When prepping yourself and your teams to start with Stretch, it’s important to understand the best way to use the powerful data that will soon be at your fingertips. We’ve found that Stretch benefits teams most when scores are used as a tool for individuals and teams to reflect on their performance, have honest conversations about their work at the critical times, to enhance 1:1’s, improve team dynamics, and to hold each other accountable. Stretch does not work well when it is directly tied to incentives, or used solely to punish or promote team members.
Because we are human, fluctuations in our scores are normal and inevitable. Here are some tips on how to use these moments as important opportunities for self reflection and conversation.
If a team member's score has been consistently rising above the team average, make sure they are getting recognition and praise among their peers. When your score has a sustained rise, use this opportunity to keep track of the accomplishment that gave you the boost. You can use this long-term data to start conversations with your manager about advancement and career opportunities when the time is right.
Vice versa, if your score has been below your team’s average for some time, the best thing to do is to reach out to your team and manager and see if there is anything you could do to improve. If you are a manager and see a drop in a team member’s score, reach out to them to see what they think is going on and how you can help.
All feedback that you give Stretch is completely anonymous forever. That is a big part of what makes the system work so well: Everyone can express their honest opinions about their team without any fear of awkwardness or retribution. It's not always easy to tell someone when you think their work needs improvement – but it is a crucial part of how we all get better. The more candid everyone is with Stretch, the more likely a team is to grow and improve together.
The question inevitably arises with Stretch, ‘Can I game the system?’ - and the answer is yes. You can always have an effect on your team’s perception of your performance. You can do things like consistently following through on your projects and goals; being a positive and helpful member of your team; communicating with your team and managers with care; voicing ideas that you think could make your team better; and performing to the best of your abilities every day. We welcome everyone using Stretch to game the system.
You have four ways to evaluate your teammate’s performance: Great, Good, Okay, and Don’t Know.
😃 Exceptional should be used when someone's performance is above and beyond – that means putting in the hard work, creating quality output, and being a positive influence on their team.
🙂 Good should be used as a performance baseline or average – it means that your team member is generally performing well.
😐 Okay means that a peer may be struggling in more than one area – for example, they aren’t producing their best work and are having a less than positive effect on the team.
NA means that you haven’t been working closely with this person lately, and so you can’t accurately provide feedback on how they’re doing.
Here's a few ways for starters:
Everytime you give a teammate anonymous feedback, it is compiled with all the other reviews they received that day, run through an algorithm, averaged, and added to their performance history graph.
Every week, your score history for the past month is sent to you as a direct message in slack. You can also access it at any time by typing /stretch score as a direct message to StretchMetrics, or going to bot.stretchmetrics.com/dashboard. Only you and your managers can view your performance history.
Have more to say? When you click the "Add Details" button after a review, you can add context to a teammate’s score. This will be combined with other peer feedback for that person, and reported to them and their managers every month.
Yes! We fully encourage everyone to try and game the system. Here are a couple of the easiest ways:
The short answer is yes - Stretch is used by lots of teams to replace time-consuming annual performance reviews. The end-of-year review process can take thousands of hours to get through, and can’t respond to performance as it happens - in real-time. Of course, Stretch can also be used as an addition to the current tools your company is using. It will provide you with thousands of data-points and long-term data that can help when it comes time to do annual reviews, or make decisions about career opportunities and compensation.
In order for each person’s daily score to be accurate, the system needs input from multiple different perspectives. Since each person needs multiple people to provide feedback, each person must also provide feedback for multiple people. That’s math!
Almost always. All the daily reviews that ask you to review your peer as Exceptional, Good, OK, or Not Sure, are kept anonymous forever by Stretch. The only feedback which is not anonymous is clearly labeled, and will be asking for additional written suggestions for your team mates, which is always optional.
Almost never. All the daily reviews that ask you to review your peer as Exceptional, Good, OK, or Not Sure, are anonymously submitted and the scores you see have been averaged together to produce data points. The only time Stretch sends information to your manager it is clearly labeled, and will be asking for additional written suggestions for your team mates, which is always optional.
No. Stretch is 100% anonymous. No one will know by looking at the graphs and their scores who is rating them highly or poorly.
Generally, if you are receiving scores near or above your team average, you should feel confident that you are doing well. If your score is far below your team average consistently, you may want to have a conversation with your teammates and/or your manager to ask where you could improve. But remember that spikes up and down are normal, and meant to be used as an impetus for self-reflection and conversation, not a means to punish or promote.
If someone gives you a low rating, it won’t have much of an impact on your score if you’re generally getting higher ratings from others. The beauty of Stretch is that it aggregates several data points and perspectives to deliver a holistic, accurate picture of individual and team performance.
You can initiate a review for anyone at any time by using the command /stretch review @username
You can access your dashboard at any time by going here.