Impact review cycles

If you have any questions about the Impact Review process, or need help in general, please Slack #ask-people-team

Impact Reviews Explained

We create a high-performance culture at Sourcegraph by providing continuous, actionable, and direct feedback, both informally and formally. While we expect our Managers to provide ongoing feedback with Teammates year-round in 1:1 meetings and informally, we also provide formal feedback via our annual “impact review” process, which takes place in February.

The purpose of this handbook page is to outline our formal annual feedback review process, known as “impact reviews.” We refer to our annual review process as “impact reviews” because they reveal the impact that you are making here at Sourcegraph.

To read more about how we provide continuous feedback and our performance improvement plan (PIP) process, please see our Teammate Development page.

What is an impact review?

Our impact review process follows the 360-degree feedback model, which is a performance evaluation method where feedback is gathered from multiple sources, including self-review, peers, and supervisors, and direct reports (if applicable). The benefit of this model is that it provides a more well-rounded and comprehensive view of a teammate’s performance and behavior. It takes into account multiple perspectives and can provide insights into areas for improvement that the teammate may not be aware of. Additionally, it can help to increase self-awareness and provide a more accurate assessment of a teammate’s strengths and weaknesses. By including feedback from different levels and areas of the organization, the 360-degree feedback model can provide a more accurate and objective evaluation of a teammate’s performance and help foster a culture of continuous improvement and development.

Who is eligible for a review/compensation increase?

  • If you received a 1 or a 2 rating, you are eligible for a merit increase (or spot bonus if in sales) regardless of your start date.
  • If you received a 3 rating, you are eligible for a merit increase once a year. Because of this, those who started on or after Feb 1 2023 are not eligible for a merit increase in 2H impact review cycle. They will be eligible in the 1H review cycle instead.
    • Note: to be eligible to participate in a review cycle, a Teammate must have worked at least 4-months in that given review period and have received a performance rating of a “3” or higher.
  • On average, Teammates can expect to have their compensation increased for merit purposes once a year if they are meeting expectations.
  • Teammates who receive a 4 or 5 rating are not eligible for a compensation increase.
  • Teammates can also receive a compensation increase due to updates to compensation bands and recalibration of the 75th percentile. This is not inclusive of any FX changes for PEO teammates and only applicable when the respective compensation band is updated.
  • Note: If you received a 15% increase in the prior 12mo period as part of our standard merit cycle you will not be eligible for an increase UNLESS you got a promotion or had a role change. If you received an off-cycle increase or promotion AFTER the last merit cycle, you’re not eligible for a merit increase this cycle.

When do impact reviews take place?

Formal performance reviews take place once a year aligning with our promotion and compensation review cycles.

1H

  • Launches at the end of January (corresponding promotion and/or pay increase goes into effect Feb 1st).
  • This review period reviews a teammate’s performance between August 1st to January 31st.
  • Who is eligible: To be eligible for an impact review, teammates must be in their role for a full 4 months. Therefore, teammates who started on or after October 1st are not eligible for the impact review cycle or corresponding merit increase.

Impact Review Schedule - 1H review

1H Review Process Schedule (Review Period: Aug 1st to Jan 31st)

Reviewer selection/Manager approval:

  • to (5 business days)
  • Confirm selections with managers: (1 business day)

Review writing:

  • Review process starts: peer & self-review writing: to (5 business days)
    • and are no meeting days/blocked for review writing
  • Manager Review writing: to (10 business days)

Calibrations:

  • Review/Prepare for Calibrations (1 business day)
  • Live department calibrations: to (8 business days)
  • Exec team calibration/Final: (1 business day)

People-Ops admin/Review delivery:

  • People team to confirm increases/create letters/update systems/finalize calibrations async: to (7 Business days)
  • Review delivery: to (8 business days)
  • Comp/Role changes will be effective: Feb 1st (retro-dated)

Enablement Schedule

Who provides feedback?

During an Impact Review, you will be asked to give and receive the following reviews.

Reviews a Teammate gives:

  • Self-review: you will write a review of yourself, reflecting on your own contributions and how you’ve made an impact.
  • Upward review: you will write a review of your Manager, reflecting on how they’ve supported your development and what they can do to support you more effectively.

Reviews a Teammate receives:

  • Peer review: you will select and receive reviews from 2 Peers who can speak to your contributions and values alignment.
  • Manager review: your Manager will reflect on your contribution to your team, including how you’ve made an impact and embodied our values.

