How To Build a Powerful Performance Review System That Works

By many accounts, Ray Dalio is a very successful person. He is most well known for being the founder and the driving force of  Bridgewater Associates, which Forbes calls “the fifth most important private company in the United States.”

However, what many people don’t know about Dalio is that he is the creator of some amazing systems that, among other things:

  • Measure performance
  • Spur innovative thinking
  • Motivate people to develop and grow
  • Position businesses for success

He credits much of his personal and business success to the creation and implementation of these systems.

One of these systems is for employee performance management. Although performance reviews are typically the bane of every employee and manager’s existence, Bridgewater has created an engaging system that gets beyond many of the pitfalls of traditional performance assessments.

Most of us are familiar with the traditional and dreaded performance assessment process . . . the process that waits until the end of the year when a manager frantically collects old feedback from questionable sources! These managers then compile the questionable data, assign an even more questionable 1 to 5 rating, and dump the result onto the unsuspecting employee in an attempt to “help” them improve!

As the old saying says, this typically “goes over like a lead balloon!”

However, this is where Bridgewater’s performance assessment tool changes the game!

A New Performance Management System

Bridgewater created a tool that allows meeting participants to rate each other in real time on their performance in a meeting environment. This tool was originally called DOTs by Bridgewater but it has recently been developed into an online tool by and been renamed to VeroMeeting.

Although using a tool like this takes some training, the biggest change is really a cultural one. Your organization must become comfortable with candid and real time performance feedback!

The way VeroMeeting works is quite unique.

  1. Firstly, everyone attending the meeting participates in the rating process.
  2. Secondly, each participant signs into an online tool that looks similar to the screenshot below where each of the participants appears.
  3. Thirdly, everyone that is signed in can rate the other participants on 40 different attributes. These ratings must be based on the participants’ performance in the meeting (note that this would also reflect their preparation for the meeting).


The darker grey squares in the screen shot above indicate that no ratings have yet been provided. A colored square with a number indicates that a rating has been provided.

Each meeting attendee can rate everyone else at the meeting on the 40 different attributes (providing a 1 to 10 rating for as many or a few attributes are applicable). The colored squares show the average score attained by the individual being rated over the 40 attributes. Note that there is also the ability to add written feedback for each of the attributes.

The attributes currently included in the VeroMeeting tool are listed below:


  1. Good listener
  2. Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
  3. Clearly Conveys Point
  4. Speaks Directly

Thinking Qualities

  1. Creativity
  2. Common Sense
  3. Logical Reasoning
  4. Prioritization
  5. Summarizing Information
  6. Visualizing Problems
  7. Open-mindedness
  8. Comfortable to admit wrong and change
  9. Dealing with Ambiguity
  10. Intuition Based Thinking
  11. Evidence Based Thinking
  12. Humility
  13. Organized
  14. Curious and Inquisitive
  15. Identifying Opportunities
  16. Identifying Risks
  17. Independent Thinking
  18. Decisiveness
  19. Practical Thinking
  20. Conceptual Thinking
  21. Self-reflective
  22. Welcomes Critical Feedback
  23. Willing to Make Mistakes and Learn

Core Values

  1. Integrity
  2. Honesty
  3. Reliability
  4. Respect for Colleagues
  5. Customer Orientation
  6. Teamwork and Collaboration
  7. Proactive
  8. Owner Mentality
  9. Passion and Energy
  10. Results and Execution
  11. Continuous Learning and Self-improvement
  12. Work Ethic
  13. Trustworthy

There are pros and cons to a real time performance rating system like this. I believe that the pros far outweigh the cons but we will save that comparison for a future blog post!

Take Action

Take 10 minutes this week and go to . Register for their site and try out their demo meeting.

Once you are comfortable with how the system works, introduce the tool to a small team of people and run a test at a live meeting. Then, at the end of the meeting, review the results and get feedback from the participants.

  • Does your team find value in the real time feedback?
  • How easy was it for your team to adapt to the new system?
  • Determine the time required to get your organization up to speed on the tool.
  • How much time would it take to get your organization up to speed on the culture change to make this tool effective?
  • Is this tool something that your team will benefit from long term?

Finally, take a look at these related posts for more information on performance management ideas:


At the end of each day, you should play back the tapes of your performance. The results should either applaud or prod you.” Jim Rohn


What are your experiences with performance assessments in the workplace? Leave your comments below!

We help leaders navigate marketplace complexities and build successful and lasting business legacies.

Call or email us today for more information or to book your free business assessment: 


Be sure to download a free copy of my new Ebook: 12 Steps to Business Transformation and to sign up at for weekly blog updates delivered to your inbox.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One thought on “How To Build a Powerful Performance Review System That Works