Continuous feedback: Bridging gaps and celebrating empowerment

One of the most interesting things about changing workspaces is the simple fact that there are so many new things to learn everyday. With new trends appearing almost everyday, it isn’t easy to embrace them without the will to learn, even when you’re at work. But sadly, just learning isn’t enough. How do you know if you have learned right if there’s no one to tell you that? 

In a world that is home to a large number of fast-paced changes, it is wrong to assume that management styles won’t undergo massive change as well. And one of the biggest changes we see is the rise in continuous feedback. 

 

What is continuous feedback?

 

With annual reviews proving to be rather ineffective in the modern era of work, new tools have risen that help to not only bridge the gap between managers and employees, but also introduce practices that can make work more agile and flexible, giving rise to greater employee engagement and thereby, productivity. 

So a system that allows you to give continuous feedback does not only eliminate flaws like timeline issues that restrict annual feedback to just a few relevant months, the boring nature of the yearly procedures as well as insufficient feedback, it can enable an organization to recognize what the employees are doing right, and what they aren’t, they can also make communication regular, seamless and flexible. 

  • The changing nature of feedback 

With the idea that feedback is restricted only for someone who isn’t doing their job right-ruling the roost, it’s not surprising to know that feedback is essentially a rather negative word to use. 

But with the changing times and trends, not only is evident that we need to stop villainizing the word ‘feedback’, we also need to understand that it actually helps more than it harms. 

At the end of the day, it is only with the help of feedback that you can understand what you are doing right. It is with feedback that you can even start looking for creative solutions to difficult problems and even empower your organization to innovate towards growth. 

With employee feedback becoming an increasingly important part of organizations, so are cultures that celebrate easy communication, constructive criticism as well as empowerment that enables not just the organization to excel, but the employees too.  

  • Ratings matter 

With the ability to rate various opinions and reviews, organizations can understand suggestions that are popular and credible and learn from them. 

Ratings also help employers and employees prioritise answers that communicate the urgency of its nature to everyone else. 

Being able to rate the one who is rating allows a team of credible, unbiased voices that bridges gaps between employees and managers. 

  • Censorship can make a difference 

With the help of analytical tools, not only does monitoring comments become easier, it is also easy for the management to keep hate speech, leaking sensitive information and unwanted comments at bay. 

While comments are important to understand issues better, in a system where anonymity is important, it makes sense to review them before publication. 

  • Anonymity encourages conversations  

While it is true that anonymous surveys are not easy to trust, in a professional space where a comment can cost you your job, anonymity actually encourages people to speak up. 

Be it safety issues or sexual harassment or failing managers, some topics are way too sensitive to be dealt without diplomacy and care. With repression not exactly helping the organization realise where they are failing, creation of safe spaces not just bring these issues to the forefront, it also protects employees from the worst. 

  • Simplicity is key 

Starting from how easy it is to use the tool and ending with how short and sweet the questions you have are, simplicity is quite the winner when it comes to feedback systems. 

And if you have a ratings system in place, nothing could actually be better! 

Distinctly different from employee feedback surveys in nature, ratings not only means quick and easy feedback, but true feedback too. 

In fact, if you design your system right, access can be simplified to such an extent, that you can actually update things from your inbox. 

  • Designed to win 

While surveys and long questionnaires can discourage people from engaging with them, a feedback system can prove to be a whiff of fresh air if designed right. 

You see, a feedback system is not merely restricted to figuring out what your employees are doing right or wrong. It is an effective way to realise what the company is doing right, and even they ways in which they can improve. 

Not only do people respond more to shorter surveys, also known as pulse surveys, they can address several issues, be open to suggestions and eventually build detailed feedback that makes a difference from those working in the company. 

 

Though adapting to change can be intimidating, we’re here to help. 

