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Building templates in Performance Management
Building templates in Performance Management

Learn about building templates and the questions used to populate them

Matthew Calleja avatar
Written by Matthew Calleja
Updated over a week ago

Not familiar with the concept of templates, or terms like Template Builder? Read all about that and more in:

Why build templates?

The point of the Templates feature of Performance Management is giving you the ability to create reusable, multi-purpose templates to be used for performance appraisals. You will be populating these templates with a number of questions.

Questions in Performance Management

Questions have characteristics which are either pre-determined when picking them from the Question Bank or up to you when creating a question from scratch.

The question characteristics are:

  • Target reviewee: Whether the question text is typed in the Employee Question field, Manager Question field, or both, determines the target reviewee. One question can have two different versions, one for the employee and one for the manager.

    • Note: a single template may include questions for both employees and managers.

    • If a reviewer starts an Ad Hoc review and uses such a template, the review will be sent to all selected employees, but each employee will only see the questions relevant to their role, according to the company’s Organisation Chart.

  • Enabled: a question may be disabled to be kept out of the performance review without removing it from the template.

  • Required: make answering a question mandatory. Until all required questions are answered, a performance review can't be completed.

  • Confidential: hide answers to this question from other employees. For example, an employee's answer to a question concerning their manager should be confidential and accessible only to the HR Admin.

  • Question Category: this is based entirely on the content of the question. By default, questions fall under one of five categories, each coloured differently:

    • Performance (light red)

    • Engagement (dull orange)

    • Happiness (bright orange)

    • Value (rose pink)

    • Goals (gold)

  • Answer Type: the type of answer required according to the style of the question, which can be one of four:

    • Short Answer

    • Long Answer

    • Multiple Choice

    • Rating

  • Question Tags: adding precise and appropriate tags to questions will help you track them when creating or editing templates and is a fundamental step for effective Analytics in Performance Management.

More on Question Tags in Analytics

When you start using Analytics, tags are going to act as measurement values in graphs, helping you analyse key aspects of employee performance, such as talent, potential, and engagement.

When you add a new tag to a question, it will automatically be added to the list of available measurement values when generating such graphs.

For this reason, establishing a consistent standard of question tags for managers in your companies is essential. This ensures precise talent management analytics across all departments and time periods.

More importantly, this practice prevents questions on the same subject from being split into redundant categories, ensuring they are not excluded from graph calculations. For instance, if a new question on leadership is tagged with a unique label like "team leader" instead of the company's standard "leadership," it may be omitted from analytics when "leadership" is chosen as a graph axis value.

All of the question characteristics affect in some way the appearance of the question in the Template Builder:

  • the target reviewee at the top (blank if the question is disabled);

  • required status (toggleable, forced off if disabled);

  • confidential status (toggleable, forced off if disabled);

  • category colour on the left;

  • answer type.

At the top, you can also switch between views of the Template Builder to filter questions by target reviewee:

Building up your template

Questions are added to the Template Builder from the left half of the screen using any of the three available methods.

You can use all three methods to add questions to your template. Mixing these methods can help you maximize your use of the Templates feature and create more effective reviews, specific to your needs.

In the Create screen, you can switch between each method from the top of the left half of the screen:

By default, the Create screen will open up on the method you picked in the New Template screen.

Method 1 - Pick from Question Bank

The Question Bank, curated by Shireburn with guidance from HR experts, contains frequently used questions that bear time-proven value for performance reviews. Shireburn regularly updates the bank with new questions to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness.

When this method is selected, the left half of the screen will display all of the questions in the Question Bank.

To add a question from the bank to the template, click the desired question. This will grey out the question in the list, and add it to the Template Builder.

At the top of the Question Bank section are a number of filter options to help you find the desired question(s):

  • Question category (e.g. Performance, Engagement)

  • Target reviewee (Employee / Manager)

A search bar is also available where you can find questions via tags or keywords.

When a question displays a blue disguise icon, it is confidential. A red asterisk means that the question is required.

Mousing over a question in the bank reveals its category and answer style. Question categories are also noticeable from the coloured bar on the left side of the question.

Method 2 - Start from Existing Template

This method—coming to the product soon—lets you use an existing template as a starting base for your new template. This is beneficial if you wish to carry over customised or original questions not stored in the Question Bank.

Method 3 - Write Your Own Questions

When the Create a Question method is selected, you may begin by selecting one of four answer types:

  • Short Answer

  • Long Answer

  • Multiple Choice

  • Rating

Clicking on any option will open the same Create a Question drawer menu, where you will be required to configure the question's characteristics as described above.

Note that you can change between answer types from within the drawer itself, without having to return to the Create screen. This option is available under the Answer Setup submenu:

When finished, click Add Question & Close to save and close the drawer, or Add Question & New to save and start creating another question.

Additional Setup: Multiple Choice questions

For Multiple Choice questions, you will need to configure the possible answers the reviewee can choose.

  1. Type an answer in the space provided.

  2. Click the blue + button to add a field for another option.

  3. Repeat these two steps until you have all desired options.

    • Click the red - button to delete an option.

    • Click Clear to delete all options.

Toggle Multiselect if you wish to allow reviewees to answer with more than one option. You can also sort all options in either Ascending or Descending order.

When putting in your options, you can also choose to begin from one of three presets.

Additional Setup: Rating questions

Rating questions do not require a lot of additional configuration. Decide the maximum number of stars the reviewee is allowed to select by interacting with the - and + buttons.

When answering, the reviewee can input half-star answers (e.g. 4.5 stars out of 5).

Editing and removing questions from the Template Builder

All questions added to the template can be edited from the Template Builder by clicking Edit question (blue 🖉 icon). The resulting drawer works the same as when you're creating a new question.

Editing a question in the Template Builder that was originally from the Question Bank will only change the question in your current template. It will not change the question stored within the Question Bank.

Click Remove question (red ❌ icon) to erase a question from the template.

Saving your template

When finished, click Save & Close to save the template and return to the Templates screen, or Save & New to save the template but remain on the Create screen and start creating a new template. Don't forget to name your template at the top of the builder!

You can find your new template in the Templates screen, where you can click it or another template to edit it. Adding, editing and deleting questions while editing a template follows the same processes described above.

To add, edit and remove questions while editing a template, follow the same processes described above.

When saving your progress after editing a template, the buttons will instead be labelled as 'Update & Close' and 'Update'. Clicking Update will commit your changes without closing the template.

Understand better the main screens of Performance Management:

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