360 Impact review cycles

At Sourcegraph, we aim for ongoing, real-time career conversations so you feel empowered to own your growth and development. Our bi-annual 360 Impact reviews, done through Lattice, are only one part of this cycle and should act as a summary of the various feedback conversations you’ve had in-between.

Why call them Impact reviews?

High agency, high quality, and continuous growth are three of our Sourcegraph values that speak to the intent of our Impact reviews. By using your high agency, each teammate should take the initiative to move the needle for their teams and produce high-quality work which will contribute to Sourcegraph’s mission and success - all resulting in continuous growth for each individual.

Continuous growth begins on your first day here at Sourcegraph. To equip you with the tools to champion your own growth, we’ve set up Onboarding Feedback Milestones to track your progress in onboarding during your first, second, and third month. We’d like you to start practicing the concept of continuous feedback in these first three monthly checkpoints so you can shift into the mindset of continuous growth before you begin your first review cycle.

Ultimately, these cycles are referred to as “Impact reviews” because they reveal the impact that you are making on a company-wide level, at a team level, and most importantly, at a personal level.

What’s new with our Impact review cycles?

360 Impact review cycle cadence:

Instead of running everyone’s impact reviews synchronously twice a year, your Impact reviews will be launched automatically on your 6-month anniversary, and your one-year anniversary, setting you up for two review cycles per year, in accordance with your start date.

In these review cycles, you will be asked to give and receive the following reviews:

  • Self-review: reflect on your own contribution to your team and how you’ve made an impact.
  • Peer review: select 2-3 stakeholders who you’ve collaborated with on projects to give feedback on the impact you’ve made and how you’ve lived our values while collaborating.
  • Upwards review: review your manager, how they’ve supported your development, and what they can do to support you more effectively.
  • Your manager reviewing you: your manager will reflect on your contribution to your team and how you’ve made an impact and lived our values.

Timing:

Each review cycle will last two weeks from start to finish for each individual going through their 360. This means that reviews will be happening in real time, at different points for all of us during each calendar year. As our company standard, our review cycles run on UTC. The review cycle completes at midnight UTC on the day that your review is slated to end. For instance, if your review is set to end on April 2nd, the review cycle will close for submission at midnight on April 2nd, so you have that full day to complete your reviews.

We expect that all teammates will carve out time to put thought into writing out their reviews, and writing the reviews of their peers. We encourage all reviewers to designate around 30 minutes per review on their calendars as a calendar block called: “Writing peer reviews - do not book.” We encourage all teammates during this time to respect those review calendar blocks.

Feedback is important, and we should be intentional about setting aside time to give it and give it well. In doing so, we can work together to elevate each other’s successes, share blind spots, and take the time to articulate feedback thoughtfully.

As the last step in this cycle, managers will write their own review for their direct report, have time to review their direct report’s feedback, and will release the feedback packets through Lattice once reviewed.

Instances where timing may not align with your planned leave:

With any type of review cycle, we know that no cycle is perfect. You may find that the timing intersects with formal upcoming leave that you may have planned. If you have any of these types of leave that you know will intersect with your 2-week Impact review cycle, please email people-ops@sourcegraph.com for an exception:

  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Parental bonding leave
  • Bereavement leave
  • A medical leave of absence

A note on the “10%” questions:

You may have noticed the question “Tell me what I can do 10% more of or better” in some of the reviews. The 10% metric centers around the idea that small, incremental changes are less daunting and seem more attainable, but actually often result in a larger impact. People resist change for a variety of reasons.

Stepping back from the bigger picture of your work and seeing where you can make slight changes can help empower you and will create gradual change at a pace that feels manageable.

Continuous feedback:

We’re shifting how we think about feedback as a company and moving into the mindset of giving continuous feedback. What does this mean? We value feedback being shared in real-time, whether right after a meeting or in the moment. Feedback is a gift, and flexing it requires building up your feedback muscles.

There are three different types of feedback: giving, receiving, and seeking feedback. In-between flexing your feedback muscle by giving it and learning how to pause when you receive it, you should also practice actively seeking out feedback from your peers. This can be as simple as sending a Slack message to ask how your presentation in a meeting went, or as thorough as setting aside time with an agenda of the situation to cover where you’d like feedback.

To start this company-wide shift, we’d like all managers and their direct reports to include an element of feedback in their weekly or bi-weekly 1:1’s. These should be a safe space to give, receive and seek both positive and constructive feedback! As a best practice, we recommend keeping your 1:1’s with your managers/direct reports on a consistent cadence. The more you practice feedback and lead with radical candor, the easier it becomes to create an open, authentic, and transparent work environment.

To help get you started, we will be hosting an interactive Sourcegraph Fundamentals class called Feedback 101 in October 2021 to help you unpack, understand, and practice giving, receiving, and seeking feedback. Stay tuned for a sign-up link here and for the post-class recording to be posted on this page as well.