How? Read on to know: 

 

  • Dockabl 2.0 is a continuous feedback tool which seamlessly integrates into the ecosystem of work for any individual or team. 
  • It then enables ongoing feedback on work, projects and skills, behaviours. 
  • This is achieved by reaching our customer where they are, rather than asking them to indulge in more work on our tool. 
  • This is solved through plug ins and integrations with work tools such as Slack, Jira, Asana, Email, Calendar, Whatsapp etc. Dockabl 2.0 focuses on feedback consolidation, curation and deep insights on this data. We have come up with a concept of a worklife score which we envision will replace any performance review rating score, assessment score or any other metric in the context of work performance. 
  • What a credit score is to you in the context of financial metrics, worklife score would be in the context of work metrics. 
  • This score could become the norm for performance reviews, career progression, pay, recruitment, succession, etc 
  • The best part is that, these insights and analytics are an outcome of multiple quantitative and qualitative data points over a period of time and not a random rating shared by a manager at the end of the year. 
  • Moreover, there is a strong layer of gamification where an employee will continue to strive for higher levels which is synonymous to higher performance and holistic development in the context of work and work progression.

How many breaks have you taken today? 

“It’s time to take a break,” is probably not what you expect to hear at work very often. After all, we have been taught that diligence and constant vigilance is the key to being good at what you do.

What if I told you that we have been taught wrong all our lives? 

Curious much? Then allow me to introduce you to the POMODORO system of time management! A technique that helps you get more productive without burning yourself out. 

 

Go ahead, take a break

 

Developed in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo, the name of this technique means “tomato” in Italian, inspired by Cirillo’s college timer that sparked this genius idea. And the process? It’s quite simple if you think about it. It doesn’t need you to make startling changes to your work habits, for starters. It just encourages you to break up your job into bite-sized portions, making things easily palatable. 

How? By tackling each segment of work for 25 minutes and taking a break for 5! 

 

Recipe to get refreshed 

 

While you can kick off using this technique at any given point in time, given that it barely requires any preparation, there are some things you must always keep in mind, apart from having a timer handy, that is!

  • Know what you have to do 

Unless you have an idea about what you have to do, getting them done is not going to be easy. So make a list of the tasks you need to get done. Preferably in order of priority.

  • Set your timer for 25 minutes 

While it does seem easier to keep an eye on your watch instead of being rudely interrupted by an alarm, you’ll be surprised to realise how engrossed we can get in whatever we’re doing unless snapped out of it. 

  • Track your task 

Apart from making a list, it is important to see how you did in 25 minutes. Whether the task could be completed, whether it was adequate, whether you are biting off more than you can chew can easily be seen with proper task-tracking. 

  • If a distraction pops up, don’t try to fight it. 

Fighting distractions is harder than you think it is. The more you try to fight, sadly, the more your mind will wander. So the best thing to do is give in to your thoughts, but not immediately. 

This also works as a great reward system for those who are just starting off and need that extra push to get through 25 minutes without giving in to procrastination. 

  • Take a five minute break 

You’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference these breaks make. Starting from doing simple things like keeping yourself hydrated and stretching to keep those work pains at bay and ending with quickly catching up on thoughts that distracted you, these five minute breaks help refresh you for your next 25 minute haul. 

  • Every 4 POMODOROs, reward yourself with a 30-minute break 

Longer breaks mean more time for yourself. The key to working well is not working all the time. It just means working efficiently and one of the things that make you efficient at work is taking care of things that are important outside work. 

  • Repeat as needed

Getting into the groove might be harder than you think initially. But once you do get used to the technique, you’ll see things are actually different. They are in fact, better. 

 

Rest to the rescue

 

Productivity hacks, are not a new thing. Starting from collating smaller tasks to create a larger, more important task and ending with customisable sleep schedules, enough and more experts have weighed in, trying their best to help us be at our most productive. 

So a technique that encourages us to use our work hours in a more efficient way, allowing us to do more than work all the time is exactly what we need to keep our work and personal lives perfectly balanced. While some of us take great pride in being workaholics, some of us firmly believe that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” 

A team that flows together, grows together! 

Rumour has it, like yawning, productivity can be contagious too! Don’t believe me? Let me tell you a story. As a fresher at work, once in a while, I’d be caught up in a project that would be really, really important. With sleepless nights and cups of coffee for company, teams I’d be a part of would work very hard and get the job done perfectly. Now, if this scenario sounds familiar to you, you’re probably expecting me to talk about the complaints that followed. 

But sadly, none ever did. Every project completion was celebrated with smiles. 

