I’m generally a huge proponent of multi-source feedback…360 degrees…whatever you wanna call it. Feedback strictly from one person or from the top down tells just a part of the story. And performance (or development) is not about – cannot be about – part of the story. But here’s the deal, y’all. Most of you clowns mess it all up by doing one thing: keeping it anonymous. And I think it’s unconscionable.
By allowing employees to provide feedback directly about an individual’s performance – their strengths, their weaknesses, their successes and failures – without requiring them to stand up and take ownership for that feedback is tantamount to giving the inmates the keys to the asylum. It’s childish, counter-productive. It becomes a petri dish for passive-aggressive behavior. It’s company sanctioned gossip.
Whatever happened to “if you can’t say it to their face, don’t say it at all?” What about having a good old fashioned sit-down? If you have a problem with me, I’m one hundred bajillion times more likely to do something about it if you come into my office and sit down and tell me about it…I don’t care who you are, what your role is, or what your agenda is. Just come on in and sit down and talk to me like an adult. If you let loose on me through some cloaked survey tool, your feedback ain’t even worth the grain of salt I’ll inevitably be told to take it with.
Why don’t you just come over and egg my house under the cover of darkness? You’ll still be a coward, but at least you’ll have some fun doing it.