The rating economy

Rate anything and everyone

Xander Groesbeek

Monday 30 December 2019

We rate the restaurants we visit. We rate friends' status updates. We rate hotels, Ubers, even a person's credit. The shows we watched. The books we’ve read. But at work? Where we spend most of our time...?

Rating experiences is not new. But the Internet economy has grown the number of things we rate. Where we started rating a hotel visit and in-store shopping experience using a card or survey, today we rate more. Asking for a rating has become easier, and so did providing that rating.

Why do we rate?

We rate (or grade, or feedback on) something or someone based on a comparative assessment of quality or performance. Primarily, a rating provides the recipient with an indicator of performance. It then allows to focus and improve where needed. A child that receives two A grades and one C grade in school, knows where to put more effort on. And if things turn worse, outside help such as tutoring can help improve performance. Ratings offer opportunities to improve. Netflix uses your ratings to tailor its recommendations to you. A hotel will focus on certain aspects of its service based on your rating.

So it seems like providing ratings in its essence is a good thing (trolling aside).

Rating in the workspace today

I will give you a moment to think about when you provide and receive ratings in the workspace...

Not that easy?

  • There are project reviews. But that really does not tell you anything about you. And if it does it is implied and indirect.
  • There are stand-ups and check-ins. But again, little structured and with little actionability.
  • Then there are performance reviews. Sometimes useful, sometimes less so. If it happens, it is likely to be an annual thing. It is where you review the development and performance targets set at the start of the year and whether you achieved them by the end of it. Sometimes tied to a bonus.

Did you come up with more? Happy to hear them! But assuming, for now, this is the list, and if we recognize the power of providing ratings for improved performance, what we do today in the workspace does not seem to leverage that power.

Adding the power of ratings at work

With Rate My Meeting we want to change some of this. Why meetings? Because meetings might just be the most uniform activity anyone does at work. And funnily enough: a lot of people are frustrated by it. Perfect place to start, right?

"Meetings might just be the most uniform activity anyone does at work"

By allowing meeting organizers to ask participants to rate their meetings, we want to reduce frustration and improve productivity. We believe that this works because of three key drivers:

  1. It makes meeting performance discussable
  2. It teaches organizer and participants what components make good meetings
  3. It allows tracking performance over time

I'll dive into these three key drivers in a separate post. Until that time I am happy to hear your thoughts and recommendations for running more effective meetings.

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