Sounds strange. Doesn’t it? What if I told you that you and your team have been working hard pretty wrong all this while? 

Allow me to let you into a little secret. The secret that all happy and productive  teams have actually. Team Flow! 

 

Flowing through the team 

According to Hungarian research psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the discoverer of ‘Flow’, “the overwhelming proportion of optimal experiences are reported to occur within sequences of activities that are goal-directed and bound by rules—activities that require the investment of psychic energy… Often hours seem to pass by in minutes; in general, most people report that time seems to pass much faster.”

Now, while a lot of us believe that Flow is a rather individual process, it isn’t quite so. Starting from surgeons and ending with army officials, instances of achieving Team Flow are many. Remember that time you all worked to meet the deadline that seemed impossible to achieve? That time when you registered little apart from what you had to do – working hard, determined to do your best so that the piece of the puzzle you were responsible for fit in seamlessly at the end of the day? And when you were done, you realised that every single person in your team had done a job so good, that it was absolutely perfect!

Well, that’s Team Flow for you. 

While the thought of contagious productivity can be extremely intriguing, it isn’t particularly easy to figure how you can get your team in the Flow state. But thankfully, there are ways to get there. 

  • The power of communication: While having tasks and deadlines in place is obvious, it is important to communicate goals and deadlines very clearly.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of insignificant tasks: Even though there’s always a larger objective to achieve, it is very necessary to keep track of all the small tasks that need to be done. At the end of the day, every little detail is important and skipping one might just make you fall flat on your face.
  • Feedback matters: Though being in the zone is fun, it doesn’t work well unless all your team members know how they are doing. You see, doing the work isn’t ever enough. Unless you know if a task has been completed successfully, you’ll never be sure of what to do next. And when you don’t know what to do next, your productivity takes a blow.
  • Don’t test your limits: Expertise exists for a reason. And while getting into flow that is exactly what makes you tick. At times, even testing your abilities can do wonders. But in case you aren’t skilled enough yet, it will only stress you out. Be sure you never bite off more than you can chew.
  • Team power: A great team makes getting into the flow state easier. At the end of the day, if you don’t have to worry about someone taking advantage of the others, it is much easier to concentrate on the task at hand. It really feels great to know that your team will have your back!

 

Let’s go with the Flow

Have you heard of the Flow State? 

 

Wise men say, if you truly enjoy what you do, you never know where the time flew… Sounds doubtful, right? It did to me as well. In fact, when I was new to this world, it was especially difficult for me to figure out how people were so engrossed in work, yet happy. I also couldn’t figure how they would achieve so much without feeling stressed and most importantly, I couldn’t figure out what I had to do to get there. 

To be honest, much as I tried, it seemed impossible for me to solve this. To love your job was one thing, but to achieve so much, an absolute mystery. However, things became clearer when I was introduced to the idea of the Flow State. 

For the uninitiated, the Flow State is one where people are so immersed in what they are doing that there is little scope for them to even acknowledge something that isn’t a part of their plan of action. 

 

Rules that make it Flow 

 

The idea of being so engrossed at work that your productivity is at its optimum is a great thought, but putting it in action takes effort and quite a bit of discipline. And here’s what makes it tick. 

  • Define your goals. Unless you know what you have to do, achieving them can be very, very hard. 
  • Eliminate distractions, internal and external. If you have your mind wandering, trying to figure things that aren’t on your To Do list, chances are, you’ll end up confused and distracted. 
  • Know what you can achieve. It is important to have a realistic idea about your skills, talents and limitations. Biting off more than you can chew can often lead to burnouts which are more evil than good. 
  • Be able to judge yourself. There’s no point in toiling for hours if you are incapable of judging your progress and performance. When you fail to do so, you often end up having to redo most of what you spend hours on completing. 
  • It might be hard, but loosening up and saying goodbye to self-consciousness is a very important part of the process. You see, it is only when you bid goodbye to relevant inhibitions that you can truly experience peace. 
  • Don’t try to track yourself in terms of time. While it is important to be able to finish work on time, giving yourself strict deadlines won’t help at all. 
  • Be in control of the situation. If you feel like you’re flailing, chances for panic modes to set in are very high.
  • Make sure you love what you’re doing. If there’s no love, there is no scope to go with the flow! 

