Many early-stage companies do anniversary-based performance reviews or no reviews at all.
When advising Series A-C companies, a top priority of ours is often creating a robust performance feedback culture.
When you’re a small company, leaders generally know what everyone is working on. As your team grows and you add middle management, this is no longer the case. As you approach ~30 employees, it’s time to start considering a more formal performance feedback process that can scale as your company scales.
When I began working with Sana Benefits, they had an anniversary-based annual review cycle, but no consistent framework for conducting feedback conversations, and managers weren’t equipped to have meaningful feedback and coaching conversations.
Together we worked to roll out a year-round program that allowed for better ongoing communication between employees, managers, leadership, and the people team.
Here’s what we did:
✅ Define Sana’s performance management philosophy and goals
✅ Align on an annual performance and compensation review calendar with leadership
✅ Develop self, peer, and manager questions to gather consistent and actionable feedback
✅ Evaluate and implement a performance tool (Sana uses ChartHop)
✅ Employee and manager training to prepare for meaningful feedback conversations and effective 1:1s (Sana partnered with Hone for training)
✅ Develop employee and manager communications and documentation
✅ Reduced and streamlined the workload for all stakeholders involved in the process
Now Sana team members and their managers use regular performance reviews and continuous feedback conversations to re-state, review and realign expectations.
It’s been a pleasure to support Sana’s People team, including Andrew Fitch, Natalia Portillo, and Mikaela Bourret, with these enhancements to their talent review program.
Want to have a step-by-step guide to building a performance feedback culture in your organization? Check out my Remote Performance Management Guide👇
Note: Sana uses ChartHop for goal setting, compensation planning, and engagement surveys too so they get a lot of value out of their people operations platform.
Interested in building a similar performance culture at your organization? Contact me!
Here are three ways I can help, whenever you’re ready: