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This is the Latest Trend in Business Practices

on 26 September 2017


Posted by Kevin Senior
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve noticed that fitness watches are everywhere. You might even be wearing one right now – but even if you aren’t, you’ve seen them around. For health-minded people, these ingenious devices provide all kinds of useful feedback: number of steps taken, number of calories burned, number of hours slept, etc.

This kind of feedback helps users understand where they are, and what steps they need to take in order to improve. Without that information, it would be much more difficult to make necessary adjustments.

Now imagine that your fitness watch – the tool that you depend upon to give you information about your level of performance – only displayed your number of steps once per year.

What would be the point? How much time would be wasted? How would you ever improve?

And yet, the annual performance review is still a standard practice in much of the HR world. Think of the time that’s wasted when an employee has to wait a year before they receive useful feedback about their level of performance.

Fortunately, HR managers are beginning to catch on. In an era in which attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent is vital to the success of an organisation, some forward-thinking companies are pushing for a feedback revolution. In March 2017, Forbes noted that companies like GE, Adobe, United Airlines, and eBay are moving away from annual reviews toward a more frequent model. Some are moving to quarterly or monthly feedback. Others are using a variety of technological tools in order provide daily feedback.

For example, Glasscubes is a flexible tool that equips managers for ongoing conversations with team members. Our online solution to collaboration provides a framework for the shared setting of priorities and discussions on whatever aspects of the project you decide, ensuring that all important feedback areas can be covered as you see fit. As a result, HR is no longer burdened with the annual performance review process – now, continual feedback becomes a valuable aspect of team collaboration that helps employees know exactly where they stand in terms of performance and expectation.

Providing team members that level of feedback isn’t only helpful from a business perspective – it’s psychologically beneficial as well. Let’s go back to the fitness watch example. If you could only see your step count once per year, think of how much pressure you would put on that report. Think of how scary that day would be – how the anticipation of that feedback would build up in your mind. With the constant feedback provided by today’s fitness watches, instant course correction is possible. The same is true for employee reviews. If annual performance reviews are taken seriously in your organisation, there is a level of anxiety associated with that day – even for model employees. With a more frequent feedback model, team members can see exactly where they are vis-à-vis expectations, and they can make any required adjustments.

As these feedback mechanisms are put into place, they provide other opportunities. Whereas annual reviews were typically formal meetings between a manager and an employee, some of these continual feedback systems allow for feedback from multiple sources. Now team members can receive feedback from their peers and teammates, other managers, and even directly from customers. Multiple avenues of feedback provide multiple opportunities for adjustment and improvement, opening lines of communication that didn’t exist before.

For some, this is a drastic departure from the traditional system, but for others, the annual performance review is a relic that has outlived its usefulness. Given that attracting and retaining talent is such an important issue in today’s world of transient staff, we need effective tools to keep team members motivated and engaged with the project and mission. With frequent feedback systems in place, employees can come to work knowing that they have the opportunity to improve their performance. They can evaluate where they stand with regard to expectations. And, through effective lines of communication, they can also share their own experience and knowledge in a way that might help other employees improve.


Glasscubes is a user-friendly collaboration software for teams. Connect everyone that you work with in an online workspace that improves the way you share files, manage projects and communicate with each other.

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About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.