FAANG Performance Evaluation Process

Performance evaluations may be nerve-wracking. However, everything you need to know about FAANG’s employee performance procedures is right here.

Performance evaluations have lately gotten a lot of flak for being infantilizing, useless, and stressful to workers. While large corporations such as Microsoft and GE have eliminated formal assessments, FAANG companies still use them as a performance measure. However, only 41% of workers believe their company’s performance review procedure is booming, according to TINYpulse.

Critics argue that managers should provide feedback to their staff at all times, not only during yearly or biannual reviews. That input is most useful when delivered immediately rather than months later.

Here’s a deeper look at the FAANGs’ performance evaluation procedure:

Facebook

It uses a five-peer feedback system, a stack ranking system, and a self-assessment yearly.

The social media behemoth has decreased its performance assessments from once every six months to once a year in response to employee concerns. Performance Summary Cycle (PSC) evaluations were formerly held in January and July. The new modifications, however, will not take effect until 2022.

The shift looks to be in line with the company’s maturation. For example, employees at a startup want quick feedback to iterate; this is less true in a more significant business with more established systems.

“We’re making this adjustment to better reflect the company’s vision, with remote work in mind, and governed by our values of fairness, simplicity, and long-term development,” a Facebook spokeswoman, Tracy Clayton, told Business Insider.

For its performance assessments, Facebook employs a stack ranking method, in which supervisors are required to evaluate their workers on a bell curve. A certain number of workers are assigned to each grade.

  • “Redefine”: Only around 5% of workers get “Redefine,” the highest rating
  • “Greatly exceeds expectations”: Around 10 percent
  • “Exceeds”: Around 35 percent
  • “Meets all”: Around 35 to 40 percent
  • “Meets most”: Most of the remaining 10 to 15% get “Meets most,” a poor score that jeopardizes future employment.
  • “Meets some”: The “meets some” rating is incredibly unusual and considered as a sign that you’re about to be dismissed.
  • “Does not meet”: Most workers are dismissed before they reach that level; thus, “does not meet” is uncommon.

To obtain a final “grade,” employees must complete a self-evaluation and seek comments from five other employees, usually their supervisor and closest coworkers. Peers can give direct feedback to employees or convey their evaluations to the employee’s management.

Managers then go through the peer feedback and self-evaluation and develop a “performance assessment” or rating of the employee’s performance over the previous six months and whether or not the person is ready for a promotion.

At Facebook, bonus pay is based solely on how well you do in your performance review. However, during the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March 2020, the social media giant made an exception, announcing that employees would receive an extra $1,000 in their next paycheck. This bonus was an “Exceeds expectations” performance review for the first half of the year, ensuring that everyone received their biannual compensation.

Employees with poor performance are usually put on a 4-6 week improvement plan. However, since feedback is offered regularly, the conclusion of your performance review at Facebook should not surprise you.

Employees at Facebook are few FAANGs who can offer anonymous feedback, making it harder to contest an unfavorable rating.

Apple

Performance reviews  (360-degree assessments) occur that are evaluated based on outcomes. Three to four executives provide comments to each employee.

Apple keeps the majority of its performance assessment process under wraps. However, we know that top achievers are well compensated (usually via stock options) and that rewards vary according to individual performance and longevity with the organization.

Outcomes, not effort, determine performance. Therefore, annual performance reviews are conducted. Each employee meets with three to four executives to discuss their strengths and shortcomings, opportunities for improvement, and areas in which they shine.

Annual increases are directly related to performance assessments and typically vary between 0 and 8%.

According to one current Apple employee on Quora, Apple separates employee performance into three areas: “teamwork, innovation, and outcomes.” In addition, each criterion is graded on a three-point scale: “needs improvement,” “met expectations,” and “exceeded expectations.”

Annual increases are directly related to performance assessments and typically vary between 0 and 8%.

Amazon

It uses a stack ranking system where employees are rated against each other. It happens every year.

According to recently disclosed data, Amazon utilizes a controversial stack ranking method to assess its workers. It implies that workers are evaluated on a curve at an annual review. It is needed that a specific proportion of its personnel is placed at the bottom. Thus, even high-performing workers may find themselves at the bottom of the list.

Until recently, Amazon workers were graded as top tier (TT), highly valued (HV), or least effective (LE) (LE). According to documents, Amazon wants 20% of its staff to be top tier, 70% highly regarded, and 5% least effective. This year, Amazon added “HV1,” “HV2,” and “HV3” to the “HV” ranking to provide teachers more options when evaluating them. According to internal documentation, employees who get an HV1 or higher rating are entitled to a base-pay rise.

