Goldman Sachs introduces real-time employee performance reviews
Goldman Sachs has introduced a new human resource development system that appraises employees’ overall performance in real time.
The new system is based on 360 degree performance evaluation software, which analyses every employee’s results and abilities from various perspectives by seeking feedback from the large number of people with whom they interact, from co-workers to clients. The system enables frequent feedback access by both employees and management, and aims to enhance the performance of the company as a whole.
Ongoing Feedback360+ a response to employee demand
According to reporting by Bloomberg and other sources, Goldman Sachs introduced the new technology-based Ongoing Feedback360+ system in response to requests from its employees for more frequent and timely communication within the firm.
At the core of the new system is 360 degree appraisal software. The new system does not rely solely on an evaluation from an employee’s immediate superior but collates feedback from a variety of sources, and should help employees improve their performance based on feedback from new vantage points. Employees, who will now receive feedback in real time from a range of sources, will gain a clearer picture of their own performance, and this should help them position themselves for promotion.
The new system was piloted in a number of departments last year, and its company-wide introduction was flagged on the company’s blog. From this April, all employees and managers will be able to view their evaluation and comments from workplace superiors and peers on their personal dashboard.
JP Morgan’s mobile tool includes feedback requests
Recently more and more big companies have been showing an interest in and introducing digital internal performance evaluation and other communications tools.
In March 2017, JP Morgan Chase introduced a similar web-based application that will allow employees to request feedback from anyone at any time, dubbed Insight360.
Michael D’Ausilio, a managing director in charge of performance development, explains that the new tool allows managers to evaluate the performance of specific junior colleagues after a meeting or the completion of a project, and lets employees request an evaluation of their performance or review the performance of their co-workers. The person who initiates the feedback determines who else gets to see it, enabling employees to maintain their privacy.
Will this fuel enthusiasm for the job, or put employees under constant pressure?
The era of constant 360 degree feedback seems truly to have arrived, especially in the Western corporate world. It is mainly aimed at fostering employees’ professional development, but many companies, including Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, have positioned it as a crucial strand of their personnel appraisal system.
The 360 degree performance evaluation software the two companies have introduced is the focus of much attention as a new market because it enables employers to unearth and foster their employees’ hidden talents.
Many new software programmes – such as sMyTalent, People, Employee Effectiveness and Blue 360 Degree Feedback, as well as Insight360 – have been launched to aid the process of long-term, multidimensional personnel development.
However, feedback from managers, colleagues and clients is not always productive, with some people expressing doubts about its fairness and accuracy. Because it is a person about whom feedback is being sought, it is possible that contributors will not want to write anything critical for fear of causing offence or that the feedback will not be reciprocal. And there will be instances where feedback is very uneven, with, for example, someone receiving very positive feedback for their commitment and service ethos even though they did not actually achieve a good business outcome.
As a result, Goldman Sachs has decided that promotion and remuneration should continue to be determined mainly through the traditional annual appraisal process, while JP Morgan says that the new system will be one of the guidelines for deciding how to reward employees.
Many employees welcome the new system, saying that constant feedback on their performance will fuel their enthusiasm for the job, but this attitude exists alongside a sense of pressure, the feeling that they will be under 24-hour surveillance. Different individuals feel differently about the new-style feedback, but it is vital that, whether the feedback be bad or good, managers follow it up with thoroughness and care.