 

Flow at work 

 

While most cases of Flow are linked to success stories of writers, artists or athletes, it thankfully isn’t restricted to only creative professions. If you think about it, Flow can easily occur when you are so focused on your tasks that everything seems effortless! 

The minute you focus wholeheartedly on what you have to do, there is an immediate spike in performance.

Moreover, Flow can encourage individuals to learn more at work. Why? Skill is an integral part of achieving this state. When you lack a skill, achieving complete focus can be harder than you expect. In fact, it might even seem boring without anything challenging your abilities after the first few times. 

Being engaged at work is not merely about turning up everyday and sitting at your chair for 8 straight hours or more. Those who have experienced Flow know better. When you are so engrossed in work that you love, not only does the quality of your work improve, it also leads to greater work satisfaction. It also boosts creativity which in turn has a great effect on performance and productivity and even intuitive decision-making. But to expect everyone to experience this state is not the right way to go. After all, if there is no love for the job, there’s no way you can go with the flow! 

Power through: with a nap!

Have you ever helped yourself to a large lunch at work and couldn’t but help doze off at your desk? If you have, you’re probably no stranger to the hell that follows. You see, dozing off at work is a rather unforgivable sin at the work spaces and places that we are used to. But did you know, things are not quite the same all over the world? You see, there are some places where falling asleep on the job is absolutely acceptable. Don’t believe us? Allow us to introduce you to Inemuri. The Japanese art of sleeping on the job. 

Translated from Japanese into “asleep while being present”, Inemuri is a way of life that only adults seem to be familiar with. While children have Hirune or specific nap times allocated for them, for Japanese adults, things are quite different. At the end of the day, they are known to be some of the hardest working people on the planet!

 

Nap here, nap now!

 

It was during one of my trips to Japan several years ago that I was introduced to this very interesting, but alien concept. I was used to a 9-5 work life in India and if anything, sleeping on the job, in my workplace was absolutely unacceptable. Even if we had pulled an all-nighter and could barely keep our eyes open the next day. In a haze of coffee and sleeplessness, the hours spent at work were rather… unproductive. 

In Japan, I realized that there was a rather simple solution to deal with all those extra hours, all that hustling and the inevitable burning out because you were too busy trying to keep your eyes open. Yes, you guessed it right: urban napping! 

 

The power of naps

 

To be honest, if you really think about it, you’ll realise that gone are the days when organizations looked down upon an employee dozing off. In fact, if you take a look around any modern organization that is known to care for its employees, you’ll see tons of sleeperies and sleeping pods in place, offering respite from the long, stressful hours you spend toiling away at work. 

Did you know, that power naps do quite a bit more than help you combat mental and physical exhaustion. They boost your memory, help you learn and understand better, impact your creativity positively, and even makes you more alert. But if they really do help so much, you must be wondering, why are people so apprehensive of them? To be honest, you can’t really blame them.

 

The rules of the naps

 

After all, not all naps are equal, some just end up making you feel worse. Thing is, if you don’t know the rules of Inemuri, you will wake up groggy, disoriented and desperate to go back to sleep! 

For starters, you must know how to respect everyone’s space. Dozing off can often mean that you have no idea where your head is lolling off to. And while it might help you, it might endlessly annoy your colleague whose bag you have ended up using as your pillow! If you really have to use a bag, make sure its your own. Plus it makes sure that no one has access to it while you’re in dreamland. 

Even though sleep is about comfort, it isn’t particularly advised to drag up several chairs to make a bed out of it on the work floor. Sleeping on the table resting your head on it might not be the most comfortable thing to do, but we aren’t trying to get a good night’s sleep here, you see. 

Snoring, though uncontrollable, can prove to be quite the Inemuri sin. The thing about public napping is ensuring that no one else around you is disturbed. And the one thing loud snores do ensure is public disgruntlement. 

Similarly, it isn’t recommended to keep your phone on loud as you wait for your alarm to wake you up. Especially when others are busy at work and don’t want shrill rings to distract them! 

