It's an annual ritual: every year, Goldman Sachs identifies the 1,850 of its employees who are performing worst than the rest and shows them the door. It's the dinging of the 5% and everyone knows of it.
Not any more though. As of this October, the Wall Street Journal says Goldman Sachs will be doing away with its nine point employee grading system and replacing it with a system of "continuous feedback" in which employees will be given, 'specific directives on improving their work rather than grading performance.' This will be overlaid with the traditional 360-degree annual review, but the annual review will take place in the summer instead of October, won't involve the numerical grading system, and will entail six reviewers instead of 10. The overall purpose is seemingly to keep Goldman's millennial employees happy: everyone knows a millennial likes a lot of encouragement.
We foresee problems. Most obviously, absent the nine point grading system, how does Goldman expect to objectively identify the worst performers for its annual 5% cull? Is the cull also a thing of the past? If annual reviews now take place in the summer and bonuses are allocated in December, how will bonuses be decided? And, having started along the road to continuous feedback, what is there to stop Goldman turning into Bridgewater, where employees carry around iPads with "pain buttons" to track negative feelings and "dot collectors" to rate colleagues' performance after every interaction? Just saying.
Separately, you might want to arrive early at Deutsche Bank when it moves to Canary Wharf in early 2017. The Financial Times suggests that employees working at the new office will be playing a game of musical chairs: Deutsche is only intending to provide five desks for every six people.
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