Here at Altimetry, we are going through our normal annual hiring cycle...

We are saying goodbye to old interns and Northeastern co-ops and welcoming new ones. Plus, we're bringing on more full-time employees to create an even stronger team.

A core part of recruiting and being a team is supporting each other. That doesn't just mean maximizing what everyone does for the company... It also means networking and helping to advance their careers, as well as developing a relationship with the organization.

That's why we go beyond the traditional managerial review with our employees.

We do a 360-degree review. That normally includes conversations between the employee, their manager, their peers, and even their subordinates.

Not only do employees get to hear feedback, but we encourage them to share their experience of working here at Altimetry.

It means that a review doesn't just tell an employee how they are doing. It tells the company what it's doing right and how it can improve as well.

360-degree reviews have an interesting origin...

The idea of a review from both a manager and subordinates came from the pre-WWII German Army, the Reichswehr.

The Germans understood that when the fighting broke out, any flaws in the command structure would become immediately apparent. This meant everyone had to be comfortable listening to – and giving – feedback.

They had to be comfortable thinking on their feet, recognizing when things weren't working, and not blindly following orders.

Fighting together, each soldier needed to know everyone's biggest weaknesses and what type of leaders they had. They needed to understand what their subordinates were saying just as much as their superiors needed to understand them.

Some decades later, Esso – which eventually became ExxonMobil (XOM) – adopted this same review style. Just like a military unit, corporations wanted to understand how the organization could learn and improve at every level.

After all, leaders don't always have the best answers.

A review turns into a conversation and a valuable asset...

This is what the 360-degree review facilitates – an opportunity for everyone in the company to voice their opinion.

We always ask the person receiving the review a few questions and give them feedback about their own performance.

Then, we ask about folks' favorite and least favorite things they've done at work since their last review. We ask them what Altimetry could be doing better and what their managers can be doing better.

The important thing for this is to create a conversation to make sure that everybody's aware of what's happening at the business, everything's on the table, and we foster open dialogue.

If you don't have that kind of communication, it ends up with team members not understanding the company's overall strategy, leaders not recognizing where they're coming up short, and the team being worse off overall.

Investors can use this philosophy as well...

We have a saying in our review process: "Nothing in the review should be a surprise."

Instead of bringing up feedback for the first time, the review should be an opportunity to reflect and collect all the small pieces of feedback since the last touchpoint.

As an investor, it's the same idea. As our colleague at Empire Financial Research Enrique Abeyta says, an investor should always plan the trade and trade the plan.

I love that phrase because it takes this concept one step further. You should always go into a review knowing what will be said. Similarly, you should always go into a trade knowing what you're going to do.

For exiting a trade, a 360-degree review holds true. It's not a question of losing or making money. You should do a postmortem of how you succeeded or failed.

It's not enough that you got the trade right. Did you get it right for the reasons you said you would?

Having an open dialogue surrounding your trading strategy allows you to assess the meaning behind the gains and losses.

In the end, this 360-degree philosophy is a great tool to go one step further in the analysis of your decisions and actions. It's applicable on the battlefield, in the office, and in your trades.


August 5, 2022