In case you see a fellow colleague over-sleeping, it isn’t rude to wake them up. In fact, if you see a friend looking visibly exhausted, don’t hesitate to urge them to take that quick nap! 

However, embracing Inemuri in no way means embracing a toxic work culture that forces you to work so hard that you can barely keep yourself together. It doesn’t mean hustling 24X7 and it most definitely doesn’t mean becoming a slave to your workplace. What it simply means is making sure that you don’t burn out trying to get everything done when work hours seem long and deadlines overwhelming! 

HRMS of Future, will be about less-is-more

The genesis of any product is identifying the stakeholders. Basically, “who are you building this product for?”

This is precisely, where we have gone wrong with HRMS of the past.

 

Look at any of the legacy HR-tech solutions. What do you see? Mammoth heavy-duty, feature overloaded (“15000-feature solutions” as I like to call them), chunky software, based on super-standardized HR processes. Uncannily, they sync well with existing IT workflows in the organization, which makes for a strong selling point. I have a question at this stage. Whose life becomes easier with the above? 

The lives of the department that needs to administer these processes, i.e. HR and IT. These functions are also typically the decision-makers of an HRMS purchase. In other words, HR and IT are the “customers”, i.e. buyers. In itself, that is not a problem. 

Problem is this.

Who are the actual end-users? The “consumer”? 

Employees. 

 

And the problem is, the entire HRMS product design caters to the “buyer of the product” and completely overlooks the experience of “user of the product”. 

 

Philosophically, this is what I call a “point-of-sale” approach. The product design is focused on what makes it easier to sell to the buyer, instead of improving the experience of the user. 

Unfortunately for the sale-driven products, employees are becoming increasingly empowered. They no longer accept an experience imposed on them, nor have qualms making themselves heard, and worse – walking away. Therefore, this strategy will no longer work. Simply put, HRMS design simply cannot afford to ignore this user. 

 

Here is what I think, will work.

 

HRMS of the future will be about doing a few things really well. Innovation will be, not in terms of the number of features, but going in-depth into each process. This coincides with the evolving HR approach of acknowledging each employee as unique, requiring a unique approach. Tech products will need to support those micro-processes, naturally requiring deep solutions. 

For example, to date, we have blanket compensation structures for all employees. But don’t we all have different needs at different points in time? Some may need more cash, and others more benefits. 

Similarly, for learning. Why do we have mass training workshops? Wouldn’t micro-modules of learning, at the time you need it, work better?

 

But do HRMS tools enable a unique approach for every employee? No.

 

But they will need to.

This is why organizations need to choose specialized deep solutions, instead of bulky platforms that try to solve all problems; but end up addressing none, effectively.

 

Yes, I know the questions you want to ask at this stage.

 

1. Wouldn’t it be a challenge for employees to engage with multiple specialized tools instead of one standardized end-to-end HRMS?

This answer is simple. 

Today technology has made it possible. API integration allows organizations to bring together multiple deep-solutions to build a consortium of HRMS, where the tools can talk to each other, and employees interact across tools, effortlessly. 

2. Will it cost us more?

This answer is more of a question. 

We are talking of HR as a strategic partner today. If that be true, for how much longer will it take for us to transition from “cost-saving” to “value-creation”? The Indian HR market has been marred by the approach of 30 rupees-per employee for checking all boxes. Actually, I am asked this question often. Sometimes my question in return is, “how much do you spend on toilet paper?” The new age HRMS might cost less than that.

As I see it, the cost is not so much an issue. It is the inconvenience of change.

Elon Musk said, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is a disaster.”

Ignoring the empowered employee of today is nothing short of business disaster. This has been established often enough. Therefore, the only option is to change the way we approach HRMS in future.

And in that future, HRMS will need to be about, less-is-more.

 

Is it time to welcome decentralised workplaces?

When I was young and less experienced than I am now, the thing that I hated the most about work was the fact that I had to be in office for 8 lengthy hours whether I had work or not. Now, while that idea doesn’t seem so bad in 2019, life back in the day was not half as interesting online. So unless you were really good at creatively wasting time in the office, sitting through long, empty hours was excruciating. 

