viaPeople Insight - Performance Management & Succession Planning Blog

3 Tips for Implementing Crowd-Sourced Feedback in Performance Review

Feb 15, 2017 8:12:00 AM / by Karen N. Caruso, Ph.D. posted in 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Evaluation, Upward Feedback, Peer Appraisal

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What is Crowd-Sourced Feedback?

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Top 10 Missteps Managers Make in Performance Review Meetings

Jan 21, 2015 10:42:41 AM / by Amanda Seidler posted in Performance Evaluation

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Yes, we are in the heart of performance review time. Let’s take this time to remind ourselves and the managers within our company of these 10 common performance review pitfalls.

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Product Feature Spotlight - Performance Rating Calibration

Apr 28, 2014 4:38:00 PM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Evaluation, Performance Calibration, Product Feature Spotlight

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viaPeople's Rating Calibration Feature Instantly Compares Performance Across Teams

HR software should not only make things easier but also help you to improve your processes. viaPeople's team of Industrial Organizational Psychologists have designed the Performance Rating Calibration feature to ensure consistency and fairness in the evaluation of critical performance factors. Here is how it works:

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Build a Better Performance Review - Integrate Multi-Rater Feedback

Mar 28, 2014 9:01:00 AM / by Amanda Seidler posted in 360 Degree Feedback, Performance Evaluation

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Build a Better Performance Review

Integrating feedback from multiple raters (i.e., peers, direct reports, customers) in the performance appraisal process is becoming an increasingly popular practice. Direct reports (e.g., upward feedback) and peers provide provide valuable and unique viewpoints and perspectives on performance that may not otherwise be observed by managers. Feedback from multiple raters offers managers the opportunity to build a complete picture of performance.

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How to Implement Upward Feedback in the Performance Appraisal Process

Mar 10, 2014 9:28:00 AM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in Performance Evaluation, Upward Feedback

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Integrating upward feedback into the performance appraisal process can transform the traditional review process. In a recent article, Improve Performance Appraisals with Upward Feedback, I recently wrote about the powerful benefits that can be achieved, including:

  • Increased accuracy of leadership performance ratings,
  • Improved leadership performance through targeted feedback and development plans,
  • Early identification of great/problematic leaders through objective insight, and
  • The development of a feedback-rich organizational culture.

Despite the effectiveness of upward feedback, many organizational leaders still express concerns about including feedback from direct reports in the process of evaluating leadership performance. The 3 greatest concerns that I have heard expressed by upward feedback critics are:

  1. Employee Fear of Identification – Employees will be nervous about providing candid feedback about their managers for fear that their manager will be able to identify what they said. As a result, the feedback offered by direct reports will be less than truthful and positively skewed.
  2. Lack of Skills - Most employees do not have the requisite skills to accurately rate performance and provide objective and constructive commentary. As a result, the feedback gathered from direct reports as a part of upward feedback is not accurate or helpful.
  3. Gaming the System -Managers will naturally feel anxious about receiving feedback from their direct reports on their performance and will therefore take steps to influence their ratings. They may take action to make a recent positive impression on direct reports or even offer something in exchange for ratings.

5 Tips for Effectively Implementing Upward Feedback

If implemented properly, organizations can avoid the 3 concerns described above and take full advantage of upward feedback.

  1. Build Support for the Upward Feedback Process. Provide orientation and communication to help people managers understand the benefits of upward feedback. We cannot expect people managers to be open to the process if they do not connect with the ways in which it will help them to be better leaders. When managers are open and convey a positive outlook about the process, employees will feel more comfortable in offering their feedback.
  2. Target Feedback - Employees are best able to evaluate very specific aspects of their manager's performance. As such, ask employees to offer feedback on performance criteria or competencies that they have the opportunity to observe, for example providing direction, communication, coaching, and managing performance. Read more about the specific leadership behaviors that influence employees in Leadership Competencies Impact Employee Performance - Making the Connection.
  3. Ensure Anonymity - In order to optimize the accuracy of upward feedback, employee anonymity must be protected. As in any change process, steps should be taken to communicate and reinforce anonymity in every phase of the process. Online performance management systems can make it easy for organizations to limit access rights and ensure the anonymity of data.
  4. Offer Feedback Tools - Prepare employees to offer feedback that is professional, helpful and constructive during the upward feedback process by giving them the resources they need. Consider offering training webinars and just-in-time job aids to assist employees making ratings and crafting comments. This orientation should include tips for making accurate ratings, avoiding rater biases, and guidance on how to write objective comments.
  5. Make Sure Managers Use Their Feedback - While gaining the support of people managers for implementing upward feedback is a critical first step, organizations must also equip them to understand and take action on the feedback received. If leaders do not take it to heart and work to address potential performance issues, employees will be less likely to offer helpful feedback in the future. Organizations can approach the upward feedback process in the same way they would a 360 degree feedback process.  The steps outlined in 7 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your 360 Degree Feedback is a good place to start.

viaPeople's Performance Management software can make it easy for you to implement upward feedback in your company. Click below to see it in action!

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Benefits of the 90 Day Performance Review

Mar 5, 2014 7:04:00 AM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in Performance Management, Performance Evaluation


The 90 day performance review is conducted by many organizations after an employee (new hire or transferred employee) starts a new position. Some organizations require a 90 day performance review as it marks the end of a formal ‘probationary period’ for new hires but many organizations have adopted the process as a part of sound talent management practice. While it may seem like an additional administrative formality, the 90 day review should be included as an essential step in the onboarding process as it offers employees, managers and the organization several important benefits. 

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Improve Performance Appraisals With Upward Feedback

Feb 25, 2014 7:42:00 AM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in Performance Management, Performance Evaluation, Upward Feedback


Traditional performance appraisals that simply rely on manager ratings tend to focus on outcomes or individual achievements. This type of performance appraisal offers limited perspective on the wide range of performance factors that are important for leaders. The integration of upward feedback into the performance appraisal process not only helps to build a complete picture of individual leadership performance, but also offers 4 other key benefits.

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4 Benefits of Using Peer Appraisal in Employee Performance Reviews

Jan 7, 2014 6:35:00 AM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in Performance Management, Performance Evaluation, Peer Appraisal


Peer Review Enhances Traditional Performance Appraisal

One of the many strategies that organizations are using to enhance the traditional performance appraisal process is to incorporate feedback from multiple sources. Traditional performance appraisals that simply rely on manager ratings tend to focus on outcomes or individual achievements. As a result, the collaborative work that individuals do on a daily basis made be overlooked.

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5 Ways to Take the 'Creep' Out of Employee Performance Ratings

Dec 16, 2013 4:42:00 PM / by Karen Caruso, Ph.D. posted in Performance Management, Performance Evaluation, Performance Calibration


One of the countless complaints about performance reviews is that performance ratings are inaccurate. Whether an organization is using a traditional 5 point rating scale to evaluate performance criteria or a non-numeric determination of overall performance, the general trend is for the distribution of ratings to be positively skewed versus represent a normal bell curve.

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Performance Reviews for High Performers – 5 Tips for Managers

Dec 2, 2013 2:01:00 PM / by Amanda Seidler posted in Performance Evaluation


Time to Step Up Your Leadership Game

Managers sometimes assume that top performers do not need as much feedback, coaching and attention as average performers. We find that managers are often on autopilot in how they manage their best performers and then are shocked to find out that their most valuable talent was dissatisfied when they leave. Performance management is even more critical for high performers because they typically contribute more than their peers, and are looking for recognition of their significant contributions and feedback on how they can advance their careers.

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