Crowdsourcing the Employee Performance Review

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Crowdsourcing the Employee Performance Review

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Table of Contents

Blogging4Jobs readers can receive a free copy of The Crowd Sourced Performance Review by leaving a comment at the end of this blog.   I’ll email you your copy. 

The new majority workforce, Generation Y thrives working in collaborative and team environments. Companies have begun to adapt to this new management model.  Employees have begun in many organizations to take a more consultative approach with work teams and project teams.  These play a major role in driving innovation, efficiency, and the new social business and collaboration of work.  So why hasn’t the annual review, employee engagement process, or even recognition changed to reflect this management and team centered shift at work?

Teamwork in the Workplace and the Crowd Sourcing Model

That’s precisely what Eric Mosley, CEO and Co-founder of Globoforce discusses in his new book The Crowd Sourced Performance Review.  The book discusses the current disconnect with the old employee performance review model still being used by managers in the new collaborative and engagement-focused workplace.  What I like most about the book is that Eric provides real-world scenarios and dialogue that happens between employee and manager.  For business leaders and managers who are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with implementing a new process or shift in how we rate and view employee performance more from a collaborative standpoint, I find the dialogue extremely helpful.  Managers can test drive real world scenarios and think through verbiage, conversations, and possible questions from their employees before the sit down and more formal performance review and evaluation meeting.  We know there is almost nothing worse as an employee to have a sit down with your boss and find out they don’t have any insights or answers because they haven’t done the homework upfront.

Employee Feedback and Recognition is Fluid and Social

An annual employee performance review is one hour out of the 2,040 hours we as employees work during the year.  We, as managers can’t possibly be able to articulate, motivate, or engage an employee in that one hour and then wait until the next year’s performance review.  That’s where crowdsourcing the feedback and recognition process is so very powerful.  I’m a firm believer in that it takes a village to raise a child and it takes a team to motivate, recognize, train, and grow a happy and productive employee.  One manager can’t and shouldn’t do that alone, and that’s where the power of collaborative workplaces comes in.  Gathering feedback from multiple sources gives us a better picture of the performance, strengths, and areas of improvement for ourselves and our employee.

Chances are our organization is already social.  We’re focused on work teams and maybe we’ve implemented an internal social communication platform like Jive, Yammer, or IBM Connections in our organization allowing our employees to share, engage, and learn with one another.  Shouldn’t the employee performance and development process be the same?  Organizations fear these type of social collaboration tools and processes because it’s new.  Things are changing, but the change is happening even if they don’t get on board.  Employees are collaborating.  We’re sharing information and insights with our friends and co-workers on external social platforms already.  Conversations are happening, and our employees like that.  Why not take advantage of a collaborative and engagement-focused model they are already familiar?  I vote yes!

Creating a Social Recognition Culture

Eric calls this more formal recognition and relationship process built into your engagement and performance review “Social Recognition.”  Social Recognition is not only about improving the annual employee review process but helping to drive a recognition culture within your organization.  It’s one where employees are excited, productive, and happy to be at work, and it’s especially important when workplace stress and employee disengagement is at an all time high.

Eric’s book is available for purchase on Amazon or as a Blogging4Jobs reader, you can leave a blog comment, and we’ll email you a copy of the book for FREE.  It’s an easy read that really gets to the point about how to drive and improve an organization using team focused recognition and improvement strategies.

Check out and follow them on Twitter @globoforce.  Learn more about product and technology reviews on Blogging4Jobs by clicking here

FTC Disclosure: I received compensation for mentioning and reviewing the product listed above as part of one of the services I offer my clients. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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  1. Love the idea. I think it will take a lot of work to get the idea as a practice that can be accepted into most any organization, but well worth it in the long run. A lot of the preformance appraisal/review process has been broken for a long time and anything that may go a long way to correcting the problem is greatly appreicated.

    Thanks Jessica.

    1. Thanks, John. You know me. I am a fan of collaboration which is why I thought it would be so fitting to offer up free copies of the book if you leave a comment. Collaboration and engagement at its finest!


  2. This is a wonderful idea and very progressive in nature. I have always been a believer in the team and that if the group is truly working together and playing to each others strengths then success will follow. The question would be how will managers interperet the work of a team in the review process.

    1. @Amy,

      thanks for the comment. Many managers have a tendency to dwell on one negative experience or performance and one that is also recent. This takes the control out of their hands and puts trust into their peers, co-workers, and other employees within the organization. For many slow to adapt or old school managers, they will not evolve and either leave their current role or drive their employees away from the organization.