You see, earlier, workspaces used to flourish under rules and regulations that made sure that everyone was present in the office at the same time, putting both managers and employees on the same page in ways. But with technology and more resources that came with the digital revolution, things are thankfully changing. And one of the best things the future of work has introduced us to has been the idea of decentralised workforces. 

 

Welcome to the world of decentralised workforces 

 

If we are to take popular opinions seriously, a decentralised workplace isn’t one where all employees work from wherever they wish to. 

Inspired by the ideals of ownership, responsibility and freedom, a successful decentralised workforce is one where people shun feudal ideas like hierarchy and centralised decision making. In an attempt to disrupt the classic pyramid structure that most workforces have been used to, they value collaborations and of course, transparency. Decentralised workplaces also encourage creativity by enabling employees to take decisions without having to wait for permissions to be able to take any kind of action. 

 

Navigating through the new 

 

Though the very idea of celebrating freedom and transparency can be liberating for many, being decentralised isn’t as easy as you think.  For starters, with the idea being very, very new and not enough adopters out there, it’s never easy to figure out what you need to do when you step into this whole new world. 

Secondly, with no one in charge, unlike traditional workplaces, it can be challenging to successfully motivate employees to embrace and accept the new. 

Lastly, with the need to become more independent to fit into roles that decentralised workplaces have to offer, many find the thought of such great freedom intimidating, and thereby shy away from being what they believe can be their best. 

But with technology helping workspaces change and grow, managing a decentralised workforce isn’t as hard as you think it is. 

When there’s Dockabl, there’s a way! 

  • By prioritising simplicity and user experience, Dockabl makes sure that no user is confused or intimidated by the platform and doesn’t hesitate to use it. 
  • With a great emphasis on clear communication, users can have anchored conversations and receive actionable feedback. Thus, reducing the possibility of misunderstanding and ensuring better collaborations across teams.
  • You can actually be as flexible as you want to be. Starting from defining timelines that suit your convenience to immediately recognising people for the good work done. You can even run multiple reviews simultaneously, there’s no longer a need to adhere to old practices. 

So you see, changing times aren’t as scary as you thought them to be. If anything, it’s a whole bright future that guarantees a better life at work! 

The Future Is Here. But Are You Prepared For It?

Gone are the days where highly skilled expertise was the hero of your success story. The present and the inevitable future is quite different, to be honest. For starters, you’re in for a rather bumpy ride if you have a problem with accepting rapid changes. Why? The future of work is all about being agile, adaptable and creative. At the end of the day, how else can you keep up with such rapid changes that are constantly evolving? 

The times, as we know them, are changing. And along with it, so are workplaces. The huge shift that came about with the Digital Revolution not only introduced newer jobs and opportunities in the market, it also created a demand for newer skill sets that are a lot more fluid than we expected them to be. 

But does this mean that you should take to heart the worried whispers and be scared about what the future might hold for you? What if we told you, there’s no need to. Being prepared for the future is easier than you think it is. 

 

Flexibility bridges gaps

 

Contrary to what some believe, a Digital Revolution does not merely mean automation of specialised and general jobs. It also means greater flexibility. And with flexibility comes agile working. By shattering the age-old idea of 9 to 5 jobs, agile working allows employees to effectively be more productive. Flexible working does not only mean convenient working hours. By using technology to build robust online workspaces, companies can expand beyond geographical limitations. It also allows employees to work from anywhere, ensuring that they don’t burn out. 

By being able to access Dockabl from literally anywhere, employees no longer have to be constrained by the need to be physically present in the office. With an intuitive and easy to use interface, employees won’t waste hours keeping track of their task lists, feedback and deliverables. 

 

Learning never stops 

 

While educational institutes and degrees are important, learning on the job is no longer a matter of joke. After all, that’s how most millennials and centennials are learning. Be it videos, blog, online courses or even feedback from seniors and peers, millennials and centennials never shy away from making most of their curiosity and creativity. 

With Dockabl, the whole process of feedback becomes a lot less cumbersome than you think it is. For starters, it is no longer restricted to a few hours once a year. Additionally, it also enables you to appreciate those who have been performing exceptionally well. Not only does this give an employee a very realistic idea about how they are performing, it also gives them the space to recognise and rectify their mistakes and learn from them too. 

