Feb 182013


I don’t think that I know of anyone who likes doing performance reviews. Employees are frightened of them, managers feel like they have to walk a line between ticking boxes to get HR off their back and trying to work out how to give decent feedback. The better managers that I’ve worked with manage to get feedback out on a daily basis.

We at Social Innovation Camp / Bethnal Green Ventures have been thinking about this, too. We wanted to do more reviews for ourselves, and we wanted them to be:

  • Useful
  • Relevant
  • Timely

We’ve been experimenting with morning scrum meetings already, trying to just keep ourselves talking to each other as much as possible. We decided to start off taking a page from our accelerator programme and structure our reviews around the four questions we ask our teams to answer each week:

  • What have you done?
  • What have you learned?
  • What are you going to do next?
  • What do you need help with?

We decided to do it in a 360 degree format: i.e. the whole team does it for each other. We’re a small team, but we think it’s worth knowing what we’re all working on, and what we think each other is working on.

We’ve just done a round, and while it’s not perfect, we think we’re a little bit on to something.

Our intention is to do it quarterly, so the round we’ve just done (in February) refers back to Q4 and ahead to Q2. We’ll let you know how it goes.

What do you think? Are we mad? Should we just do some sort of standard review format? Is there anything we’re missing? Anyone else want to have a re-think about their performance reviews?

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