What we do with impact review feedback

Results from the annual impact review process support the growth and development of our Teammates in the following ways:

Impact Review process

How to select reviewers & submit your review

Once the review process begins, Teammates will receive reminders and communication through Lattice via Slack and Email.

Lattice resources:

Questions we ask in the Impact Review

Teammate self-review:

1. Past 6-months: Looking back over the past review period, how would you rate your performance against the expectations of your role, level and our values?

[Rating Scale: 1-5] Please provide specific examples in the comment field that justifies your performance rating. Where did you excel? Where do you need improvement?

2. Next 6-months: What goals are you setting for yourself over the next 6 months to be successful?
3 . Additional Feedback (Optional): Please share any additional feedback that may be helpful for your manager to review as a part of your self-review assessment.

Peer review:

Past 6-months: In the past 6-months, This teammate consistently delivers quality work in line with the expectations of their role/level/values. [Rating Scale: 1-5]

Please provide specific examples in the comment field that supports how this Teammate contributed to the success of a project, team, or initiative over the past review period. Where did they excel? Where do they need improvement?

(Response is only visible to this teammates Manager)

2. Next 6-months: How can this teammate better support you, your team, and the company over the next 6 months?

(Response is visible to this teammate)

3. Additional Feedback (Optional): Please share any additional feedback that may help this teammate grow in the next review period.

(Response is visible to Reviewee)

Direct Report-to-Manager review (skip-level feedback):

1. Past 6-months: My manager enabled me to do my best work over the past review period. [Rating Scale: 1-5]

Please provide specific examples in the comment field that support if and how your manager enabled your success over the past review period.

Where did they excel? Where do they need improvement?

(Response is only visible to your Manager’s Manager. Your direct Manager will not see your responses.)

2. Next 6-months: What support do you need from your manager to be successful in the next 6-months?

(Response is visible to your manager)

3. Additional Feedback (Optional): Please share any additional feedback that may help your manager grow in the next review period.

(Response is visible to your manager)

Manager-to-Direct Report review:

1. Past 6-months: Looking back over the past review period, how would you rate this teammate’s performance against the expectations of their role, level and our values [Rating scale: 1-5]:

In 2-3 sentences, please provide justification for selected performance rating. Additionally, Where did they excel? Where do they need improvement?

2. Next 6-months: What goals and/or areas for improvement do you want this teammate to focus on achieving over the next 6 months?
3. Promotion Readiness: I am recommending this teammate for promotion. [Yes/No] (Response is not visible to teammate and will only be used as part of calibration)
4. Additional Feedback (Optional): Please share any additional feedback that may help this teammate grow in the next review period.

The Talent Assessment Framework

In addition to asking the above questions during the Impact Review process, we also ask our Managers to submit a Talent Assessment score.

Talent Assessment Scale

image

Unless promoted, Teammates should not exceed 15% increases in a given 12-month period.

Note: Please reference the following mapping of scores from our prior talent assessment framework to your current one:

  • New Rating(no prior scores map to this) = 1 Distinguished Performance
  • [1:1, 2:1, 1:2] = 2 Superior Performance
  • [2:2] = 3 Meeting Performance Expectations
  • [3:2, 2:3, 3:3] = 4 Partially Successful Performance
  • New Rating (No prior scores map to this) = 5

Combined with the Impact Review Feedback, the Talent Assessment framework helps:

  • Support Teammates career progression
  • Calibrate promotion readiness and succession planning
  • Connect Teammates to development opportunities
  • Reduce bias in the calibration process and fosters transparency
  • Recognize top talent cross-functionally

Merit Philosophy

DISCLAIMER: The above “recommended merit increase” ranges are just recommendations, not guarantees. There may be instances where a teammate receives an increase that is less than the “recommended merit increase.” This could be due to the following scenarios:

  • The Teammate is already paid at the top end of the band
  • The Teammate received an off cycle increase prior to the impact cycle
  • The Teammate receives a spot bonus instead of a base increase
  • The Teammate got equity in lieu of a cash increase
  • Pay equity reasons

How we approach compensation decisions

We believe in performance-based pay, meaning merit increases (inclusive of cash and equity) will be driven by performance. We believe in hiring all Teammates at an equitable starting point within their respective band and we want to provide opportunities for Teammates to grow within their salary band that is in alignment with their performance.

Impact Reviews are an important component in our compensation decision-making process. Our band entry points are market competitive, and we are committed to rewarding strong performance as part of our compensation program.

More information about our commitment to Pay Transparency and our overall compensation philosophy may be found in our how we pay at Sourcegraph Handbook page.

How do we determine merit increases?

