Morning Coffee: J.P. Morgan keeps tabs on employees 24/7. Hedge fund tries too hard to be cool
J.P. Morgan is following Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs by shaking up its annual review process away from purely ranking people every year and more towards keeping a constant check on their employees.
The bank has introduced 'Insight360 software', a mobile tool that lets workers across the bank’s many divisions send and receive instant critiques of and from their colleagues. Clearly, this is a huge change in the way that it evaluates employees.
John Donnelly, head of human resources, said the idea is to foster professional development of the bank’s 243k staff. Many workers, especially younger ones, appreciate constant feedback and prefer that to a traditional once-a-year performance review.
“By listening to you, we learned that our employees want to know where they stand at all times,” Donnelly said. The web-based application will allow employees “to request and receive feedback from anyone, anytime.”
A J.P. Morgan manager can use the new technology to ping meeting participants for reactions on how a specific employee performed right after a project is completed. Workers can also request written critiques or give unsolicited reviews about their colleagues – the person who initiates the query determines who else gets to see the feedback, according to Bloomberg.
Previously J.P. Morgan employees participated in yearly reviews and got a rating ranging from “needs improvement” to “exceeds expectations.” Now annual evaluations will be broken into four categories to measure business results, client focus, teamwork and risk controls.
Separately, hedge funds are organising hackathons and shelling out big pay packets to lure PhDs, data scientists and quants across from other industries, but some are trying a little too hard to appeal to the 'nerds'. Two Sigma provides potential hires with a graphic novel explaining the virtues of working for the firm including the 'Monte Carlo Hill Climbing Lunch', according to the FT, where an algorithm selects four employees a week to invite out to lunch. "As if there were a better way to pick people to eat with,” the graphic novel says.
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