 

There’s more to creativity than you think 

 

Whether we want to admit to it or not, what scares us most about the future of work is the simple fact that there are high chances that the jobs we do will be taken over by AI. In simpler terms, automated. However, no matter what technology has in store for us, one thing’s for sure. There’s no way technology can replace human traits like imagination, curiosity, empathy and resilience. With these innate human capabilities being the pillars for Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, Critical and Adaptive Thinking among others, workspaces devoid of these will lack character and values that make it unique. 

Easy to use and convenient too, Dockabl is perfect for setting timelines as well as giving real-time feedback.By being flexible and smart, it also helps you communicate easily with your team on the platform and recognise their strengths and weaknesses too.

Do You Know Enough About A Workplace Evil We Call Performance Reviews?

Once every year, employees seem to be hustling harder than ever. Brows creased in concentration, they click away furiously at their keyboards. Even the procrastinators and regular office sinners seem to be hard at work. Sleepless nights of making presentations might not be a regular part of everyone’s work lives, but when it comes to acing the performance review, everyone wants to show off their best – even if it is just for a few days. 

 

Welcome to the world of performance reviews 

 

It was in the 1900s with the Personnel Administrative Movement that employers realised that work satisfaction does actually yield greater productivity. Conceptualised by Frederick W Taylor, his ideals about Work Design, Work Measurement and Production Control brought about a major transformation in the field of personnel management. 

However, it was only in the 1940s that management styles actually evolved to address the social needs of employees. From being relentless taskmasters, managers around this time became more empathetic and understanding, and in ways better leaders than they were in the past. Over the next years, it scientifically evolved into a workplace philosophy that actually improved productivity and efficiency through employee satisfaction. 

 

Evolving towards the better? 

 

However, what started off as a strategy to boost productivity evolved to become a rather painstaking process that actually affected teamwork as well as workplace morale rather negatively. In 2008, UCLA professor and management Sam Culbert emphasised on its evils. 

“It’s time to finally put the performance review out of its misery,” he wrote in the book Get Rid of The Personnel Review. “This corporate sham is one of the most insidious, most damaging, and yet most ubiquitous of corporate activities. Everybody does it, and almost everyone who’s evaluated hates it. It’s a pretentious, bogus practice that produces absolutely nothing that any thinking executive should call a corporate plus,” he declared. 

 

Evil lurks around 

 

In a world that is changing rapidly thanks to technology, it is wrong to believe that trends won’t. Even if they had been proven to work scientifically in the past. If anything, performance reviews consume a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources making it an expensive affair in more than one way. With faulty performance measurement metrics ruling the roost and inconsistent feedback joining in, traditional performance reviews are nothing but stressful in the world we live in. 

  •  Timeline Trouble 

Most performance reviews end up focusing on the most recent months that lead up to the review. With the focus being strong on just a few months of work, most achievements are usually forgotten. Similarly, errors made only during the recent months come under the spotlight often making it worse than it is. This also has quite a negative impact on morale. At the end of the day, if your entire year’s work has been compressed into one presentation, there are high chances that you end up feeling tiny and insignificant.

  • Human Follies 

Performance review processes are usually rather boring. Even more for a manager. Filling out the same paperwork for multiple people can be enough of a bore for some unmotivated ones to just go with averages without actually caring about how the employee is actually performing. 

  • Feedback Failure

More often than not, feedback is just a part of the performance review process with no real follow-ups in place. While it is easy to point out someone’s errors during the review, without follow up feedbacks, it’s impossible to figure if the employee is actually working towards improvement.

 

Future Perfect? 

 

So how can we really improve the process in the future? 

In an era of technological advancements, there is little you can do apart from upping your game to be in sync with the millennials and centennials. At the end of the day, it is no secret that employees perform better when their superiors not just recognise their talents, but appreciate and reward them too. 

While traditional performance reviews failed to make the process effective personally, a smart Performance Management System like Dockabl can make all the difference your company needs! 

  • Review Routines 

With Dockabl, not only can you establish timelines for each project, you can track your employees’ progress individually, give real-time feedback to them and even follow up pretty effortlessly. 

