There is a reason we have managers in corporations that do employee performance reviews. It's a good way to get rid of someone who thinks they have too much tenure and can get away doing less than expected, or coast along well under their abilities. In a Corporation you hire someone and expect their best efforts. If you allow other employees to chime in on how the individual is doing, it's been said by psychologists and research tests that they are much harder on the individual than a manager might be, peers usually are, but what if we took that to a different level, and used an online social networking job performance strategy?
The reason I ask is there was a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal in August 1, 2010 in the careers section. The article was by Rachel Ema Silverman and Leslie Kwoh and was titled; "Performance Reviews, Facebook Style Employers Try to Flatten Management and Encourage Teamwork with Worker Evaluations by Peers," and it had a picture of an individual and their performance review with comments, and star ratings by each of their working peers in their division or on their team. Well, let's talk about what's likely to happen here.
First, I have to hand it to the company they came up with this idea Hearsay Social Incorporated out of San Francisco, the idea is interesting, you have to give them that. Nevertheless, it would appear to me that this will cause something similar to grade inflation that we find in our schools. Each individual being judged by their peers will also have their peers appear on their page as to what rating they gave them. They will have to give them a high rating rather than a low rating, or the bottom rating, or they might find a revengeful reciprocation in a low star rating for themselves when it comes their turn to be judged.
Whereas, it could cause people to perform better at work due to peer pressure, it could also turn into a cat fight causing problems, or it could cause something that the social networking specialist working on this hope to and that is it will get people to work closer together as a strong team unit. Still, if this is to be coupled to the bonuses of individuals it will become very similar to hijacked corporate boards where they keep voting themselves higher salaries, stock options, and bonuses. Or, if an employee gets laid off due to their review when budget cuts come, it could lead to all sorts of problems, ever watch the Survivor reality show?
We know how teenagers get when they badmouth each other online, imagine what adults might do who have resources to buy personal protection devices after they get fired because they didn't have good job approval ratings, did not appear to be working well with a team, or office politics got in the way of common decency. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.