Kiss once-a-year performance reviews good-bye

KumquatIf you work in the corporate world, you’re likely starting to feel a little prickly sensation on the back of your neck. And that’s because, after reading that headline up there, you’re beginning to think about the ominous–not to mention foreboding–“annual performance review.”

As an employee, you’re now beginning to scramble. Trying to remind your managers about all of the great work you’ve done this past year.

You can’t actually remember all the work you’ve done. But you’re hoping your manager can.

While knowing full well, in your heart of hearts, that your manager is as busy as you, if not busier, so s/he’s really just going to rate you on your last project or two.

To use an inane sports analogy (as I, being a dumb jock, am wont to do), you’re in the review playoffs. No one cares about the season anymore.

And even then, you’re likely going to be plotted somewhere along the required “curve” so that there is a equal distribution of “exceeds,” “meets,” “needs improvement,” and “does not meet” employees in the organization. (I mean, really. Who wants to work in an organization where every employee is one who “exceeds expectations” and is rewarded for said effort? Perish the thought.)

And as bad as that sounds, my corporately employed friend, truth of the matter is that someone has it even worse than you. And that person is one of the ever-growing number of independents and employees of smaller businesses.

“Feedback on my performance?” those people say. “What’s that?”

As an independent, your only “performance review” is likely how long it’s taking your customer to pay your invoices. Less than 30 days? Must be happy. Ninety days out? Maybe not.

Call us crazy, but we thought this was a problem. We thought it was a problem when we were on the corporate side of the desk. And we know it’s a problem on the consulting side of the desk.

So, a little over seven months ago, we quietly introduced a project on which we had been working. That project was called Kumquat. And it’s been quite a haul. (If you’re the type who likes to hear all the sordid details, here are all the Kumquat-related posts.)

For those of you who want the summary, we’re happy to oblige.

Kumquat is a simple, Web-based tool that allows you to take control of your performance reviews, allowing you to solicit feedback whenever–and from whomever–you want.

It’s not about getting your annual bonus. It’s not about grading along the curve. It’s about you getting the feedback you need to improve.

Then–if you’re an employee–when it comes around to annual review time, you’ll have a ream of pixel-based (or paper based, if you prefer) reports to hand to your manager. Then instead of saying “What did I do this year?” you’ll be saying “Look at how lucky you are to have me.”

And if your manager doesn’t feel lucky to have you. Well, Kumquat works then, too.

Because then it’s about you controlling your information. It’s about you being able to use that effusive and glowing employee file to find yourself a new gig. And it’s about continuing to collect, manage, and track both the critical and positive feedback gig after gig after gig. Until you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing and you’re doing it exceptionally well.

And since you’re a reader of More than a living, we assume this is something you might be able to put to good use. So, we’re going to give you access to Kumquat. Let you in the secret back door. So that you can start using Kumquat to gather the feedback you deserve.

This special super secret access link will only be open for a limited time. So, if I were you, I’d register for your free Kumquat account, right now.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback.

Have at it. Or take a closer look.

About Rick Turoczy

More than mildly obsessed with the Portland startup community. Founder and editor at Silicon Florist. Cofounder and general manager at PIE. Follow me on Twitter: @turoczy
This entry was posted in Career, Feedback, Kumquat, Performance, Review. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Kiss once-a-year performance reviews good-bye

  1. Bren says:

    Hi guys. Just tried to start an account using my OpenID. “Login Failed” over and over. I’d WAY rather use OID. Trying via Safari 3.0.4. Tips?

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