Impact review stages

After you’ve moved through each of your three Onboarding Feedback Milestones and you arrive at month six of your Sourcegraph journey, you will use your Sourcegraph login for Lattice to conduct your 360 Impact review cycles! You will receive an email when your review cycle is set to begin prompting you to nominate your peer reviewers.

Timeline of stages:

-Peer selection: 5 business days -Self, peer, and upwards reviews: 7 business days -Manager reviews: 5 business days, then manager will release feedback packet to you -Meet with manager to discuss feedback packet: after your cycle concludes

The 360 Impact review process covers a few key types of feedback as mentioned above:

  • Self-review: you will review yourself
  • Peer review: 2-3 stakeholders will review you
  • Upwards review: you will review your manager
  • Manager review: your manager will review you

Best practice tip: We recognize that to make an impact, you must first develop goals that drive specific outcomes. Engaging in quarterly goal setting in tandem with your Impact reviews will give each teammate direction, certainty, and velocity in prioritizing their goals. If you’d like to create quarterly goals to align with your manager on, use our series of templates in our Goal setting folder.

These cycles will run concurrently with your Onboarding Feedback Milestones on the following cadence:

Selecting a peer reviewer

Teammates: All teammates will select 2-3 reviewers for their peer review cycle. We encourage you to choose different reviewers for each cycle to get a well-balanced representation of your peers. If you’d like to increase your number of reviewers, reach out to #impact-reviews on Slack with your reviewer name and who you’d like to add to your roster.

When you choose these 2-3 reviewers, you should consider:

  • Which peers can speak directly to my growth opportunities? Have I had a difficult conversation with someone and would like to include them as a reviewer to obtain constructive feedback?
  • Who have I collaborated with recently who has had a direct line of vision into my work? Have we worked together recently on a project? You are encouraged to choose reviewers who have insight into your recent work, rather than people you simply talk to often at Sourcegraph.
  • Include one reviewer whose review you’re scared to read! This is a best practice and will broaden your perspective and build self-awareness.
  • All peer reviewers should have been at Sourcegraph for at least two months before you ask them to review you.

Pro tip: For more information on how to select peer reviewers, see How to choose your peer reviewers! If you are chosen to be a peer reviewer but are not necessarily sure you have the bandwidth to contribute to their review, see Opting out of being a peer reviewer.

Managers will have the ability to edit the reviewers after teammates submit their initial choices, with the total number of reviewers being capped at 3 teammates. If you would like to add more reviewers than our current cap of 3, please reach out to the #impact-reviews Slack channel and our Lattice Admins can override this limit.

As a best practice, all teammates are encouraged to share their reviewer’s names with their managers beforehand to align on their choices and rationale for choosing them.

Managers: People managers will only need to select 1-2 peer reviewers for this upcoming cycle. The bulk of your time should be spent giving feedback to your direct report(s) and actively thinking through ways to help them grow.

Each review should take an average of 30-45 minutes to complete, and all teammates are encouraged to carve out time when they are tagged to review their peers to give thoughtful feedback. All reviewers and reviewers must complete each cycle in two weeks. Please plan and prioritize a working block on your calendar to write them in the time frame given to you.

As a note: For any managers who have inherited a new direct report and are not listed as their current manager, please reach out to Cassie Melani on Slack or reach out on our #impact-reviews Slack channel.

Submitting feedback as a manager

Managers: You will be able to review all peer feedback given to each of your direct reports during the review cycle before writing your manager review and summary remarks. Once all of your reviews are submitted, you will be prompted to share the completed review packets with your direct report and we encourage you to set up a time to discuss the packet during your next 1:1. When you share your packet with your direct report they will be able to see all peer feedback names associated with their feedback, as well as your own manager feedback. Direct reports are unable to see any reviews their own managers might get. The idea is, you can see feedback downwards, but not upwards, to protect psychological safety.

Teammates: After the two-week review cycle period ends, the review cycle will automatically close. Upon completion, you will receive a summary of your reviews from your manager and peers.

Note on completing the cycles in the given windows: We encourage you to make every effort to complete reviews that are assigned to you during these two weeks, as extending individual cycles can be an arduous administrative process, and we’d like each teammate to receive their feedback sooner than later.

Informal Impact review cycles (in use until February 2022)

As we move into a new cadence of 360 Impact review cycles, you may find that the timeline for your review may have just recently passed, or that your next review is too far in the future, leaving you without helpful feedback that you could easily apply to make small changes to the way you work. Consider the option of including an informal Impact review as a pulse check for learning: how you are showing up in your working relationships, where you are driving impact for your team, and obtaining more self-awareness of your working style.

In the event that you’d like to conduct an informal Impact review, use this resource to learn about holding an informal cycle for yourself and use this resource as a template to document your reviews.

