I was just talking to HR of the leading finance firm in India. She was looking for someone to do 360 degree performance review of her team in Pune, India. I suggested that let’s do it differently. Let’s invite everybody involved (immediate supervisors, peers, and sub-ordinates) in performance review of reviewee and do a review while everybody is together, let say in a conference room. She immediately said, no no… we don’t want to do it that way. We can’t put everyone in front of each other and openly talk about how reviewee has done. She added, I want to do it on paper and anonymously.

Aren’t we expecting the same thing?

We want things to get better… we want to improve things, but we are afraid of talking of about it openly.

At best, we are talking one-on-one. Why don’t we involve everybody, whomsoever is concerned? Even when we have done this sometime, we have just vented our frustration/ expectations. And everybody is just being silent and nodding their heads… and nothing change at the end… we hit the wall again and again!

We have been doing performance review on paper. Most of the people just feel that it is for the sake of review. It doesn’t mean anything.

One survey has concluded that 60% employees say performance appraisals are a waste of time, 70% say no idea how they are evaluated.

Do you feel the same? If not, it is worth checking with your team members.

I believe what we need is a ‘transparent’ and ‘inclusive’ performance review system. A system, where everybody involved is sharing their experience with reviewee openly. Good things…things to improve…everything matters.

Reviewee needs to know that how (s)he has done (I believe they genuenly want to know) and how everybody around him/her is feeling and experiencing his/her work.

We might be afraid to do it this way… because we might not know how to process this… how to facilitate this review. If you don’t want to hire facilitator, you can elect from the group itself. And much better, if reviewee choose the facilitator.

Next time when you want to do performance review, you may want to use following process.

  1. Review job description.
  2. Reviewee states positive aspects of his/her performance.
  3. Everyone else on the feedback team says their positives and there is celebration.
  4. Reviewee states how he/she could improve.
  5. Others add their thoughts about improvement.
  6. Person asking for feedback summarizes deltas and proposes development plan.
  7. All consent to this verbal development plan.
  8. Within one week, person summarizes development plan, reviews with senior person and submit to the concerned authority.

The same process can be used for any kind of review. Let it be project review, annual/ quarterly performance review, group work…

I believe and have experienced that this way of ‘transparent’ and ‘inclusive’ performance review empower reviewee. People take it seriously. As it is in front of everyone involved, not on paper, it also reduces the chance of politics…and make it more effective and efficient.!



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