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Can Employees be rated like how OLA or UBER rates the performance of its drivers?

Large multinationals like Accenture, Adobe, Microsoft are making waves by announcing that they are moving away from annual appraisals and abolishing bell curve. As we meet several companies’ right from traditional manufacturing companies to fast growing start-ups, we hear several interesting questions during our performance conversations.  Some of these companies would like to have annual appraisals, want to follow bell curve but not force fit employees in it to know their performance distribution.

One very interesting question that we came across during one such discussion with a company is “How can I conduct performance rating like how UBER or OLA does for their drivers?”


At the end of every ride, UBER asks its customers to rate the ride and the performance of the driver.  Depending on how the customer rating and the average rating every month, UBER does a course correction for its  drivers – they either incentivise the driver  for the best behavior with their customers or reducing the number of rides offered to him/her as a penalty.

ola                 Uber-Ratings

We pondered about this for quite some time.  Is it possible to do this for employees in an organization?  Yes…it is possible.  But, how difficult it is?  It is extremely difficult.  We believe that it is about the change in culture and behavior of employees and managers.  If you can influence this somehow, you can certainly drive excellence.

Following are some ideas that you can think of:

  1. To certain extent, you are asking all the employees to define the tasks on daily basis and make sure that the managers/peers (whoever are the stakeholders) provide rating on these tasks on daily basis / right after completing the tasks. You certainly need to coach your employees on defining “what is the meaningful task”.  In case of UBER or OLA, ride is a meaningful task for the driver.  Define such boundaries for a task and obtain feedback without overloading the employees or managers.  This will also really help in bringing in some role clarity on Job description.
  1. Coach your team members on “meaningful task” which requires performance/satisfaction rating. Let me explain this a bit:
  • Software developer is developing a feature and he is solely responsible for building this feature. He has developed this feature and tested.  During testing, they find 10 bugs and this developer goes about fixing all the bugs.  Now, potentially if you see the tasks, it can go like this:
  •                    i. Defining the specs for the feature
  •                    ii. DB design
  •                    iii. Class design
  •                    iv. Coding
  •                    v. Unit Testing
  •                    vi. Fixing bug 1
  •                    vii. Fixing bug 2
  •                    viii. Fixing bug 3
  •                    ix. Fixing bug 4

Now, you cannot provide rating for each one of these tasks.  Manager will end up in rating good for each of the tasks; whereas, developer should have not introduced so many bugs J in the first place).  So, it is important to figure out what is the “meaningful task” and obtain performance/satisfaction rating for that.

  1. Once you coach your team members, have a task management system in place which can help in keeping track of various tasks. Managers can provide their rating on daily basis.
  2. End of the review period (month/quarter), system can simply publish performance rating of the employee.
  3. Use this rating in a way that you deem fit – be it rewarding an employee with some incentives, organizing training workshops, creating employee development programs, etc.

Introducing the above is not an easy task.  But, if you can introduce and endure this, you are certainly on changing the organizational culture to betterment.

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