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Eliminate the Performance Review: Part 2

By Bill Cushard

For many years, I have wanted to improve my fitness and lose a few pounds. Many times I said, "I will start my diet on Monday" only to NOT start my diet on Monday. It was all talk. It was not until Thanksgiving 2010 that I said nothing and started a diet that enabled me to lose 25 pounds, all of which I have kept off over a year later. It was not until I took action and stopped talking about taking action, that I really made it happen and got the results I wanted. And so it is with my last blog post on eliminating the performance review. You may have read it and thought, "Yeah, sure, it's all talk. A business needs performance reviews." 

We disagree. 

And in the spirit of Henry Ford, "You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do," let me tell you what we are doing about it. 

First, we contracted with the social performance management firm Rypple to bring credibility and transparency back to performance feedback. Rypple will help us put the ownership of performance feedback into the hands of individuals, empower people to have more frequent ongoing performance discussions, and to create a culture in which people know where they stand. The idea has been well received inside Allonhill.

Second, at our all-employee staff meetings last week, we talked about Rypple, the blog post, and our intention to change the way performance feedback occurs at Allonhill. As the basis for the decision, I said that I always felt as if performance reviews were done to me. People agreed. Enthusiastically. And remember, we are not espousing the elimination of performance feedback and honest, straight talk about performance. That is mandatory. We are talking about eliminating the one-way, manager-induced, performance review that everyone hates

Third, we have designed training that will help our people understand how to use Rypple to have more frequent, ongoing performance conversations and to ask for feedback in real time and in the moment of need. The goal of this training is not only to help people understand how to use Rypple, but to also change the culture and people's mindset about how performance discussions should occur. 

We are at the beginning of our implementation and expect to launch Rypple to our entire organization in early Q1. We will keep you updated on our progress. There are exciting things on the horizon. 


The Self-Promoting Performer

You raise an important question, "What's to say that someone won't self-promote?" We think people will self-promote. We also know that Rypple brings transparency to the process of performance feedback, so it will be obvious who is self-promoting.

We have selected Rypple as a tool not for promoting oneself but for people to seek feedback from trusted resources in the company with the goal of helping people know where they stand. Those who will benefit most will be people who want to learn, grow, and take the actions necessary to be a little better tomorrow than they were yesterday. I know I could certainly benefit from that.


Rypple is not a popularity contest

Thanks for your comment. I agree that if continuous feedback is nothing more than a popularity contest, it will miss the mark by a country mile. However, if we do this right, the content of conversations will be about performance rather than on what people "think" of other people. High performers...especially the "overlooked and hardworking" among us, have a say in what is included in a performance discussion and the ability to include comments from people who know about their great achievements.

Thank you for making the point because this is about performance, not popularity.


Benefits Managers, Not Employees

I don't know about you, but I welcome my performance reviews. It validates my hard work and helps me to know what I need to do to get to where I want to be in my career. The only reason someone wouldn't want a review is because they know they are not giving it their all.

My experience has been that manager's are the one's who dred these reviews for the most part. It is a burden to them and highlights their knowledge of the individual employee (or not) as well as their knowledge of the work involved. A manager cannot possibly do a quality review if they don't even know how to do your job.

I agree with the prior blogs that this is nothing more than a popularity contest. Personally, I don't have the time to write reviews on anyone, and frankly, when I'm focused on doing my job, don't have time to "notice" what someone else is doing either! What's to say that someone won't "self-promote" as well?

Just say'n...


Rypple is a time waster. I should be doing my job instead of playing on Allonhill's version of Facebook. It is a popularity contest and I don’t know 90% of the people who are posting. How are they going to know who I am?

What can an underdog possibly post about? I completed a file today. Gimme a badge!

Is it fair to overlook the hardworking, the unpopular, the underdog for pay raises/promotions, because they didn’t post? How ridiculous!

While this concept may work in a small environment, where you know all your co-workers, making it work on a large scale is impractical.