PerformanceHub Update

New in this release: Interim Review Enhancements

  • The interim name (e.g. Mid-Year Review) is now referenced throughout PerformanceHub (no more references to a generic ‘interim’ which sometimes confused people).
  • You can now define your own instructional text for each interim. For example, you might want to remind people what they should be talking about during their interim meeting, or if you have more than one interim per year, what they should focus on in the 1st one vs the 2nd one.
  • You can now define your own prompt text that is shown to a user before they have entered any text.
  • There is a new Objectives option that says the due date for objectives should default to the next interim review, rather than the end of the period. If you want employees to set six-monthly objectives, for example, then adding a Mid-Year interim review and enabling this option will do the trick.
  • We’ve also made it easier to define interims (no more messing around with start and deadline dates clashing)
  • And finally, interims are automatically created when you create a new review period based on the ones you had set-up in the previous one.

Along with the changes we made a little while ago (ability to delete and add interims on a per employee basis) we think that you’ll be rocking your interim reviews from now on.

Also in this release

User Experience Enhancements:

  • More intelligent default period selection when you are currently ‘between periods’ (ie, have a gap between the old one ending and the new one starting).
  • The calendar pop-up will now not be mangled by Google Translate
  • Interims now show when each participant completed their section
  • If an interim review has been closed centrally, then when people are looking at appraisals later in the review period, incomplete interims are shown with less prominence
  • HR now get a reminder email 1 week before an interim is about to start just in case you want to adjust the dates
  • The employee’s Location is now added to the Appraisals Summary report
  • We’ve added objective weights and ratings to the Objectives Details report

Bug Fixes:

  • Probation reviews for past employees were not showing in the probation reviews manager table in some circumstances
  • If a past employee re-joins, their appraisals will be re-animated in the correct state
  • Long day names (e.g. Wednesday) could sometime spill out of their container and look messy
  • If someone is marked as being on Family or Long-term leave and they had HR Admin rights, you couldn’t remove admin rights from them
  • When creating a new review period, employees is certain states and with a 2nd line manager were not getting new appraisals set with the right status.

PerformanceHub is GDPR Compliant

Just a quick note.

Earlier on in May, we released the final 2 tweaks to PerformanceHub to make it 100% GDPR compliant. We did it with no fuss and without sending a billion messages to the world and his wife either.


So, you can’t accuse of filling up your inbox with GDPR mails  ;-)

One-to-One Agendas

We have just released a great new feature for one-to-one meetings: Agendas.

For the 30% of our customers who don’t have one-to-ones turned on (yes, 70% of customers do have it turned on, in fact it’s one of PerformanceHub’s most popular features), one-to-ones is a PerformanceHub feature that enables managers to set-up regular one-to-one meetings with their direct reports; both the manager and direct report can record notes for each meeting.

With this update, you can now enable one-to-one meeting agendas, to help ensure that meetings are focussed, and that the right topics are discussed.

Here’s a screenshot of the new settings in PerformanceHub’s set-up page:

1-2-1 meetings settings



The keen-eyed would have spotted there are 3 new options to choose from when setting up one-to-ones:

“Meeting agendas”
This is how you turn on the feature. Without ticking this box, everything stays the same. But, once you have ticked it, you get a simple fixed agenda that HR Admin can set and is used for all employees.

“Separate standard agenda for managers”
Tick this box if instead of a single standard agenda you want to have different agendas for managers vs non-managers. Again, HR have control over what these two agendas are.

The standard agendas are edited in a new tab in HR’s Configuration area called “Agendas” – look for it in the main navigation bar once you have turned agendas on. We have created some default ones to get you going. These are applied as soon as you turn on the agenda feature.

“Managers can create team agendas”
Tick this box if you want to allow managers to manage their own agendas. Employees will initially be given a standard agenda as defined by HR (the settings above) but managers will also be able to create their own agendas and assign them to one or more of their direct reports. They will be able to do all of this in the One-to-Ones tab using the “Agendas” link in the sidebar (under the list of direct reports). They can drop back to the standard one at any time from here too, if they wish.

When an agenda has been set, then it will show as a coloured ‘card’ at the top of the meetings list on the One-to-Ones tab. Simple as that.

Should you use agendas?
We think so, even if you just turn on a single fixed agenda under HR’s control to give employees a little guidance on what to talk about in one-to-one meetings.


Other changes in this release

  • Employee roles are now ‘pinned’ to the appraisal/probation review rather to a review period. It means that a better history of changes are kept, particularly when roles change between a probation review and an appraisal
  • Several usability tweaks
  • Squished some pesky bugs

User Statuses

We’ve just released a new version of PerformanceHub with a new feature you may want to make immediate use of, so please read on..
“New User Statuses”

You know how most employees in PerformanceHub are “Enabled”, but there are also statuses like Leaving, Past Employee and Disabled? Well, we’ve expanded the list and added some new functionality so that you can manage users more effectively.

These were the user statuses that we used to use:

But now, you have these choices:

This is how the new and the old statuses map
(green ones are brand new):

As you can see “Active” is the new “Enabled”. We’ve also changed the name of Disabled to “Access Suspended”. When access has been suspended for a user, then they cannot login and they will receive no email from PerformanceHub (just like the Disabled status used to do) but we figured Access Suspended is a ‘friendlier’ term.

The new statuses help you manage users better and will change the way PerformanceHub behaves.

For users marked with; Family Leave, Long Term Sick, Long Term Leave and Sabbatical, they will not receive PerformanceHub email notifications, and their dashboard won’t list things that they need to do (although there’s a message on the dashboard to let them know why). Actions are also removed from the manager’s dashboard for these users. The idea being that they don’t get pestered while they are away. These users are also removed from various reports, so that you’re not chasing your tails trying to get things closed off.

You almost certainly have employees on maternity leave right now, so why not update their status to “Family Leave” today.

The new “Not Reviewed” status is an interesting one. You would use this if you have a user in PerformanceHub that’s there because they need to review direct reports, but they aren’t going to be reviewed themselves. For some of our customers, we have had some special code in place to mark users as “Fake” to deal with this (yes, I know, it’s a silly name!) but now you would deal with this by marking them as “Not Reviewed”. If you are one of the customers using the “Fake User” workaround, we have automatically switched them to “Not Reviewed”.

So manager’s know the status of their direct reports, when a manager has a direct report with statuses other than Active, we put a little icon next to the direct report’s name, so that the manager knows what the score is.

Finally, a brief word about reporting. When a user has a status that means they are unlikely to be progressing things in PerformanceHub, we remove them from various reports or put them in special pots in reports. This will cut down on a lot of ‘red’ in sunburst reports. We also ‘remember’ the status at the end of the review period, so appraisal reports reflect the status of the employee at the time of the review rather than whatever it is now. This brings me to the very last thing (honest) – we have added a new feature when ‘force closing’ appraisals. You can now attach the employee’s status to the appraisal so that reports are more accurate. For instance, if you force close an appraisal because someone is on maternity leave and it is unlikely to get completed, you can tell PerformanceHub this.

Other changes in this release:

  • A new PDP Targets sunburst report. If you have DPDs turned on, you will see it in the sidebar of your dashboard
  • The submitted date has been added to the Interims report, so you can create a ‘burn-up’ chart
  • A new Zone/Partner report for HR Partner management
  • Several usability tweaks
  • Squished some pesky bugs


Introducing Appraisal Notes

Hot on the heels of the last new feature we introduced (Competency Comments), over the weekend we released another new feature – “Appraisal Notes”.

It allows HR and HR Partners to add notes to employee’s appraisals. It can be used as a stand-alone feature or in combination with the Appraisal Tags feature we released late last year.

Please get in touch to find out more.


Introducing Competency Comments

Over the weekend we released a new feature for competency based reviews. It allows managers and direct reports to add comments against individual competencies when reviewing performance against them.

As a bit of background – before the release, if you are using Competencies in PerformanceHub, then at appraisal time the manager and direct report are required to select a performance level for each competency in the DR’s role. The available performance levels are based on your competency framework.

The new Competency Comments feature gives employees the opportunity to add comments to each selection. A little ‘comments’ icon will show users if notes are available and indicate if notes are mandatory (see later).

To turn Competency Comments on, just go to the Configuration page and under the Competencies section, you’ll see a new option for comments. If you enable comments, another option will appear to ask if you want to make comments mandatory. If comments are mandatory, both the manager and direct report must add comments to each competency, otherwise the appraisal cannot be marked as finished.

Appraisal Tags – A New Feature

Appraisal Tags in PerformanceHub are powerful ‘snippets’ of information HR can create and associate with an employee’s appraisal. Think of them like ‘stickers’ that you can ‘put on’ employee’s appraisals and are only visible to HR.

Err, ok, so what does that mean?  Well, you can use them for all sorts of things, but perhaps the best way to describe them would be to walk through an example use.

Let’s say that you have a talent management and succession planning process you want to keep track of. You already have all sorts of information in PerformanceHub about people’s performance, and you may also collect other data you can make use of through PerformanceHub’s “Appraisal Fields” feature too, but how do you bring it all together in a meaningful way? Well, that’s one way Appraisal Tags can help you.

