Everyone dreads them: The annual performance review. After all, it’s hard for employees to do much with a yearly sit-down where some past accomplishments and failings are outlined, and a vague improvement plan with far-off objectives is set in place.
Numerous companies have emerged in recent year to kill such reviews, including pulse survey startups like Tiny Pulse that produce frequent, anonymous employee polls to help bosses understand in real time who is happy, who isn’t, and what they can do about it.
Reflektive, a year-old, San Francisco-based employee engagement and performance platform, is taking things in a slightly different direction by making it easier for colleagues and managers to deliver real-time feedback via Gmail, Outlook and Slack.
With a pop up tab that appears in the body of an email, a colleague can provide feedback about what someone did particularly well any time they’re moved to do so. Meanwhile, managers can use the field any time they like to deliver constructive feedback.
The idea: by making it easy to garner more frequent feedback and generate more open conversation, employee reviews – whether annual, quarterly, or monthly – can include many more data points, presumably becoming more productive in the process.
Andreessen Horowitz apparently likes the approach. It just gave Reflektive $3.5 million in seed funding in a deal led by general partner Lars Dalgaard, who earlier founded and ran the HR software company Successfactors.
Going forward, says founder and CEO Rajeev Behera, Reflektive’s 13-person team aims to build up more products that are engaging for employees, including profiles where people can update others about what they’re doing, what they’ve accomplished, and what projects on which they’re working.
Reflektive also plans to integrate with many more services, including Salesforce, Github, and Hubspot.
“We want to be where you are,” says Behera, who last worked at Disney Interactive, managing a team of roughly 80 people and observing firsthand lots of “task management” versus employee development.
Behera thinks that by creating a far more open feedback loop, managers will be better equipped to help their employees’ careers to evolve, and employees will be more motivated to spend time with their management.
More than 50 paying clients are giving it a shot. Among Reflektive’s customers is Pinterest, Glassdoor, Lyft, Optimizely, Instacart and Thumbtack.