Sales increases we maintain OTE to quota ratios for all AE, SDRs, and Sales Leadership which means that all non-promotion-based merit increases will be recognized as spot bonuses. In other words, AEs, SDRs and Sales Leadership are not eligible for a base or OTE compensation increase unless the pay band for the respective role is updated across the board. This ensures pay equity for all quota-carrying teammates. Sales quota-carrying teammates cannot receive both a merit-based promotion increase and a spot bonus in the same review period. Given our Sales team territories are carved at the beginning of the year, promotions will be reflected at the start of each fiscal year instead of during the impact review cycle.

Non sales increases compensation increase recommendations will be calibrated by Leadership and their respective People Partner. The calibration will consider:

  • The Teammate’s performance as calibrated in the Impact Review cycle.
  • The appropriate pay level within the range for the Teammate, considering their performance and the performance of others in the same range.
  • Available pay increase budget.
  • Recommendations by Leadership, as approved by Finance and the Executive Team.

What is the approval process for merit increases?

Merit increases require the recommendation of the Teammate’s immediate Manager and the approval of the VP of People & Talent. Teammates will be notified of their merit increase as soon as possible after all Teammate merit increases for the year have been approved.

Teammate performance is to be formally reviewed once a year. The focus of the review is to discuss their performance for the rating period, review standards for the position, communicate the amount of any merit increase, and set goals for the next rating period.

What is the approval process for merit or promotion increases outside of a performance cycle?

In some cases, it may be necessary to support a merit increase outside of a performance review cycle. These should be rare and be seen as an “exception to the rule.” The Department Leader will need to present a business case for out-of-cycle merit-based salary adjustments, spot, and equity bonuses. All changes require VP People & Talent and CEO approval.

Promotion Philosophy

The purpose of our promotion philosophy is to support the growth & advancement of Teammates, in alignment with our values. Sourcegraph’s success is fueled by our incredible Teammates, which is why we foster a culture of continuous growth and accelerate opportunities to level up.

Promotion decisions are calibrated based on a Teammate’s achievements, execution at a higher job scope, and values alignment. The People Partner and Leadership Team are responsible for calibrating promotion nominations, in alignment with our Impact Review process and annual promotion cadence.

Our Teammates can pursue promotion opportunities in two ways:

  • Through our promotion process to move up their specific Career Framework or Leadership track.
  • By applying and interviewing for open positions that are approved in our headcount plan. This type of promotion may occur outside of a review cycle, but eligibility is determined by prior Impact Assessment.

What criteria determine promotions?

The following criteria support promotions:

  • A Teammate is already performing at the next level or job scope prior to promotion.
  • The business need exists for the role to increase in job scope, or capacity requirements show additional headcount at a higher job scope is required (IC5+ and M4+).
  • The promotion decision is occurring at a justified and fair rate.

What is the promotion process & timeline?

We promote in alignment with our Impact Review process, to ensure Teammate growth opportunities are not delayed by extended cadence parameters. There are four core stages to the promotion process: Planning/Calibration, Recommendation-Approvals, Processing & Announcement.

How is the merit/promotion budget determined?

The merit and promotion budget is held at the Department Leader-level and allocated as part of the financial planning period. Department Leadership may have to work with Finance to make a business case based on potential tradeoffs if divisions/departments are over/under budget during the calibration cycle.

Teammate enablement

Writing effective feedback & self reviews

Self reviews and peer feedback are crucial inputs to our annual 360 Impact Review Cycle. Effective feedback is specific, and actionable. Great examples of accomplishments include a brief outline of the situation, response to the situation, and overall impact of the result.

To create great examples, we recommend using the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model to write effective reviews. Visit our Handbook page on writing effective reviews

Your manager is also a great resource if you have any questions about how to write your self review or give feedback to a teammate.

Teammate FAQ

Q. Are Impact Reviews required for all Teammates?

  • Yes. It is important for all eligible Teammates to complete annual performance reviews. Impact Reviews give Teammates the chance to receive written feedback, evaluate needs for training and development, define expectations, highlight progress, and set new goals for the following review period. Impact Reviews promote productivity and effectiveness, as well as personal development. Promotion and Compensation calibrations require completed Impact Review submissions.

Q: How do I know if I’m eligible for an Impact Review

  • All Teammates who have been here 4+ months are eligible for an Impact Review.

Q: How do I know if I’m eligible for a merit increase?

  • Teammates who receive a ‘1’ or ‘2’ rating are eligible for a compensation increase. All Teammates who receive a rating of “3” AND haven’t received a separate compensation increase in the past 9-months are eligible for a compensation increase.

