The standard performance review usually goes something like this: the boss sits down with the employee and lists all of the things the employee did wrong over the course of the year. The employee feels defensive and stressed, and the boss wonders why he or she bothered to have the review in the first place.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. In fact, most performance reviews follow this same pattern, which is why they’re often seen as ineffective.

But what if there was a better way?

Rebecca Hinds of Asana Labs has suggested a new approach to performance reviews that she calls a “feedback switcheroo.”

In this paradigm, employees are tasked with “stepping into their manager’s shoes” and offering themselves one effective piece of feedback — ideally, something they can take action on immediately. Then, team members come up with actions for their bosses to implement, too— things that will make their jobs easier and their outputs better.

Here’s why this is a better approach to performance reviews.

  1. It’s a two-way street.

In the traditional performance review model, it’s easy for employees to feel like they’re being attacked. After all, the focus is on everything they did wrong. But with the feedback switcheroo, employees are given the opportunity to offer feedback to their managers as well. This helps create a more collaborative environment where both parties feel like they’re working together to improve performance.

  1. It’s actionable.

Another problem with traditional performance reviews is that they often lack concrete suggestions for improvement. This can leave both employees and managers feeling frustrated and stuck. But with the feedback switcheroo, employees are tasked with coming up with specific actions that their managers can take to improve their job satisfaction and output. This makes it easier for everyone involved to actually make changes that will have a positive impact on performance.

  1. It builds trust.

When employees feel like they’re being treated unfairly or that their concerns are being ignored, it erodes trust between them and their managers. But when employees are given the opportunity to offer feedback and see that their suggestions are being taken seriously, it builds trust and creates a more positive work environment overall.


If you’re looking for a way to make your performance reviews more effective, try out the feedback switcheroo! This two-way approach will help build trust between you and your team while also providing concrete suggestions for improvement.

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