You could define a set of tags for Talent Management and Succession planning.

For instance:

  • Flight risk
  • Impact of leaving
  • Ready for promotion
  • Potential
  • Willingness to travel

Once you have created a tag, you can then create some values that tag could take.

For instance, the Flight Risk tag could have values:

  • High
  • Medium
  • Low

and the Ready for promotion tag could be:

  • Now
  • Within 12 months
  • Within 24 months
  • Within 5 years
  • Never

Once you have set-up your tags, you can apply them to appraisals. Why an appraisal and not an employee? Well, we thought that applying them to an appraisal would give you an opportunity to see how things have changed over time. Is Donald getting closer to that promotion? Has Theresa’s risk of leaving increased?

Once you have tags applied, then you can use them in reports and the distributions reporting tool. They fit neatly into the other reports PerformanceHub has, so you can answer all sorts of questions about your employees.

This is just one example of how you may use Appraisal Tags, but you could use them for all sorts of other things too.

If you would like an online demo of how Tagging works, then please drop me a mail.

Also in this release

  • A new “Probation Employees” report
  • Employee location added to the interim report
  • Employee start date added to the Objectives Count report
  • Employee status added to the Last Login report
  • Various small tweaks to the layout and in-line guidance

Mission vs Vision Statement: New Feature

Vision Statement Support and More

We are pleased to announce that the latest version of PerformanceHub went live over the weekend. As ever, you get instant access to all the new features this new release provides.

This is a special release for us because it’s the first that has been made as a direct result of your comments and votes on our new public roadmap (which is now available to Admin users directly from the PerformanceHub Dashboard).

Our plan is to use the public roadmap to ensure we’re prioritising the features you need.

In this release:

Vision Statements

You can now have a Vision statement, which will appear on the Company tab. You can choose to have a Vision statement or a Mission statement, or both. Studies have long shown that having clear vision and mission statements, and aligned company objectives, can result in better employee engagement and retention, and financial performance[1].

Objectives Due Soon

Employees will now get a dashboard action when they’re approaching the due date for an objective. This only applies if the due date is ahead of the usual “end of review period” deadline that objectives have by default.

New HR Controls for Appraisal Management

HR can now force close appraisals early, for example if an employee is off on long-term leave or maternity and an appraisal is not required. You do this from the Appraisals Manager page (select “Employees” in the extra functions menu, then select “Appraisals” from the navigation bar).
HR can also re-open closed appraisals. This might be needed if you accidentally close the wrong appraisal, with the previous function, but we’ve seen situations where someone comes back from long-term leave earlier than expected or where something comes up that warrants an appraisal form being updated.

Tweak to interim comments

In the interim review section of appraisals the manager’s comments were displayed first, but in all other sections the direct report’s comments are displayed first. So we’ve changed interim reviews to match.

Display bug in Safari squished

On Safari (iPhones, iPads and Macs), when an appraisal had been finished, in some sections of the appraisal the text was too pale, making it hard to read.

Roadmap access

A new “Useful Links” link has been added to HR’s dashboard so you can go straight to our public roadmap from PerformanceHub.

Other bits and bobs

  • If a manager proposes an objective to a direct report and then agrees it soon after, the proposed notification is suppressed.
  • If an objective or development target is proposed and then deleted soon after, no notification is sent (rather that 2).
  • External feedback requests now say which company the person the feedback is on works for.
  • We’ve also squished a few minor bugs.

Introducing Probation Reviews

Probation Reviews

PerformanceHub now supports probation reviews to help you with your employee onboarding process.

Many organisations have a probation period for new starters. Often just thought of as a “safety net” to catch poor hiring decisions, they are an important period in the early stages of a new employee’s appointment. During this period, new employees should be given a sufficient level of support to enable them to become an effective member of the team. PerformanceHub provides new appointments, their manager and HR the platform to do this, and now, PerformanceHub will ensure that probation reviews are conducted on time and with an appropriate audit trail.

Before moving onto the details, we would like to thank all our customers who helped us design probation reviews. It’s been a while coming, but all those comments you made on our early specifications have paid off, so thank you for your support. For any other customers reading this, if you would like to help influence PerformanceHub’s roadmap and features, please let us know and we will include you in our product programme.

How probation reviews work in PerformanceHub

Probation reviews are a new feature you can enable in Configuration. Once enabled, there are a number of sub-options you can also configure which we’ll cover below, but essentially new starters can be put on probation. The length of the probation period can be changed on a per employee basis, but will default to whatever you have set in your config.

