Talent review & people development kit
Talent review & people development kit

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Review frameworks

In an ideal world, at every moment in time, we’d want to have insight on the following for our talent:

Flight risk: How loose in seat are they?
Impact: What is the level of impact losing this person would be to the org—whether it’s on execution, morale, skillset, necessary historical context, etc.
Performance rating: How you would rate their current performance?
Potential rating: What you anticipate for their potential of growth and impact? This may be informed by past work, proactiveness, attitude, etc.
Management potential: Employees who we think have people management potential, who we should flag as a successor for future roles.
Retention levers: What matters most to the employee right now? What lever(s) do we need to pull to retain?

You can customize any of the following, but I’ve added a couple frameworks as a starting point.

🛠️ Retention levers

After assessing an employee’s flight risk—and if they are a top performer and/or someone with high impact—who we wouldn’t want to lose, it’s important to have a good sense of what is most important to the employee to keep them engaged. Use the button below to add any other retention levers.
Here are the most common levers I’ve seen to retain an employee:

Add retention lever
Retention Lever
Potential Actions
💗 More Love
The employee is feeling under-appreciated and valued, and needs some emotional care.
1-1 with the org leader, recognition in a team meeting or broader forum
⏲️ Less Work
The employee is feeling too stretched, may be on the verge of burn out.
Take work off the plate, hire someone for the team, help prioritize
⭐ More interesting work
The employee may have been doing the same work for a while - or the work doesn’t line up with their interests or aspirations.
Change projects, teams, give something new to do, have a career conversation
The employee feels their compensation isn’t commensurate with their performance/impact, and may be distracted by being unhappy with their compensation.
1-1 to learn more about their comp concerns, a review on their compensation to see if a raise is warranted
💪 Confidence in the company
The employee doesn’t know if the company is doing well, and whether the future is one they have confidence in.
1-1 with the org leader or other leaders in the company who can help mitigate concerns
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📉 Managing low performers

Once we notice an employee’s performance is off track, it’s important to make sure we’re actively coaching, monitoring, and managing the employee’s performance. Here’s a basic framework of what stages you and a manager may engage in once we notice an employee’s performance is off track. I’ve assigned progress percentages to what stage a low performer may be in, but feel free to customize however is fitting for your company.
Performance management stage
Perf Management Stage
Progress %
1st Feedback Convo
Active Feedback & Coaching Convos
Exit Conversation
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Performance & potential ratings

Most companies use performance and potential as the two dimensions they’ll assess for an employee. If you run your calibration / performance cycle in another tool, you can easily copy/paste from an excel or CSV into this doc.
Otherwise, here is a basic framework of how you may assess performance and potential for an individual.
Performance: this is the “look back” on what & how the employee has delivered. Over the last quarter, 6 months, 1 year (whatever your performance review cycle may be), what was the individual’s performance? Are they below, at, or above expectations of their level or job description?
Potential: this is what we anticipate the individual’s growth to be in the future. This rating will likely be informed by how the individual has been performing so far, their proactiveness, their attitude, and the particular strengths we may have noticed so far.

Performance rating
Performance Rating
Rank Scale
Below Expectations
Meets Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
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Potential rating
Potential Rating
Rank Scale
Below Expectations
Meets Expectations
Exceeds Expectations
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🕵️‍♂️ Biases to be mindful about—and to constantly reinforce whenever running through an exercise like this.

It’s incredibly important to be thoughtful about about what unconscious biases may creep into play when we think about an individual’s performance and impact. Here are common biases to watch out for*:
*this is a general pool of biases I’ve seen in previous experiences, and from online research
🕰️ Recency Bias
This bias occurs when we base an evaluation on a recent interaction, or from what we’ve seen in the last couple weeks vs. how the individual has actually delivered over the entire performance period.
❣️Leniency Bias
This bias occurs when we may rate an employee higher to be “nice” or liked, when there’s objective data that the individual has significant areas of improvement.
😣 Severity Bias
This bias occurs when we may rate an employee lower than what the objective data shows because we may want to hold a “high bar”
👯 Similar to me Bias
This bias occurs when we may rate an employee higher based on how similar they may be to us (interests, skills, background)
😇/😈 Halo/Horns Effect Bias
This bias occurs when an employee’s one good or bad trait overshadows and dominates the overall performance evaluation
⚖️ Centrality Bias
This bias is the tendency to rate most things in the middle of a rating scale - it’s important to be diligent about the appropriate differentiation of an employee’s performance
🤷‍♂️ Opportunity Bias
This bias occurs when we evaluate an employee’s performance based on factors that were beyond the employee’s control (this can either go in favor or against the employee!)
⛷️ Idiosyncratic Rater Bias
This bias occurs when we may rate an employee more highly because they have skills we aren’t as strong at, or rate lower because they have skills we are strong at
✔️ Confirmation Bias
This bias is the tendency to read or interpret data in a way that confirms our pre-existing beliefs
🚻 Gender Bias
💼 Job vs. Individual Bias

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