This post was written anonymously by a current Google and former Microsoft employee. It details the author’s perspective on her first-hand experience with Google’s performance review system.
“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”
–Franklin D. Roosevelt
Institutions are built on the trust and credibility of their members. This maxim holds true for employees and their employers just the same as it does for citizens and their government. Whereas the electoral process in modern democracies allows you and me to rate our government’s performance, performance rating systems make employees the subject of evaluation. In both cases, however, faith in the integrity of the process is the only thing that ensures order.
Managing a performance rating system that motivates, rewards, and retains talented employees across an organization tens of thousands large is a grueling, never-ending challenge. How does an organization balance values core to its DNA and its continued success — merit, openness, innovation, and loyalty — all while maintaining perceptions of fairness?