Okay, so where do we start? When I ask people for the one thing they would change about their performance review system, one answer always rises to the top: We need the feedback to be continuous, rather than once or twice a year.
But there’s a problem with that. Our current feedback systems rely very heavily on filling out forms and in-person meetings. Therefore, as we increase the frequency of feedback, we will also increase the number of forms and meetings, and that’s going to add up to a lot of time. This is a problem — remember, the big companies are already dumping their current systems because they take too much time.
Enter technology. This is the digital age. Why are we not using digital tools and technology to increase the amount of feedback and learning about performance in our system in a more efficient way? Here are just a few you can experiment with:
Small Improvements. This is a digital performance review platform. Not only does this move your form-filling into the cloud and has built-in 360 feedback capability, it offers a way to give one-on-one feedback that can either be private or shared with a team, and it’s all collected throughout the year to be used during review time.
Jostle. This is actually intranet software. A big piece of providing feedback is making everyone’s work more visible to everybody else. I can’t provide feedback when I don’t know what you’re doing. People often think of intranets as simply a shared file repository, but tools like Jostle build in much more culture-focused functionality. People can connect with each other for better collaboration and at the same time have the opportunity to reinforce behaviors that the culture truly values.
Slack. I mention Slack to make the point that technology supports for performance management don’t have to be complicated. Slack is a simple messaging app, and I use it with my two partners at WorkXO to help cut down on emails (that can get lost). One of my favorite channels we created for the three of us is the “TCB” channel: Taking Care of Business. At the end of the day, the three of us just share what we worked on that day. Like an intranet, this provides the opportunity for team members to be more aware of what each other is doing, and that helps with ongoing feedback and learning.
Workforce, by QuestionPro. Remember, performance feedback and learning is really a subset of workforce intelligence. I know our legacy systems make everyone do these performance reviews, but what if you had ongoing data collection from your people that could help you target specific people for the feedback process at specific times? This requires more continuous data collection, and a tool like Workforce can help with that. QuestionPro is an online survey company, but their product offers the ability to do pulse surveys as frequently as weekly. You can use that data to pinpoint where performance issues might lie and address them.
There are obviously TONS more to choose from. So get out there and do your research and start leveraging technology to make your workplace better.
Recently, Jamie Notter hosted an all-Millennial panel to discuss ways to engage their generation, and performance reviews was one of the topics of discussion: