Why you should stop using Word/Excel/Docs/Sheets for performance reviews

Google Docs or Sheets, Microsoft Word or Excel are perfect for simple exchanges of information between a few people. But with ten or more people in your business, they are not the right medium for managing feedback processes. ‍

This article is an extract from the book 10 fatal feedback mistakes that kill team culture. Click here to download a full PDF copy.

Mistake #6. Using Word/Excel/Docs for performance feedback

Why is this a problem? 

Google Docs, Google Sheets, Microsoft Word or Excel are perfect for simple exchanges of information between a few people. 

But once you have ten or more people in your business, they are not the right medium for managing feedback processes. 

Here are four reasons why: 

  1. It’s an administrative nightmare sharing a feedback document, chasing people up, aggregating responses, saving/ filing documents and then finally sharing feedback with the right people at the right time.
  2. Because this process is manual and painful, companies only do it once or twice per year. This is far too infrequent for regular performance course-correction. 
  3. Given the top-down initiation of this process, there’s little incentive for Charlie to be proactive and gather ad-hoc feedback.  
  4. It’s nearly impossible for Charlie to respond anonymously, which means he is less honest and feedback is less useful. See Mistake #4.
Steps to solve it

There are now a few tools designed specifically to help companies automate their performance feedback processes. Of course, I'm biased, but I do believe that Howamigoing is the best tool available. 

Firstly, it’s just really easy to use. It looks and feels like Pinterest or Tumblr, but it’s technically an HR tool. We believe beautiful design is not a nice to have, but a need to have. Humans are visual animals, that’s why art is a thing. Our eyes and brains judge things faster than we can find the words to justify why.

Secondly, it’s made with the employee in mind, meaning:

  1. It provides psychological safety with partial anonymity for 360 feedback processes;
  2. It encourages better feedback habits through best-practice templates developed with leading behavioural psychologists
  3. People can gather feedback from who they want, when they want, on what they want - and they can publicly recognise someone else’s actions with the click of a button

Thirdly, it’s one of the few anonymous feedback and public praise platforms that are available on an entirely self-service, Freemium basis. No need for lengthy and complex onboarding processes. 

In late 2019, Metro Bank used Howamigoing to do a three-week strengths-based 360 feedback cycle across two branches in West London. After reading their feedback, 57% of branch staff said they felt more confident and 57% said they felt more valued (that’s not a typo!). Not one person said they felt less confident or less valued. 


What would it mean for half of your team to all of a sudden feel more confident and valued?