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Shishir's Guide to Performance Calibration Meetings

Shishir's Guide to Performance Calibration Meetings

Six ways to run your performance calibration meeting
Over the course of the past two decades, I have participated in, created, and re-created dozens of performance calibration processes. This activity can be simultaneously one of the most dreaded and most valuable exercises a group can go through. And a critical portion of this process is the Performance Calibration meeting - where a set of supervisors come together to discuss the performance of employees and achieve agreement on performance appraisal ratings.
This doc goes through a few different models for running this calibration and some thoughts on when to apply each technique.

Getting Started: Set up Employees and your Calibration Framework

All the processes suggested require starting with a list of employees and a set of ratings:
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Choose a Calibration approach (see below) and go to the relevant section to set that up.
After the calibration meeting is complete, ensure everyone knows their take-aways and action items in the section.

Six Approaches to Performance Calibration Meetings

Each of these sections goes through a different way to run your calibration meeting:
When a team is small enough to just linearly run through the list, this is a simple framework for calibration. You can filter by level, manager, etc or just go straight through.
Define a set of criteria to evaluate on, then use that set to determine a final rating
Bucket groups of employees evenly into 3 bins, then split those into 3 bins each to arrive at 9 bins of employees. Then assign ratings to the bins.
Managers set their ratings first, and then the group gets together to compare ratings and fill in the Final Ratings.
Another form of multi-level calibration (similar to #4), but is done using a draft stacking approach instead. Similar to how sports leagues draft incoming athletes, this process progressively selects employees from the available pool one-by-one.
Have every calibrator rate every employee, then use the composite signal as ordering to determine a final rating.
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After the calibration

Refine to match your followups and messages and send it out to the group. Also be sure to visit for other refinements.

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