Startup offers continuous performance review

Nov. 30, 2014

Ready for your annual performance review? How about your daily review? In fact, continuous performance review seems to be the goal of Boston-based startup Dunwello, where people are rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in what might be considered 360° feedback (or multisource assessment) on steroids.

Boston Globe columnist Scott Kirsner, for example, now shows a rating of 9.1. And TRX instructor Nichole Bukowski has an impressive 9.9 rating.

Is such transparency a good thing? Writes Dante Ramos in the Boston Globe, “In many industries, personnel evaluations come from above, and they’re handled in hushed tones—a closed-door meeting with the boss, a written annual review hidden in the recesses of the human-resources office. If you’re among the millions of American workers reared in this culture of discretion, you may be wary of a website that lets co-workers, supervisors, clients, and business contacts rate you on a 1-to-10 scale.” (LinkedIn has the “Endorse” function but doesn’t support numerical ratings.)

Dunwello seems to be aiming at personal service providers that the average consumer might use—hair stylists, trainers, real-estate agents, lawyers—not engineers. But it’s not hard to imagine a corporation adopting Dunwello or a similar platform.

Adds Ramos, “…if Dunwello founder Matt Lauzon and his team don’t succeed in bringing this level of workplace transparency into the mainstream, someone else will. The growing number of contract workers who live from client to client, not to mention full-time employees who don’t expect to stay at their current jobs for more than a couple of years, benefit less from workplace secrecy than from having other people sing their praises in a public forum.”

In a related column, Ramos looks at “self promotion through the ages”: the letter of introduction (1880-1890), resume and cover letter (from 1482, peaking in 1994), position wanted newspaper ad (“enjoyed a minor renaissance in the early 2000s among underemployed professionals”), Internet job boards (2003-2006), Craigslist services offered ad (early 00s to present),  LinkedIn (mid 00s to present), and Dunwello (new).

Each of these, Ramos says, has drawbacks—a typo in your resume could cost you your dream job, and a sudden flurry of activity on LinkedIn signals to your current employer that you are looking elsewhere.

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