This happens when one or both of the following conditions exist:

  • The Multirater Appraisal was created, but no Raters were added yet.
  • All Raters (including Appraisee) have not yet completed and signed off their Multirater Appraisal Questionnaires.

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GENERAL

What is the "Org Code" on the system signin page?

"Org Code" is short for "Organization Code".

It provides an advanced three-factor level of system security by (1) eliminating the risk of somebody from another company getting into your system by accident, and (2) countering malicious hackers.

The Organization Code is the same for everybody in an organization (unlike your User ID and Password, which are unique to you).

Ask your Corporate System Administrator or line manager what it is for your organization.

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Does the system have a time-out -- potentially causing unsaved entries?

Auto-Save Feature
The system has an auto-save feature whereby the following editable pages are automatically saved as users make entries:

  • Prep and Official Appraisal Forms - every 15 minutes.
  • The Summary/POP Page (comments fields) - every 5 minutes.
  • 360 and Multirater Module Questionnaires - every 15 minutes.
  • PDP Header Pages - every 15 minutes.

30-Minutes No-Activity Warning
There is a pop-up alert if there was no activity (clicking of a link, e.g. to save your work, or going to a different system page) for 30 minutes.

2-Hour Time-out
After 2 hours of no activity (clicking a link) the system times out for security purposes. NOTE: Although the system page may still show on your screen (e.g. if you have been out of the office for some time), your session may have already timed out by the time you return and click any system link. If it did time out already, you will be instantly taken to the signin page. But by then the auto-save feature would have saved any new entries made on the editable pages mentioned above anyway.

Why Entries Are Sometimes Not Saved.
This happens when a user has made new entries on any of the editable pages listed above, and then navigates away from that page to another part of the system (without saving the new entries first). A pop-up alert says the following when trying to navigate away:

Are you sure you want to leave this page?
WARNING: You have made some changes to this form.
If you want to save it, please click "Save Progress" first before navigating out. To stay on this page to save your work, click Stay on this page.
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Users sometimes do not read this pop-up (carefully), and click "Leave this page" (to navigate away), resulting in all new entries, since the last (auto) save, being lost. Unsaved entries cannot be retrieved, as it never got saved in the system in the first place.

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How can we prevent different line managers from assessing the same level of Appraisee performance differently?

Employees with essentially the same level of performance, being rated differently by different line managers, is an age-old issue with any appraisal system (paper-based or online).

This is due to each line manager's subjective opinion as to what constitutes the "expected" level of performance (or any of the other levels in Rating Keys/Scales). Some managers are more lenient, while others are more strict. Others, again, are appropriately assertive during appraisal interviews, while some may "give in" too easily to strong-willed Appraisees.

The following are some ways in which these discrepancies in evaluation levels can be reduced:

  • Line Manager training in conducting effective performance appraisals, including how differences in opinion with the Appraisee should be facilitated.
  • Employee training in their role during appraisals, and how Rating Keys need to be interpreted.
  • Carefully selected and formulated Performance Measures (with vague Performance Standards eliminated as far as possible).
  • Carefully designed Rating Keys that will promote agreement between Appraisors and Appraisees (e.g. define each level of the Rating Key carefully, and use sub-scales for quantifiable measures as described here).
  • Consider activating the third-level signoff feature of the Appraisal Smart System so that higher level managers (HLMs) can vet and moderate the appraisals done by their lower level managers/supervisors before Appraisees see the result.
  • HR conducting similar moderating roles, including coaching workshops where managers meet to discuss typical/actual employee performance (no appraisee names revealed), and how they intend rating them - with a view to "pulling their thinking together".

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Can the system pages be saved on a computer?

Yes - do the following:

  • Open the page/form you wish to save.
  • In your browser toolbar (top of screen), click File (or Page) >> Save As.
  • Select the folder on your computer you want to save the page to.
  • Click the dropdown arrow next to "Save as type" and select Web Archive, single file (*.mht), and click "save".

A saved MHT page (which does not have page breaks such as a PDF has) can be sent by email as an attachment like any other electronic document.

Download a detailed description (PDF File) on how to save system pages to your computer, by clicking here

Note that appraisal forms and 360/Multirater reports can also be exported to PDF (see PDF export link at the top of such pages).

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Why do the graphical report/360 graphs and colors not print?

You need to set your browser to print background colors and images.

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I struggle to save an exported Excel Spreadsheet

Click File >> Save As, and select the folder you want to save the file in.
Next click "Save as Type", and select "Microsoft Excel Workbook" (your current version).
Rename the file to anything you want, making sure there are no brackets in the file name.

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Why do my Browser BACK and FORWARD buttons not always work?

Please use the internal navigation links and buttons to move around in the Appraisal Smart System, and not your browser BACK and FORWARD buttons. Appraisal Smart is a database-driven application (not a regular website), and the BACK and FORWARD browser buttons will therefore not always work.

If you have clicked these by accident and you are "thrown out" of the system, click the "Refresh" button in your browser (or press F5 on your keyboard). That will reload the system pages.

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SMART360 TECHNICAL FAQs  

What are suitable 360 Feedback Questionnaire Rating Keys to use?

Below are some popular 5-point Rating Scale options. Smart360 adds the additional "rating" option "Unable to rate; N/A" automatically.

Developmental

5. Always demonstrates this skill/competency
4. Usually demonstrates this skill/competency
3. Sometimes demonstrates this skill/competency
2. Seldom demonstrates this skill/competency
1. Never demonstrates this skill/competency

1. An exceptional skill - consistently exceeds expectations in this area
2. A strength - exceeds some of the expectations in this area
3. Suitable skill level - meets all the expectations in this area
4. Not a strength - falls sometimes short on expectations in this area
5. Not skilled - consistently fails to reach expectations in this area

5. Exceptional Strength
4. Strength
3. Fully Competent
2. Development Need
1. Significant Development Need

5. Exceptional Strength
4. N/A
3. Competent
2. N/A
1. Weak

Performance

5. Consistently Exceeding Expectations
4. Frequently Exceeding Expectations
3. Fully Meeting Expectations
2. Frequently Below Expectations
1. Consistently Below Expectations

5. Outstanding
4. Exceeds Expectations
3. Meets Expectations
2. Below Expectations
1. Unsatisfactory

5. Far above requirements
4. Above requirements
3. Meets requirements
2. Below requirements
1. Far below requirements

5. Exceptional
4. Superior
3. Meets Expectations
2. Needs Improvement -
1. Unsatisfactory

Comparison

5. Far Above Average
4. Above Average
3. Average
2. Below Average
1. Far Below Average

Frequency

5. Always
4. Regularly
3. Sometimes
2. Rarely
1. Never

5. Almost Always
4. Most of the Time
3. Often
2. Sometimes
1. Seldom

Quality

5. Outstanding
4. Very Good
3. Good
2. Fair
1. Poor

Extent

5. Strongly Agree
4. Moderately Agree
3. Neutral
2. Moderately Disagree
1. Strongly Disagree

5. Completely True Description
4. Largely True
3. Neutral
2. Somewhat False
1. Completely False

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