Many supervisors and subordinates hate performance appraisal exercises. Moreover, the benefits of performance appraisals for organizations are questionable. To address these challenges, we participated in the development of an alternative Strength-Based Performance Appraisal (SBPA) and a goal setting process, considering ideas both from performance appraisals practitioners and from Positive Psychology scholars. SBPA emphasizes learning from success stories using the Feedforward interview [Kluger A.N. and Nir D., 2009. The feedforward interview. Human Resource Management Review 20,235-246.], reflected best self [Roberts L.M., Dutton J.E., Spreitzer C.M., Heaphy E.D., Quinn R.E. 2005. Composing the reflected best-self portrait: Building pathways for becoming extraordinary in work organizations Academy of Management Review 30(4),712-736], finding new ways to use existing strengths (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005) and a win-win approach (Pruitt & Rubin, 1986). However, SBPA does not avoid negative feedback; it constrains it for prevention-focus behaviors, where it appears to be effective in increasing motivation and performance [Van-Dijk D. & Kluger A.N. 2004. Feedback sign effect on motivation: Is it moderated by regulatory focus? Applied Psychology: An International Review, 53(1), 113-135]. Following an elaboration of the theoretical rationale of SBPA, we describe a case study of applying SBPA at SodaStream (formerly Soda-Club), coupled with an initial evaluation of its impact. We conclude with lessons learned from the first implementation, followed by a call for replications.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Recanati Fund at the School of Business Administration to the second author. We wish to thank Ronit Sarig of SodaStream, Naftali Leder of LotemSystems, and all the employees of SodaStream and of LotemSystem who co-developed with us the SBPA and gave a chance to bold ideas. We also thank Ayala Benjamin and Ayelet Cohen who interviewed SodaStream employees.
- Goal setting
- Performance appraisal
- Positive psychology