  3. I really think this kind of training is necessary esp when it comes to the GenY audience. We no longer are looking for that 1 hour review, once a year, we want continuous, updated feedback that comes in all forms.

    Knowing how to speak to your employees is super important and even more when companies are being continuously reviewed on places such as glassdoor and other sites, they want to make sure if an employee leaves their company the culture is reflected in a positive manner.

    1. @Blake,

      Good point. Job seekers are already crowdsourcing the company culture and candidate experience on sites like Glassdoor. Company leaders can do the same thing to make the process more involved and less formal.

      Thanks for the comment.


    1. @Cigdem,

      I’ll shoot the copy over to you so you can see. I think that the scenarios can be taken a step further in your organization providing managers with talking points and suggested conversation threads to keep them on track. Thanks for leaving a comment.


  4. This is great timing; we’re in the process of revamping our current evaluation process right now. While taking into account the impact of Gen Y, don’t forget that there are certain things that may satisfy them may not work for others in the workforce. Managers need to know their staff and what works for them. Like the previous poster mentioned, I’m looking forward to the real life scenarios included.

  5. Awesome! I would highlight the necessity of continuos feedback is not just for satisfying the Generation Y’ but it will help everyone strive to do better performance.

    Asper conventional processes it is often sad to know that you recognize your flaws only when you sit in a performance appraisal review, which will be too late already. I must say, crowd sourcing feedback is essentially a great idea when you work with multiple clients and vendors or do assignments with multiple functions. They will have a lot to say more than your manager does!

    I strongly believe that this idea of constructive & continuous feedback and Social Recognition will boost a collaborative culture at workplace.

  6. Thanks, this is useful for every HR manager to take into account when building up a performance appraisal process…

  7. I totally agree with you regarding the social and crowdsourcing aspects of collecting feedback for performance reviews. In my company we utilize collecting feedback 360 degrees around the employee (team mates, superior, project manager, project team, direct reporters, perhaps customer and other relevant groups). We also noticed that the feedback is more structured and thought out when the employee requests the feedback him/herself and superior is just in cc role in the email. And leaving out the superior is possible too;afterall, the feedback is owned by the employee and it is collected to help him/her succeed better at work.

  8. I like the idea and where it could potentially lead within individual organizations. With many companies operating on a global scale, this model would enable additional engagement with global teams and workgroups in a more social manner.

  9. If annual reviews are universally disliked, why do they stay with us year after year?
    I’m interested in how crowdsourcing reviews work when a collaborative team has missed their mark, i.e., the teams may have missed their goals, or their project a is a failure. Can cross functional members give meaningful insight to members outside their functional speciality, or suggest skill development within that speciality when is it not their own?
    Building a recognition culture is a lofty goal; maybe crowdsourcing reviews is a step in that direction.

  10. I really like the idea and yes, would love a copy. thanks. I recall one job interview I was on many years ago, in which all team members with whom I’d be working if hired were brought in to ask me questions and talk with me. It was great – we all got to see if working together might be a good fit. This is similar in a lot of ways.

  11. This is a fantastic idea! As the HR leader for my organization I am working to build a leadership team under me and within the leadership team of the enterprise. This will take a substantial amount of education, coaching and education to ensure it it is used properly but what a concept!! This is quite different from the 360 reviews of a few years ago.
    Jessica, thanks for offering up the book through the blogspot!

  12. I think it’s a great idea, and something we’ve been thinking about for a very long time but not taken action on. Better ways to identify and work with your top performers are imperative.

  13. As someone who is moving into a management role currently, I am always looking at better ways to look after the people in my team.
    I have always been apart of the yearly review culture during my career so far. So if I can adopt better methods going forward it can only improve things for the company, my team and each team member.

  14. As a Y generation-member, it is important for me to understand what I will face to with-in 20 years. I think it is a good point to start.

  15. This is an innovative idea that goes completely against the grain. But if you think about it, makes total sense. Think about what happened in the travel industry. When traveling to a new place years ago, one of the first things you always did was buy a Fromer’s guide. It was the authority and usually was the result of the recommendations of one person traveling in a particular country. With the explosion of social interaction and networking over the internet, we now look to TripAdvisor. This was a huge shift that has had very positive effects. The authority on what to do in a new place now comes from a consensus of other fellow travelers. Crowdsourcing performance is a real concept that has tremendous potential to transform organizations and the employee experience. Thanks for the thoughtful review. I look forward to reading more.

  16. This brings performance reviews into the here and now but also back to the pure essence of what they were devised to do – help people improve performance. Hearing it from all those they work with is so much more effective!

