Business Trending : Facebook and Twitter-style performance reviews


Most employees dread that one or two-time per year sit-down with their superiors in a lacquered room to discuss performance reviews. It is one of those times at work when silence can deafen and the cold still breeds beady sweat.

And companies are starting to recognize that. Inefficiency and discomfort during such reviews can mar the actual discussion and throw off the results. That’s why companies are starting to look into a more “natural” form of evaluation.

BusinessWeek reports that Accenture has already implemented a Facebook-like system where their employees can post status updates, photos, weekly goals and the like, much like they would do in Facebook or LinkedIn. This software, called Performance Multiplier, allows peers to view your updates and provide feedback and objective evaluation.

Then there’s Rypple, a Toronto startup that has developed a Twitter-like system that allows employees to post questions about, oh say, their performance. Other employees can then respond anonymously. Companies like Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox web browser, have already subscribed to this service.

“If you have regular conversations with people, and they know where they stand, then the performance evaluation is maybe unnecessary,” says Robert Sutton, a Stanford University management professor. Performance reviews may just move on to dynamic discussions, rather than stagnant evaluations which have been designed primarily for the corporate upper crust.