Following on my recent musings about performance management and judgement vs metrics, I wonder out loud: Why Do We Have “Performance Evaluations”, Anyway?

I'm quite curious about the experiences of folks on here at -- if any of you has worked in co-operative and other more self-organized structures, can you share if/how were "performance evaluations" done? And, relatedly, did compensation have any component related to "performance"? (And if so, how did that work?)

@anaulin I'm not in a worker coop, but my experience of being an employee in a large organisation is that performance evaluations are mostly done against targets, and those targets are to be aligned with your manager's to help them achieve their target. If you follow these up the hierarchy you ultimately find that the targets are to be aligned with the overall organisation's. The point is to align your work with the overall goals of the organisation and your team

@anaulin Then they have all of these SMART criteria or whatever so that they're measurable and the individual employee is held accountable against these goals.

Maybe co-ops need something similar, although I feel that the version I've seen is not exactly aligned with many people's ideals for worker co-ops, where worker and team autonomy should be desirable.

@anaulin in self-organized structures I worked at, need was separated from income. so we distributed what revenue we had based on who was most in need. performance review was tied to how much each person wanted to do and how close that got us to our end goals. sometimes if there was not enough will, things didn’t get done.

@anaulin I've probably avoided positions where someone might performance evaluate me.

Though would love more of: "supporting someone to grow in the ways that fit them best"

I've been pondering a way to distribute money in a team and maybe the same idea applies to evaluations: workers themselves tend to know who is up to what, so if everyone did score voting about everyone else, might quickly work it out p2p style.

Might not work without generally transparent/open personal dynamics though.


I was working in a small team earlier this year. We agreed at the beginning to discuss at the end how to split the funds we were getting to carry out the work.

We all know each other pretty well.

The process was new for us all and wasnt very smooth.

I think that having a bit more of a chat early on about how the money was going to be split may have helped.

We all agreed on a division at the end and are all still friends.


@dazinism @anaulin @strypey @nicksellen @loshmi @captainbland

This was such a great discussion, I archived it in category for social coop, and economics.

Making discussions like these are what I think makes social coop brilliant.

Hopefully we can develop Social Coop into a 24/7 "helpline" for coops around the world to ask for similar advice and support.

@dazinism @anaulin I haven't really experienced this in a paid work context, but I have been in volunteer collectives (including shared houses) where we assumed we could 'cross that bridge when we get to it', because we all knew each other well. I think it's always better to work it out beforehand, especially anything involving money or assets. Agreeing on conflict resolution processes at the start is helpful too. Friendships take less strain that way ;-)

@anaulin i believe folks from the Loomio Coop have written about this in their handbook and blood. If a web search doesn't turn up anything useful let me know and I'll dig into my history and see if I can find the stuff I'm thinking of. Rich from Loomio / Enspiral is writing a book on decentralised organising, working draft up now on Leanpub.

@anaulin that should have been "blog" not "blood". I'm not sure if anyone from Loomio has written anything in blood, but if they have I hope they still have their souls, immortal or otherwise ;)

I've been meaning to have a look at Rich's book, sounds like a should. I'll look at the handbook as well. Thanks for the tips!

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