  17. I’ve been watching crowd-sourcing evolve over the last five years and am very excited to see it now being applied to performance management. It looks to be the solution that some of us had hoped 360 reviews would become.

  18. I completely agree with J. Greer as he noted that this appears to have the potential to deliver on the promise of the 360 review. As other HR bloggers have written in the last couple of years; if the traditional performance review process is still alive in your organization, you should drive a wooden stake through its heart, and replace it with something that at least has the potential of adding value. This just might be a solution.

  19. I am really interested in this topic, as we see a change happening in all circles and companies. The collaboration is key for business success. I tried to download it thru the iTunes store, but maybe this is not available for my local store (Brazil). Please send me the file, so I can take a deep look on this.

  20. Hi Jessica, I like the article and the parallels that are drawn with our already increasingly social work environment. Whilst we continue to review our PM system to ensure that it’s as continuous, frequent and ongoing as possible (rather than the hour a year mentioned!) it still tends to be manager driven. Perhaps there’s a fear of people saying what they really think about their colleagues?! Or perhaps people feel uncomfortable ‘assessing’ or having an opinion on others around them – or maybe they’re concerned about what may be said about them! I look forward to reading more. 🙂

  21. Integrating this approach to the semi-archaic process we currently use might reignite interest among our leadership team to find value in performance evaluations. I’m looking forward to reading the book! Thanks

  22. This is not a traditional idea but the annual performance review is not working. The shades of gray between the high performers and the good performers undermines the recognization of staff. The crowdsource might be able to provide feedback of a wider scope. Employee recognition is not just about merit adjustments, but access to training, development, mentorship and a candidate for succession. This may pave the way to having many voices endorse performance rather than a few.

  23. Would love a copy of this book. This approach resonates with my believe on focusing on ongoing coaching and feedback to ensure our people are engaged in meeting their objectives and career goals. Thank you Eric & Jessica for your insights:)

  24. The opportunity to build transparency and openness in the workplace can only be a good thing. Would the author recommend that feedback offered in this way for performance reviews be attributable – and if so what would be the most inclusive way of structuring this?

  25. I am very excited to see some new ideas and directions on what has become a rather stodgy and irrelevant process. I look forward to reading more about it in the ebook. Many thanks.

  26. Althouogh crowdsourcing reinforces the strengths and accomplishments of those getting feedback; how effective is it for providing coaching for improvement? Maybe it’s overkill on building self-esteem?

  27. Regarding inclusive structures of access, what might employment agencies and workforce developers best do to leverage these opportunities for their constituents in their transition from lower income earning opportunities to higher level pay and work from home?

  28. Very useful information, i look forward to reading this book!!! Please send it to me. Thanks

  29. My organisation does not manage performance reviews well – in fact, many of our outdoor workers don’t have them, or only hear from their manager if they’ve done something wrong. However we are in a period of transition with the increasing use of social media, so perhaps there’s an opportunity.

    Thank you for the book offer – I’d love to read it.

  30. This is an innovative way to infuse performance management with a new source of data for managers when reviewing performance. I would love to know some more ways in which this can be implemented in an organization — any practical tips?

  31. This is perfect timing! I’m trying to read everything I can on this to learn more. Can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Thanks!

  32. Performance attribution by one person or a group of people always suffers from bias, insufficient information, etc. If I were under the crowdsourcing system I would make a pack with my closest colleagues to trade compliments. There will be other games possible. The best way to give feedback and improve performance is to have a manager who is skilled in coaching and has the commitment to discover and develop his/her subordinates.

  33. As a manager in the federal government, I am always looking for new ways to give my employees feedback that is substantive. Our system of evaluation seems archaic, so I will be interested to read Eric’s book. Thanks.

  34. Being clear about the outcomes required from the performance process also helps – I have found they range from recognition, to pay, to succession, to development – to tick the box – to all of the above. Many organisations have challenges with consistency, evidence, process and perception only because they haven’t managed to create a compelling case or clear benefits for the activity.

  35. If crowdsourcing can really help with how we have been doing performance management process the traditional way, I don’t see why my company or other companies should not know about it!

  36. Very interesting topic and good article. I’m an Italian student and I’m writing my dissertation about open innovation. I think that crowdsourcing could be the right way by which the world economy will change in a better mode. I’m very curious about the real life scenarios provided in the book.

  37. I am trying to change the way to do performance evaluations. I am really interested to learn about crowdsourced development to achieve smart goals and good plans. Good article.. thanks.

  38. Very interesting read. We are researching changes to the traditional and abysmal review process. We are leaning towards a crowdsourcing model and looking to learn more.

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