Q. How are Teammate ratings on Impact Reviews used?

  • Ratings on Impact Reviews are indicators of overall performance and are used as part of the calibration process to determine eligibility for Merit and Promotions. Merit increases will be awarded and differentiated amongst Teammates based on individual performance.

Q. How do I choose my peer reviewers?

Q. Can reviews be submitted outside of the predetermined Impact Review schedule?

  • No. All reviews must be submitted in alignment with the Impact Review schedule. This ensures accountability for all Teammates to submit reviews during the same period. We intentionally provided a significant runway for Peer Selection, Review Writing, and Calibration, so Teammates can prioritize each stage in alignment with their current workload. Managers are responsible for ensuring their teams are not missing submission deadlines. If an extension is needed for any reason, please contact the ask-people-team channel. All Teammates will receive a Calendar Invite in alignment with the review schedule.

Q. What changed from the prior Impact Review process?

  • We made several changes:
    • Cadence: We moved from a rolling cadence, to an annual synchronous review period to reduce the operational burden and improve transparency regarding promotion and merit decisions.
    • Defined our Talent Assessment framework: Our new Skills and Values-based assessment framework is designed to enable transparent conversations between Managers and Teammates, ensuring a consistent, fair calibration process!
    • Embedded Career Frameworks: We updated/are updating ALL Career frameworks for each department. These will be directly in the Lattice via the Grow Feature as well as in the Handbook.
    • Improved Questions: We reduced the number of required questions - giving Teammates the flexibility to take control of how they communicate feedback, while optional questions guide Teammates to best reflect on the attributes that help them progress in their career.

Q. What if a Teammate is on leave during the review period?

  • If over the 6-month review period, there are fewer than 4-months of on-the-job performance to assess, the Teammate will retain the rating from the immediately previous cycle. Please reach out to your People Partner for questions related to Teammates on leave.
    • Given recent changes in our Talent Assessment Framework the ratings will transfer as follows:
      • [1:1, 2:1, 1:2] = 2 Superior Performance
      • [2:2] = 3 Meeting Performance Expectations
      • [3:2, 2:3, 3:3] = 4 Partially Successful Performance

Q. What if a Teammate recently transferred in from another team or the Manager is new?

  • Depending on the timing of the transfer or the reporting Manager alignment, it may be appropriate for the prior Manager to conduct the Impact Review. If the Manager recently joined the organization, it is likely that both the new Manager and department head/interim Manager will complete the Impact Review. Please consult your People Partner to confirm the best course of action.

Q. I had multiple managers during this review period, what is the best way to ensure my impact and work is properly reviewed?

  • We do our best to limit manager changes, but sometimes a teammate has multiple managers in a quarter. While your current manager will be the one to write the review, they will leverage multiple sources to ensure all your work is captured in your impact review score.
      1. We expect them to talk to your past manager to gain feedback. You can also add past managers as a reviewer.
      1. Monthly check-ins captures all feedback from the entire quarter.

Q. Do we have a way to capture accomplishments throughout the quarter?

  • Teammates have tools in Lattice to keep records of their accomplishments.
    • Thanks/praise feedback: when your manager or teammate give you thanks through the lattice tool it’s stored there for you and your manager(s) to review throughout your time at Sourcegraph
    • Request feedback:You can request feedback from any teammates and their response will be stored in Lattice for just you, or you and your manager(s), to review.
    • Note to self: This is a great feature where you can keep notes of your accomplishments each week, month, or quarter to have handy for reviews.

Q. I have a concern about the performance of a Teammate. What should I do?

  • Please discuss the circumstances with your Manager and/or People Partner. There should be no surprises in the Impact Review cycle as performance management is a continuous process.

Q. Is Impact Review training available for Managers and Teammates?

  • We are currently building out enablement content for both Managers and Teammates to support the full life cycle of our Impact Review process. This will be available once the review writing cycle begins. The People Team will also set up Office Hours prior to and during the review cycle!

Q. How should Teammates prepare to participate in an Impact Review?

  • Some basic tips for preparation include:

    • Keep notes on accomplishments, feedback, training, and challenges throughout the review period
    • Review your team career frameworks and solicit feedback from cross-functional partners
    • Prepare discussion points for the Impact Review conversation
  • We recommend using the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model to write effective reviews. Visit our Handbook page on writing effective reveiws

Q. Will my Impact Review be negatively impacted if I do not answer the optional questions?

  • No. Impact Review responses are evaluated based on quality, not quantity. We intentionally included optional questions to help guide Teammates to key discussion points as part of thoughtful self evaluation. If you choose to only submit the required answers, we recommend that you take a thoughtful approach to the examples you share.

