As well as it being that time of year again (i.e. annual appraisal rounds), I am just returning to a role with line management responsibilities, so the function of line management was very much on my mind when I ran across a blogpost on Medium (@Medium) about how they run their review processes: MadLibs. Okay, that sounds at first like an off-the-wall, ‘only in California’ approach, but Gabe Kleinman makes a persuasive case.
I think almost every organisation that surveys its employees regularly will find that complaints such as ‘better line management’ and ‘more focus on learning and development’ crop up routinely and persistently. It sounds like Medium has come up with a way to break the cycle of complaint –> HR ‘innovation’ –> patchy implementation –> complaint. Rather than laborious soul-searching assessments or ‘off-the-peg’ feedback, their approach sets out some key issues that should be addressed in any feedback process and makes it easy. Those feeding back (including as part of ‘360’ appraisal) answer questions like:
- I can count on [x] to ___
- When things are going badly, [x] does/is ___ and ___
- Some areas for growth include ___ and ___