Real Time Performance Feedback? They Have an App for That

The annual performance review needs improvement.

One of the most critical aspects of workforce development is feedback on employee performance. It’s a cornerstone of informal development.

Annual performance reviews have long been the main platform for managers to review their employees’ work habits and day-to-day behavior. But a mobile app designed at Temple University’s Fox School of Business is now available to address the need for real-time workplace performance reviews.

DevelapMe is a competency-based, real-time feedback app created by Tony Petrucci, academic director of leadership development; Michael Rivera, associate professor of strategic management; Cliff Tironi, performance analytics manager for the Fox MBA and MS programs; and administrator Dean Moshe Porat. Petrucci said the app “allows co-workers to encapsulate interactions as they happen, and then organize them by competencies and skills that align with business strategies and drive results.”

The app was built to replace the annual review process with a digital platform that tracks workers’ everyday performance. Feedback goes from direct report to supervisor, supervisor to direct report, and peer to peer. The app offers a 1-to-5 scale to grade skills, which is useful for different industries, and DevelapMe has already been incorporated into a range of workplaces, from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses. “We have a health care company using the app as a part of their strategy for patient satisfaction. ARI, a large private company in Philadelphia, uses the app with their senior leadership team,” Petrucci said.

The fast-paced environment millennials expect in the workplace — as well as their desire for frequent feedback — factored into the app’s development. “Millennials are looking for a coach, not a boss,” Petrucci explained. “They’re really looking for a connection to the purpose of the organization.”

But if that’s the case, then what are the benefits of going through technology for performance reviews rather than promoting personal, face-to-face interaction? Petrucci said the app is primarily used for developmental purposes. “We encourage the app to be an enhancement and enabler for face-to-face communication. We do not want the app to replace this. Millennials in particular have an affinity for using technology to communicate, especially if that technology is more meaningful. This way, we can quickly capture the feedback that happened during the face-to-face communication. It’s more meaningful than your average annual performance appraisal.”

DevelapMe leaves room for employees to improve, as they can track their progress through the app. It also helps supervisors seek out feedback in an efficient and accurate way.

Camaron Santos is an editorial intern for Chief Learning Officer magazine. Comment below or email