Amazon also employs ongoing feedback via its “Anytime Feedback” feature, an internal portal where employees can criticize or compliment one another anonymously. You will be placed on a three-month performance improvement plan if you fail.

In a Glassdoor review, one employee stated, “The degree of performance that would have been acceptable five years ago would get you dismissed now.” “It’s a type of crucible that, if you can survive it, will help you build a tougher edge that will serve you well in your profession and life, but it’s seldom a pleasant experience.”

Netflix

It adopts the 360-degree review with input from coworkers and supervisors and a self-evaluation. It happens regularly, although informally.

Netflix’s approach to performance assessments exemplifies the company’s culture of openness. In March and April, it offers 360-degree evaluations. It solicits input from coworkers and supervisors and does a self-evaluation. Expect frequent, informal evaluations using the Stop, Start, Continue structure. Employees often meet with their managers on a weekly or bimonthly basis.

Employees at Netflix can provide feedback to anybody in the organization, from interns to the CEO, and that person’s manager and superiors will be able to see it during 360-degree evaluations. Before switching to a signed system for openness, Netflix had a software system that enabled workers to post anonymous assessments.

According to Netflix insiders, neglecting to act on the criticism offered at your performance review, even for trivial concerns, may have a negative influence on your career longevity. Netflix’s culture has been characterized as ruthless, with the company emphasizing the creation of a “dream team” comprised only of “exceptional” personnel.

Netflix’s performance criteria aren’t always clear, making it difficult for staff to assess their success. Former Netflix workers who talked with Business Insider suggested that you ask your management how they evaluate team members. For example, some managers set tactical and strategic objectives, while others use more amorphous aims like “innovation.”

Are you unsure whether or not you’re doing an excellent job at Netflix? Because Netflix has few title levels, insiders say success is often assessed by modifications in remuneration and amount of responsibility rather than formal title advancements. For example, there are just four levels in engineering: senior engineer, manager, director, and vice president.

Performance evaluations are handled apart from salary evaluations, which occur later in the year. The rationale behind keeping the two separate is that individuals would offer more honest feedback if their remarks have no bearing on their income.

If your performance is only acceptable, you’ll most likely be fired and given four months’ salary as a severance package.

Google

It uses a yearly self-evaluation, peer reviews, manager ratings, and a calibration procedure. In addition, they also have monthly performance check-ins, annual upward feedback, and Googlegeist engagement surveys.

At Google, formal performance assessments are divided into two parts: a “preview” after the first semester and a full review during the company’s 360-degree feedback gathering process in October and November.

Managers assess performance based on two factors: the outcomes obtained (what the person completed) and the behaviors shown by the employee (how the employee achieved these results). Employees begin with a self-evaluation, followed by peer reviews, in which they may nominate up to five individuals to evaluate them. After that, the employee’s manager is consulted to discuss and confirm the shortlist.

Google uses the following criteria to make assessments. Each category is graded on a scale of one to five, with “never demonstrates” being the lowest and “always demonstrates” being the highest.

  • “Googleyness” or an employee’s desire to accept Google’s values.
  • Problem-solving
  • Execution, or the ability to produce high-quality work with little supervision.
  • Thought leadership or how much an individual is an expert in a specific area
  • Leadership or taking the lead on initiatives, being proactive, and owning outcomes 
  • In a big company, presence refers to an employee’s capacity to share valuable ideas.

As a final step in the evaluation process, managers use the following scale to provide a rating to each employee. 

  • Needs improvement
  • Consistently meets expectations
  • Exceeds expectations
  • Strongly exceeds expectations
  • Superb

Employees at Google are expected to evaluate one another and their immediate reports.

However, no scores are definitive until the calibration process, which Laszlo Bock, Google’s former SVP of People Operations, describes as “the spirit of performance assessment.” After that, the ratings are mainly based on OKRs (objectives and key results). Before this rating, managers get down and discuss their workers’ ratings in a process known as calibration.

“By requiring managers to defend their actions to one another, calibration reduces bias,” Bock once stated.

After completing the rating, managers meet with the employee for two meetings: one to provide feedback based on the rating and peer reviews, and another to discuss salary and promotion. There are two conducted meetings at least a month apart, much as at Netflix.

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