Jack Dorsey: No More Annual Reviews at Block

Published on
Feb 27, 2023
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In a recent announcement that caught the attention of the corporate world, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Block (formerly Square), unveiled a transformative approach to performance management within his company.

This change, departing from traditional annual performance reviews, signifies a broader shift in how companies are rethinking employee evaluation and development.

Why should other organizations pay attention? Dorsey's announcement is not just a change in policy for a major tech company; it represents a progressive mindset towards managing talent in an era that demands agility, continuous learning, and real-time feedback. The move away from conventional methods reflects a deep understanding of the evolving nature of work and employee engagement in the 21st century.

In this discussion, we will delve into the key aspects of Block's new approach and explore how these strategies can be a guiding light for other organizations aiming to foster a culture of excellence and continuous improvement.

Embracing a Culture of Continuous Excellence

Moving Beyond Annual Reviews

Block’s decision to discard annual performance reviews signals a significant shift towards a culture of continuous excellence.

Traditional performance reviews often lead to delayed feedback and can be too rigid to accommodate the dynamic nature of modern work environments. Other organizations can take this as an invitation to reevaluate their performance management systems.

Continuous feedback mechanisms are more aligned with the rapid pace of change in today's workplace, allowing for immediate adjustments and fostering a more agile and responsive workforce.

Implementing Continuous Real-Time Feedback

A Model for Ongoing Engagement

By shifting to a system of continuous, real-time feedback, Block addresses one of the main critiques of annual reviews: their lack of timeliness.

This approach can serve as a model for other companies looking to enhance the relevance and immediacy of their feedback processes. Continuous feedback not only aids in promptly addressing issues but also in recognizing and reinforcing positive performance, keeping employees engaged and motivated.

Transparent Performance Ratings

Encouraging Clarity and Accountability

Block’s introduction of visible performance ratings offers a lesson in transparency and accountability.

Organizations can learn from this by implementing systems that clearly communicate performance expectations and outcomes. This transparency ensures that employees understand how their work aligns with company goals and what they need to do to succeed, creating a more empowered and informed workforce.

Plus, no more surprises when it comes to performance conversations.

Ending Traditional Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)

Fostering Proactive Improvement

The decision to end PIPs in the U.S. and focus on direct feedback highlights the importance of proactive rather than reactive performance management.

Other organizations should take note. Focus on constructive feedback and early intervention to prevent performance issues from escalating.

This doesn't mean you lose any documentation but rather you're minimizing the need for formalizing the "improvement" process by making it an ongoing activity.

Integrating These Learnings into Your Organization with WorkStory

Leveraging Technology for Effective Performance Management

Platforms like WorkStory can help organizations integrate these lessons into their own performance management strategies.

WorkStory provides tools for continuous feedback, real-time performance tracking, and personalized development plans, aligning perfectly with the principles of continuous improvement and excellence exemplified by Block.

Adopting such platforms allows companies to transform their approach to employee development, making it more dynamic, responsive, and aligned with the ever-changing nature of work.

WorkStory Performance Review Process Webinar
Hosted by Matthew Meadows, Josh Smith
In this 20-minute overview and product demo, Cofounder and CEO, Matt Meadows will show you how you can use WorkStory to streamline your performance review process — in just minutes — while significantly increasing the amount of feedback your team members want/need. You’ll learn why hundreds of teams are using WorkStory to operate their performance management process and how they’re getting tons of time and energy back because of it.
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