  • Recognition Matters 

Think someone on your team did a great job on a project? You don’t have to wait for a performance review to show them your appreciation. With a number of badges to choose from on Dockabl, no employee goes unappreciated. 

  • Flexibility for the Win 

Unlike traditional performance review processes, Dockabl is smart enough to understand your needs and help you come up with custom solutions. Solutions that give you the flexibility to track, review and reward an employee to motivate them to perform better. 

  • Communication is key 

By enabling you to communicate easily with your team on the platform, Dockabl eliminates chances of miscommunication and misunderstandings. It also helps employees address issues that would otherwise have to wait for months to be addressed. 

 

In a world where efficiency, accuracy and clear communication reigns supreme, it is only with a tool that eases the process of performance reviews to make it more interactive, personal and dynamic, that they can truly recognise an employee’s strengths and weaknesses and support them to evolve professionally. 

Slow and steady, or are you just lazy?

Have you met Sloth? 

 

At the corner desk, far from peering eyes, Sloth casually lounges about. Their face keeps changing and so do their names, but their irksome traits rarely do. Sloth, given the day and the time, can either choose to go missing in action, or be struck by tragedy or instigate a distraction so overwhelming that no one remembers to check on them… At the end of the day, if there’s anything that can help them get away with doing the bare minimum to keep themselves afloat at their job, they will turn to it. 

Employees plagued by Sloth have an unending list of excuses to allow them to get away without getting much done. At times, even the things they are supposed to. Not only that, they have some rather conniving ways of delegating their tasks to their unsuspecting colleagues, adding to their stress. 

 

Are they lazy? Or is work to blame?

 

While there are employees who excel in the art of being lazy, there are some who might be struggling at work. 

  • Did you know, for instance, bad briefs can lead to an employee appear like they are not doing their best? When an employee is confused about what to get done and when it gets very difficult for them to actually get the task done. 
  • In fact, performance stress can also make an employee hesitate to do their best. Take for example the under-confident young man who shies away from all presentations, despite having put in long hours to have gotten it done. 
  • Too much work can also make some want to run for their lives. Especially if it has become a dreary part of life. So if you aren’t around, how are you ever expected to get anything done? 

 

Experience no bar 

 

Motivating someone to be productive at work can be some serious work. But it gets even more serious when its a manager who needs to be motivated. In fact, things can get much worse if Sloth has chosen to accompany someone who is capable of calling the shots. Veiled by an aura of responsibility and accountability, lazy managers usually are the ones with the unhappiest teams. Sure he takes them to team lunches and remembers birthdays, but that doesn’t stop him from walking away from all that is on his plate… we mean, desk. Reports go missing, feedback never arrives and confusion reigns supreme.

At the end of the day, almost every one of us has a horror story to share about that lazy boss who never did much, but took credit for everything their team did without batting an eyelid. Relatable much? 

 

Happy to help 

 

Though identifying Sloth can be pretty easy, most of the time, that does you no good. Usually discreet and often careful, these employees and managers don’t really leave you much space to penalise them. At the end of the day, they don’t break rules or stir up trouble. All they do is get creative about doing less than their peers and juniors while keeping their jobs intact. Annoying, yes, but nothing a little motivation can’t fix! So at Dockabl we thought long and hard to come up with a few things that can actually make a difference to your workplace. 

  • Easy of use 

Be it a long-term project, or a short-term one, setting it up and keeping track of it on Dockabl is an absolute breeze. Its weekly prioritisation of work and goals not just help you stay on track, it also allows you to manage your time better. 

  • Transparency is key 

Thanks to the Review module, able to keep track of your task force ensures that you know what they are up to and how they are performing. Coupled with the Feedback module, addressing someone’s pain points and helping them through them become a breeze. 

  • Rewards for the win 

We know the importance of recognition and we make sure that no good job, no matter how insignificant you think it is, goes unrewarded. And that’s not it, if you have done a job well, we make sure that you have badges to flaunt and rewards to wait for. 

 

Sloth, unlike most work sins can be rather benign if you know how to deal with them. At the end of the day, all you need to do is ensure that your workforce stays motivated.