Tech Helps Track Performance Feedback

Companies looking to make the move from annual, quantitative performance reviews to more qualitative conversations need to consider more than just refreshing their managers’ interpersonal skills.

New technology companies are helping employees to connect with their managers and get the feedback they need to improve.

San Francisco-based Impraise is one such company. CEO Bas Kohnke founded the company after experiencing frustration at his previous startup when he was unable to get constructive feedback from his employees on his performance.

“There was no way to give anonymous feedback, so there was no way for me as a manager to improve myself,” Kohnke said. “That’s where I struggled. So I said, OK, I should think of a way where people can share feedback and learn from each other.”

Impraise has produced a Web and mobile app that enables employees to give and request feedback from managers and colleagues. The goal of the technology, Kohnke said, is to help managers understand what their coaching needs are on a day-to-day basis.

“We focus on skill development,” Kohnke said. “By asking for feedback, you can measure skill development over time. On the other side, it gives managers the insights into strengths and weaknesses of their employees rather than finding gold-star employees later in their development.”

Companies can customize the app based on their own competency models or specific skills based on a job description, Kohnke said. The feedback that is shared is anonymous so employees can make critiques without the fear of repercussion.

Larger HR technology platforms, such as SAP’s SuccessFactors, also collect performance data to be reviewed on an annual basis. Kohnke said the benefit of apps like Impraise is that they can run in conjunction with these complex tools so employers can continue to collect yearly data while integrating regular feedback through the app.