There are three components to feedback: giving it to others, receiving it yourself, and seeking it out. Keep in mind that feedback is a muscle, and works best when you regularly strengthen it by giving and receiving it often. The concept you will be using in this informal review process is around “seeking feedback” which will help you inform your own working style, positive trends, and areas for improvement.

We recommend that you as the reviewee set time with your manager to discuss feedback between both parties. If you would like to conduct reviews with stakeholders (either in the event that you are seeking promotion, would like additional information on how you show up in your peer relationships, or are simply curious), it is recommended that you book time with at least 2-3 peers as 30-45 minute calendar invites.

In all instances, we recommend documenting these items in this Informal Impact reviews template or your 1:1 GoogleDoc which you share with your manager:

  • The questions you went over during your informal reviews
  • A summary of the answers you have received to those questions
  • Any reflections you may have based on the conversations

After you have documented your informal Impact review, this process will be complete. After you complete your informal review, a best practice is to share with any reviewers that you’d like to keep the door open for feedback and empower them to share feedback in the moment and often. The point of each review cycle is not to open the floodgates for feedback that you haven’t received yet, but more importantly to synthesize trends that you’ve already had conversations about and are aware of.

You can also use the Informal Impact reviews template to reference in promotion conversations, as a document you can share with any new managers or skip-level managers, you may have, sharing feedback with peers who can help you track your progress over time, or simply to keep in your own files for reference.

_Note: your informal Impact review template has all of the questions mentioned in our regular Impact reviews - the only difference is where the information will be documented, and the fact that you will be driving these feedback conversations yourself. These are meant to supplement a transitional period where teammates’ review dates may have passed during the time frame where we switched over to a new cadence.

Additionally, our Informal Impact reviews will be phased out by February 2022 as all teammates will have gone through at least one review cycle by that point in time. We will keep the templates live for you to seek feedback inbetween future cycles.

How to use Lattice

Log into Lattice using your Sourcegraph Google authenticator. You will be prompted to write different types of reviews through qualitative and quantitative questions on your dashboard.

Writing your reviews using the SBI framework

We encourage all reviewers to use the SBI framework for giving feedback while filling out their reviews. SBI is a framework developed by the Center For Creative Leadership and is used all around the world. It works because it forces people to speak about feedback in a specific, actionable way. By using SBI, you can counteract some of the stress-inducing responses activated by the limbic system or your threat zone. Feedback helps us continuously grow and it’s important to live that value by being specific and actionable in your feedback. The more specific you are in your responses, the more likely the feedback will be received and land in a helpful way for your teammate. Clear is kind!

Situation: the where and when (shaping the context of the feedback)

Behavior: the observable action (what you observed directly, not your interpretation)

Impact: the so-what (effect on emotion and work)

In the spirit of openness and transparency, all feedback you give to others during their review cycles (and vice versa) will have names attached to them. To honor our value of being an open company, we’d like all feedback to be a dialogue between two teammates rather than a one-way conversation.

For more information on how to use SBI and giving great feedback, check out this resource!

Impact review cycle questions

Self-review:

  • What are you most proud of in the past six months?
  • In the past six months, how have you made an impact and contributed to your team’s success? Give specific examples.
  • In the past six months, what company value have you embodied the most? Give specific examples.
  • Over the next 6 months, what is something that you can do 10% better?
  • In the next six months, what company value do you want to embody more? How do you plan on working towards embodying it more?
  • What would you like to learn more about in the next 6 months to help you further succeed in your role? Describe what you’d like to learn.

Direct report review of manager:

  • Do you understand what your team’s goals are and how you contribute to those goals?
  • Does your manager support you by giving meaningful feedback on your work (both what you do well and what can be done better)?
  • How could your manager support you 10% more?
  • How has your manager helped you grow in the past six months?

Peer review:

  • Describe how you’ve collaborated with this person in the last six months and the impact that they’ve had on your work.
  • Which value has this teammate embodied the most over the past six months? Give specific examples.
  • Which value can this teammate embody more of over the next six months? Give specific examples.
  • What are this teammate’s biggest growth opportunities before their next review cycle?
  • How can they continue to support the success of you and your team? (optional question)

Manager review of direct report:

  • What has this teammate done that they should be most proud of? (Consider the purpose of their role and the team’s OKRs and give a summary of how they’ve made an impact on the team in the last six months.)
  • Which value(s) does this teammate consistently embody in their work and in their interactions with others? Give specific examples.
  • In the next six months, which value(s) would you like to see this teammate engage with more? Give specific examples.
  • What are this teammate’s biggest growth opportunities (skills, knowledge, expertise) moving forward? How can you support them while they work on these areas?

Resources for all teammates and managers:

Extra optional resources for teammates:

Questions?

For any questions relating to our updated performance review cadence or Lattice, please Slack #impact-reviews or reach out directly to Cassie Melani.