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The Crowdsourced Performance ReviewReview - The Crowdsourced Performance Review
How to Use the Power of Social Recognition to Transform Employee Performance
by Eric Mosley
McGraw-Hill, 2013
Review by Anthony R. Dickinson
Oct 22nd 2013 (Volume 17, Issue 43)

Available in both hardback an ebook (Kindle) formats, this 10 chapter volume introduces a novel use of both new technology and social information (crowdsourcing), for the explicit purpose of assisting personnel decision-making in the hiring (and nurturing) of corporate employees and business operations. Initially ringing the reviewers alarm bells with regards previous uses (and abuses) of publicly-available social network information (such as MySpace & Facebook) for employee application considerations, Mosely's proposed system for use in human resources (HR) operations are much more focused upon the work-related activities of individual employee development and long-term appraisal. Several sections of more than one chapter deal with Mosely's integration of his new Crowdsourced Performance Review (Social Recognition, (SR)) system with traditional 'annual appraisal' systems (the latter already in use by medium to large enterprises and institutions for many years now), though this is not really necessary once accepted in transition, and if his system is working well as designed.

Whereas the more traditional employee appraisal systems have relied upon paper and pencil-generated once-per-year snapshot questionnaires and/or 'tick-list-1-5 performance scale rating' evaluations largely conducted by senior peers concerning their junior peers, Mosely's performance review seeks to 'automate' some of the information gathering process, implementing its critical data acquisition throughout the year, and involving a much wider spread of contributors (even public) in evaluating individual employee and team performances. Likewise placing a check on the likes of easily-corruptible programs such as had been proposed by 360 programs or Investors-in-People (the latter more a corporate PR than HR quality-control and efficiency measure in my view), Mosely's performance review' incorporation of social recognition measures adds a new (and welcome) dimension for all concerned in the ongoing appraisal and review processes designed to better optimise employee performance for the benefit of its workforce, shareholders, and clients/customers alike.

Linked to pre-planned weekly or monthly employee-reward schedules (customisable to the needs and operations of each and every company/organization using it, the system outlined in the Crowdsourced Performance Review openly invites ALL employees (from the CEO up to the front-line and ancillary manual support staff) to contribute commentary concerning any given employees work-related performance activity for others to see, and comment upon further. System examples of the methods and input responses previously encoutered are provided across the various later chapters of the book, though mainly focused upon the ways in which a supervisor had become aware of information that they would otherwise NOT have perhaps learned/accessed, which were later proven to be of critical import in informing their own line-management employee (or teams') true performance, and especially so with regards their individual company project's efficiency. Appearing thus somewhat like a customizable, company-centered Facebook with smart analysis and graphic outputs of work-related, social-recognition driven networking results, the Crowdsourced Performance Review potentially provides a relatively automated system which may be used to gauge the ongoing (even real time) competence(s) and critical functioning of individual employees in the workplace (at least as perceived by other colleagues within the same company, or as may be perceived by associated departments anywhere else in the world). Such might also include distributors and customers, but that was an option yet to be discussed here.

Indeed, and without his exploring the technical aspects of the system's operation in this book, Mosely only falls short of suggesting the use of any text-meaning extraction algorithms (such as are used in 'item-to-item' collaborative filtering networks for personal recommendation lists of other sorts !), in better informing HR department personnel about their workforce' membership. Such a system as Mosely proposes will need have in place sufficient security so as to minimise 'elite clique' plotting or organised breakaways (many a company's future rivals are its own previous employees !), and or potential abuse made affordable by an existing rival's infiltration and/or 'planting' of incorrect or otherwise corrupting information if too public an access domain be instituted.

Having said this, if used on a regular basis by a significant portion of a company's workforce, and neither compromised nor abused by the disaffected or Luddite-minded), Mosely's Crowdsourced Performance Review offers one of the best all round systems of gathering (and dispaying/summarizing) individual performance measures I have seen to date, so long as closely mated with the 'aims and objectives' of the company/institution using it. In appraising Mosely's thinking, I see a new and innovative product for consideration and use, and look forward to learning of his program's implementation in the market for new and exciting performance review systems. Its outcome measures should be best determined not only from the predictably increased employee retention rates, talent recruitment and promotion opportunity enhancements its use is designed to promote, but should also manifest itself in the significant growth of company(ies) employing it.

 

© 2013 Anthony R. Dickinson

 

Dr. Anthony R. Dickinson [Business Intelligence & Development Consultant, October, 2013].


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