Q. Who should Teammates reach out to with questions about the performance review process?

FAQ - Moving to Annual Impact Review and Merit Cadence

1. Why are we moving to annual impact reviews?

Answer: We are moving to annual impact reviews based on teammate feedback that the review process caused added stress and anxiety and diverted focus from impactful work. In response, we introduced mandatory monthly check-ins for managers and optional check-ins for teammates to support continuous performance feedback and moved the formal, merit review cycle to one-time per year.

2. What are the benefits of an annual review cycle vs semi-annual?

Answer:

  • Longer-term focus: this will support a cohesive performance assessment and goal-setting period so that we can align recognition on yearly targets/execution.
  • Time efficiency: monthly check-ins and regular 1:1s will reduce work associated with review writing, calibration sessions, and formal review delivery. We want to give this time back to teammates to focus on execution and strategic initiatives.
  • Reduced pressure/anxiety: removing the direct tie between formal reviews and merit/stability will help alleviate the stress of a numerical score. We added monthly check-ins to facilitate growth conversations in between review cycles.

3. Does this mean I have fewer opportunities to get a pay increase or promotion?

Answer: Historically, all teammates who have met performance expectations at minimum received a pay increase annually. This will not change and teammates who are exceeding or meeting performance expectations will not go more than 1.5 years without an increase. The only thing that is changing is that teammates who would historically have received an increase or spot bonus due to receiving Superior or Distinguished Performance Ratings will be rewarded annually instead of semi-annually, however, the percentage increase will be adjusted accordingly with our talent assessment scale (new % increases will be announced prior to the next annual cycle in , given that this will be the first review period with a full full-year cadence).

We will continue to evaluate promotions in conjunction with our promotion philosophy and reward teammates for exemplary performance via spot bonuses and impact awards outside our annual merit cycle.

4. Are we still using the same scoring system for annual reviews?

Answer: Yes we are using the same scoring system which can be found here.

5. What will be the impact on new teammates not qualified for the current cycle? Will their first impact review be at the next annual cycle?

Answer: Teammates not eligible for the current impact review cycle will not be eligible for their first review until the next annual cycle. We are committed to ensuring that individuals in good standing do not go 1.5 years without a compensation increase which we ensure through our eligibility criteria.

Monthly check-ins will serve as the primary avenue for feedback between impact review cycles, ensuring consistent communication and recognition of contributions. Off-cycle promotions will be formally reviewed semi-annually and off-cycle reviews will be considered if aligned with a business need.

RESOURCES FOR MANAGERS

Leaders: Responsible for providing review feedback and calibrating Teammate performance within the timeline of the review cycle. Accountable for ensuring their team is on track to meet selection and feedback deadlines.

The Calibration process explained

Following the completion of self, peer and upward reviews, the below steps take place:

  • Step 1: The People Team will schedule calibrations sessions with leaders to review feedback and align on performance, promotion and merit recommendations. These will take place during the last two-weeks of the impact review process.

  • Step 2: The Manager has conversation with Teammate to deliver the results / feedback.

visual of steps

  • Step 3: Promotion or compensation increases go into effect. Promotion announcements are made via #teammate-announce channel.

What to expect in a calibration session

We hold a high and consistent bar for Impact Review calibrations to ensure they are fair across Managers, departments, and job levels. The process is meant to limit bias in the performance review process and ensure Managers agree on the criteria against which their direct reports are assessed on. Our People Team has a macro view of these sessions across the organization, so they will be able to provide valuable context and guidance to leaders to ensure an equitable review process.

What to expect:

The People Partners will facilitate calibration sessions. Learn more about how to prepare for calibration meetings

Delivering the review to Teammates

Each People Partner will coach Managers on how to deliver Teammate reviews.

Nothing should be a surprise: Performance and development topics (and more) should regularly be addressed in weekly 1:1s or other casual check-ins, meaning none of the topics discussed during a Teammate’s review should be a surprise. Teammates should have a good idea of what to expect and know Impact Reviews and calibration conversations improve the fairness of performance scores, so they can approach these conversations calmly and with an open mind.

Teammate development & coaching

At Sourcegraph, we empower high performers. Learn more about Teammate Development at Sourcegraph.

RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE TEAM

People Partners: Responsible for assuring Teammates and Managers have the required resources to guide successful review cycles and complete review milestones in a timely manner. Your People Partner will lead calibration sessions with leadership and provide coaching and guidance as needed to all Teammates.