When the discussion of annual reviews comes up, it usually revolves around how the employees can get honest feedback, and how managers and human resources can better give the process value and meaning.
What if we turn the tables and instead have each employee give the company an annual review instead?
What if an organization opened up to all employees and effectually said, “We want you to score us on our performance: metrics, cultural fit, leadership, opportunities, and so forth.” What could the potential benefit be for a company that turns itself inside out like that?
What's Included in a Company's Annual Review
If an organization was truly and genuinely open about that kind of feedback, they would need to set up the parameters for measuring based on the same (but wider scope) of metrics that are used to measure their people. Items such as core values, timeliness, achieving goals, customer satisfaction, and quality would be set based on what the company is supposed to represent, both to their customers and more importantly to their team.
The Benefits of a Company Annual Review
The intriguing thing about this type of en-masse review is you would have staff from every possible department, role, and location giving a review and seeing a very true 360-degree assessment. The larger the organization, the more input would be given to see small items trend due to the number of respondents, and smaller scale companies would have more transparency to have that same impact of assessment as well.
The biggest obstacle may be having the results honestly compiled and the score given meaningful analysis. In the traditional employee review, managers give the grade then give the steps for the employee to improve. Likewise here, if the staff are given the privilege to assess, they can also as teams formulate the corrective action for the company to ensure it becomes what everyone (should) be working towards. Then leadership would take ownership of the implementation, knowing that continual feedback throughout the year and a measure of progress next year awaits them.
What else could happen here as a result? Employees may “play-up” more knowing that they are holding the company accountable yet that they themselves are guided by these same measures. Leadership may listen more, be more approachable, and consider the global picture of their business rather than individual agendas, bonuses, or careers. A sense of deeper engagement and connection can arise, with everyone having more transparent conversation that synergizes the organization around the metrics everyone is using. And those annual employee reviews may be more accurate and a more productive two-way conversation because these reviews are happening in the other direction throughout the company. They may even go away from individual to a more team-based or company-based assessment in some circumstances as well.
Think of the potential alignment a company can attain within itself if it opened up for an annual review. The application most likely will vary from company to company, but open leadership can make this a tremendous path to drive culture and performance in ways not done before.
More From Paul LaRue
Paul LaRue is the creator of The UPwards Leader and Instigator for Lead Change Group. His background in senior leadership,. strategic planning, culture change, and people and organizational development gives him unique insight into the workings of successful organizations. Paul has given speeches and training sessions for many public and private entities and stresses the virtue of a culture that centers around core values and character in leadership.