Data-Driven Performance Reviews with Bonusly

Vanessa Kahn
March 11, 2024
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Performance reviews are often a dreaded task for both employees and managers. Not only are performance reviews a monumental pain, but studies show that they’re costing most companies far too much time and money: 

  • Employees spend an average of 40 hours per year on performance-related activities. 
  • Managers dedicate a staggering 210 hours annually to prepping for reviews alone! This translates to wasted time, frustration, and a hefty cost for businesses. 
  • Companies spend an estimated $3,000 per employee on reviews each year.

There must be a better way! Bonusly can help you streamline the performance review process, saving time and fostering a more evidence-based and data-driven approach. In fact, according to recent Bonusly research over ⅔ of customers were able to save time on performance reviews using Bonusly. 

Here’s how to use Bonusly to power year-round performance and performance reviews all while saving valuable time and money.

--> Also check out: Cost of Performance Management Calculator

Step-by-Step Guide to using Bonusly for Performance Reviews

Gather Recognition Data Throughout the Year

Let’s Talk About Bookmarking

With Bonusly’s Bookmarking feature, you can save noteworthy achievements with a click of a button on the Bonusly feed. You can organize bookmarks with customizable labels and add personal notes for future reference, all without leaving the Bonusly feed.  

💡 Pro tip:  Review the bonus feed weekly to look for and bookmark team member’s significant achievements and contributions. Then, create labels for each of your direct reports so you can effortlessly compile their "greatest hits" come review time.

Track Team Activity

Monitor the Team Activity Page to stay updated on team member contributions throughout the year. You can even pull insights into weekly team meetings to motivate the team and encourage regular use of Bonusly. This builds a robust data pool for reviews. To get to the Team Activity Page head to Analytics —> Team Activity. Note, you’ll only have access to this dashboard if you’re designated as a people manager in Bonusly. 

One Month Before Reviews:

Export Individual Data and Identify Themes

Performance review season is upon you, luckily Bonusly is here to help make the process easy and dare we say, fun! Let’s start by going to the Team Activity Page. Once you’ve landed on the page, you can filter data by time span to match your review period, then use the export function to download reports for each team member. 

After downloading, save the exports to your preferred file management system and then start the analysis! Look for recurring themes, key projects, and contributions within the data. Summarize performance based on your analysis for the specific review period. 

💡 Pro tip: Make sure these docs are saved in a private folder so that no one can stumble upon performance information unintentionally. 

Two Weeks Before Reviews:

Review Individual Profiles

Visit each team member's Bonusly profile and incorporate relevant achievements from their activity feed. You can also identify the top company values they are recognized for. Finish by clicking on the top hashtag to see specific examples of how they embody that value.

💡 Pro tip: Try starting your review conversations by highlighting your direct reports’ top exemplified value. This sets a positive tone and shows them how their behaviors align with company goals.

Go Back to Your Bookmarks 

Remember how we talked about saving relevant bookmarks throughout the year? Well, all of that foresight is about to come in handy. At this point in the review preparation process, you can revisit your saved bookmarks and incorporate any noteworthy recognitions for the individual you’re reviewing.

💡 Pro tip: If you’re asking for direct reports to submit their self reviews by a certain date, you can incentivize timely self-review submissions with Bonusly awards.

One Week Before Reviews:

Consolidate Data and Prepare Your Documents

Using all of the information you’ve collected throughout the process, compile a data-driven and value-based review document for each direct report. Then, deliver the review document along with a meeting invitation for discussion.

Let’s Recap

Now that review season is over, let’s go over the main benefits of using Bonusly to help enable performance at your organization: 

  • Reduce recency bias: Easily access past project and performance data, promoting fair and accurate reviews.
  • Use a data-driven approach: Gather objective evidence to support performance evaluations.
  • Time efficiency: Save precious time compiling reviews by easily exporting and analyzing relevant data.

Incorporating Bonusly into the performance review process is a win-win for employees and managers alike. With Bonusly’s rich people-data, organizations can create a more efficient, data-rich, and positive performance review experience. 

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