Fifth Friday Review Brainstorm

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Before the Meeting

  1. review Collective Level Expectations
  2. review Collective Member Review Policy
  3. look at mid-Probationary check-in
  4. look at Probationary Review questions
  5. look at this page & put your ideas here

Fifth Friday Agenda

  • Overview of Probationary Period
  • 3 month check-in
  • 6 month probationary review
  • Overview of Regular Reviews
  • How to make the review process better

How to improve reviews

put your ideas here and we'll discuss them at the meeting

  • more room for positive feedback
  • Swap anonymity for questions on regular reviews
  • One time all-Collective, all departments (in addition to regular reviews)
  • move to HR for a proposal
  • level of interaction
  • document interpersonal arguments
  • CONSENSUS level of interaction with reviewee and how that is not currently reflected in reviews ("I don't know" option)
  • have each question include both a "level of interaction" rating and a rating on the topic. e.g.: The question "Leaves volunteer-inhabited areas clean at the end of the shift" would have a space to both rate the reviewee's performance, and the give the scale of interaction the reviewer has in this capacity. gives more info than just "i don't know" and identifies any collective members who are more isolated from the group.

  • how to bring up issues outside of review (HR is a safe space for this)
  • speaking straightforward with each other (there's a difference between blowing off steam and having an ongoing issue - talk to person, take it to HR, ask for mediated discussion). This is a Collective Level Expectation, to appropriately deal with conflict.

  • one time (per year, for example) all Collective Members have to answer these questions of each other:
  • how well does this person do on floor shifts and in their main area of responsibility?
  • how well does this person do in meetings and with committee work?
  • should this person remain on the Collective?
  • review the organization as a whole, review "departments"

  • probationary review is the only time we question whether a person belongs on the Collective, how do we include this in later reviews?
  • flaming gong on each review "is this person performing up to Collective Level Expectations?"

  • mandatory responses to "Do you have any questions for the reviewee?"
  • how to address targeted questions?
  • Asking each Collective member: what is xxx's job? (before, during, after Probationary Period)
  • CONSENSUS Use an online survey to handle these. makes it much faster to complete, eliminates data entry and makes poking those who haven't completed the review as simple as pressing a button.
  • resolve conflicting statements of what additional things people should do
  • solicit feedback from non-Collective members
  • anonymity: should reviews be anonymous?
  • what about Probationary review "should this person be on the Collective?" question? should this be something folks are talking to probationary member beforehand?
  • Reviewer is responsible for connecting folks with significant issues
  • CONSENSUS 3 month check-in conversation with all staff (minus Probationary member)
  • what about every review? logistically a little complicated

Ideas From Luiz

Possible characteristics to rate collective members by, grouped thematically I wanted to group reviews into both the different roles that collective members find themselves in and the different personality and work traits that have proven effective in the past. Whatever attributes we agree on would then be put into an online survey so that the data could be autopopulated into a spreadsheet. There are several broad goals: To decrease the amount of time it takes to review someone so that it can happen more frequently without dominating HR members plates, to lessen the amount of open-ended feedback (so that feedback is more specific and less subjective), to increase the likelihood of targeted feedback, make them feel more anonymous and dispassionate.

Meetings and Committee Work

  • Meeting facilitation (on time, on topic, balanced)
  • Scribing (clear, accurate, dispassionate)
  • Preparation (familiar with topics to be discussed)
  • Contribution (takes on regular committments)
  • Punctual (shows up on time)

Floor shift work

  • Steadiness (works for whole time, stays on task)
  • Area development (makes gradual evolutionary improvements to floor areas)
  • Intern coordination (effectively manages interns)
  • Punctuality (on time for floor shifts)


  • Task completion (completes tasks in a reasonable amount of time)
  • Inbox management (does not over-commit)
  • Mindful of others work (does not interrupt unless necessary)


  • uses appropriate language (professional, polite, content-oriented)
  • tells others when help is needed
  • offers help to others who need it
  • Netiquette (professional, polite, content-oriented)
  • receptiveness (allows and encourages feedback)
  • gives good feedback (constructive, dispassionate)
  • lobbies through committees


  • welcoming to volunteers (says thank you, remembers names, etc)
  • trusting of coworkers (trusts other committees decisions)
  • satisfaction (wants to work here)
  • positive (looks for solutions)


  • Organization development (makes gradual evolutionary improvements to org)
  • Macromanagement (broad direction is primary concern)
  • Example (models good work to volunteers in areas)


  • Worker is given enough help
  • More stuff goes here, I'm sure

Problems with recent Probationary Reviews

  • aligning individual expectations with group expectations (what is this person supposed to be doing, and are they doing their job? discrepancies between mid-probationary and final probationary comments)
  • varying levels of individual interaction with the probationary reviewee: how to note this and how to deal with issues/complaints, how to not be surprised by others' serious concerns but also respect confidentiality
  • Probationary review questions don't accurately measure what it means to be a Collective member, leading to conflicting/confusing review feedback
  • Less-than-complete honesty at mid-probationary review (fear of overreacting?) and subsequent "out of the blue" responses/issues on Probationary review