Employee feedback: How to make it less painful

Employee feedback can be a thorny issue for even the best managers and HR professionals. And traditional methods of gathering feedback don’t work. That’s what Lee Burbage, head of people at The Motley Fool, told host Matt Trogdon this week in a short video on best-practices.

“The first thing I would do is kill the performance appraisal system,” Burbage said. “I 100-percent guarantee you that everyone at your company hates it.”

The Motley Fool has evolved its feedback system through the years from a traditional appraisal-focused approach to one based more on employee choice. Fool employees are able to opt-in if they want feedback, choose the people they ask for feedback and choose the person to deliver their feedback once it’s collected.

“It’s a beautiful thing at the end,” Burbage said. “You’re getting feedback and it’s a packaged up gift” that’s focused on your improvement as an employee.

For more, watch the video below as Burbage gives two tips for how you can make feedback better at your organization.

2 thoughts on “Employee feedback: How to make it less painful

  1. Glad to see enlightenment happening… great job Burbage.

    On the more general scale (all of business) it is sad that what we know does NOT work, we appear powerless to change. As far back as 1960’s HBR et. all. knew performance appraisal systems failed (see McGregor’s 1960 book “The Human Side of Enterprise” ).

    http://agilecomplexificationinverter.blogspot.com/2011/05/performance-appraisals-what-have-we.html Performance appraisals – What have we learned in 50 yrs?

  2. Unfortunately, I’m sure I’ll be dead by the time this kind of advanced thinking permeates my industry. I have lived with the performance review system – both writing and receiving – for 40 years and I can honestly say I have never seen on that was worth a shitake mushroom. The HR community has risen to an oppressive level of influence in American corps.

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