An employee who is in probation does not go into the ‘normal’ appraisal review cycle. Instead, they have a probation review that needs to be completed at the end of their probation period. A probation review is similar to a regular appraisal, but the information collected in it can be different if required. These are the stages of the probation review:

  1. The manager and new starter are asked to start the review before it’s due (how far in advance is configurable)
  2. The manager needs to make a recommendation for HR to approve (Pass, Extend or Fail). This recommendation and any notes the manager has entered into the review are not visible to the new starter at this point and a manager cannot progress any further until the recommendation has been approved by HR. Note that, depending on your “2nd Line Manager” settings, the 2nd line manager can also be involved in the probation review
  3. Once approved, the manager can share their review with the new starter and the review can be completed much like a normal appraisal
  4. Once the finished review is submitted to HR, HR can close the review. PerformanceHub automatically deals with the next step depending on the result of the review. If the new starter passed, they are put into the normal appraisal cycle. If they failed, the new starter’s account is marked as a Past Employee. If the result was to extend the probation period, then a new probation review is created and the old one kept on record.

All other aspects of PerformanceHub work in the same way, ie, a new starter can have objectives, 1-to-1 meetings, a development plan etc.

HR have a new Probation Manager screen that allows them to manage probations. HR’s dashboard has also been updated to include important probation review information.

Configuration sub-options

Once enabled, you can set the following sub-options:

  • Default duration: This is the default duration of a probation period. If your new starter has a different duration, this can be changed when you add them to PerformanceHub
  • Prompt manager time: This is the time before the probation review is due the manager is asked to start the review. The default is 2 weeks, but it can be changed to give a longer lead-in if required
  • Default on probation: If set, all new starters will be put on probation by default. You can opt a new starter out of probation when you add them to PerformanceHub or visa-versa, depending on whatever your ‘norm’ is
  • Give managers an objective: If set, whenever a manager gets a new starter in their team, the manager of the new starter will automatically be set an objective to ensure a successful onboarding (their manager will review them against this objective)
  • Probation review sections: Just like you can add sections to an appraisal, you can also add them to a probation review. These could be the same as your regular appraisal form, or you may wish to make a probation review slightly different

PerformanceHub: Little Big Things Release

We’ve just released a new version of PerformanceHub with some of those “Little Big” changes we like to do. Small things, that make a big impact on usability.


Here’s a run-down of what’s new:

HR Partner improvements

  • We have changed the selector that allows you to pick what zone you are looking at. It’s now a nice neat dropdown.
  • We noticed that the selected zone was not “sticky” as you flicked between certain reports, so we fixed that.
  • We re-worded some of the dashboard actions for HR Partners so that the action relates to their specific zone(s)


Long term leave

We updated how PerformanceHub behaves when a user’s account has been disabled. Now, as well as that user not getting any notifications, their manager will also not receive any notifications or actions that relate to that user. Disabled user accounts are also removed from various HR dashboard actions.

The manager will also see a new icon in the sidebar next to the user to show that their account has been disabled.

More legible date format

We have changed the way dates are displayed on objectives from the international date format to a more “human friendly” format. We also changed it when users look at important review period dates.

One to One meetings

We have improved the wording on 121 meeting prompts and made it clear that placeholder meetings can be used to publish an agenda or working notes for future meetings.


We saw that some people were putting objectives into “In Review” when they were doing their interim reviews, even though they hadn’t finished work on them. To help avoid this, we have changed the button from “Ready for Review” to “Ready for Final Review” and improved the tool-tips (instructions you get when you hover over a button)

We have also improved the tool tips and confirmation dialog when users Propose objectives.

Appraisal balancing

We have “upgraded” a manager’s dashboard action to set a Provisional rating from “Blue” to “Amber” between the End of Period date and the End of Period date. This should encourage ratings to come in sooner and help speed up any balancing, calibration or levelling processes you have as manager will now be reminded to add the ratings each week until they are done.

Formatting of rating descriptions on appraisal fields

You can now add bullet points in rating descriptions like you can in other field descriptions.

“Quirks Mode”

We have found that a small minority of users have their Internet Explorer set to “Quirks Mode” (it emulates the browser running as IE7 or earlier so PerformanceHub won’t work properly). We now catch that and tell the user what they can do about it.

Improved shared PC support

Where users are sharing PCs, in some circumstances, when the 1st user leaves themselves logged in to PerformanceHub and a 2nd user clicks on a link in their email notification, they are taken to the 1st user’s account rather than their own. We now catch this, automatically log the 1st user out and ask the 2nd user to log in as themselves.


As ever, feedback is a powerful motivator, so let’s have yours.