I have always hated year-end reviews. They’re like cramming for finals—too much pressure and not enough continuous learning. Once a year, you sit down and try to shove everything that happened into one document. Prove your worth. Show the company you did something.
At Swell+Good, we’ve ditched the traditional performance review playbook in favor of something we like to call Monthly Action Plans (MAPs). These aren’t your run-of-the-mill, check-the-box meetings. Nope, these are roll-up-your-sleeves, let’s-get-down-to-business chats that happen, you guessed it, monthly.
During MAPs, we take a dual-lens approach: reflective and forward-looking. We dissect the past month—celebrating wins, learning from missteps, and gathering all those “ah-ha” moments. It’s not about dwelling on the past, but about harnessing it to fuel our future endeavors. We ask the hard questions: What worked? What flopped? What can we polish, and what needs a complete do-over?
Looking ahead, we scout the horizon for what’s next. We strategize on how to be the most kick-butt team members we can be over the next 30 days. And growth? It’s not just encouraged—it’s expected. Be it devouring new literature, mastering a skill, or snagging a shiny new certification, we’re each in the driver’s seat of our own professional development.
MAPs are not the only avenue for improvement, but they ensure none of us are ever coasting. No one gets missed. Got a bright idea or a nudge for a colleague? Speak up, anytime. Eager to learn something new? Dive right in.
We’ve even taken the MAP concept company-wide. Bigger issues, process improvements, you name it—all fair game in our collective MAPs. At the start of each month, we start a thread in Basecamp and everyone shares their feedback and ideas on our processes and projects as a whole. It’s our safe space for the big stuff, the team stuff, the stuff that makes us who we are.
And yes, we write it all down. Because accountability isn’t just a buzzword for us; it’s how we roll. Twelve times a year, every year, we’re checking in, not out.
MAPs aren’t just monthly action plans. They’re actual maps. Maps to our collective growth and success.
We’re a team of storytellers, and our narrative isn’t just about what we’ve done, but also about where we’re going, learning every step of the way. We’re in the business of making stories come alive, and that includes our own.
At Swell+Good, it’s about the people. Always has been, and always will be. And just like the good ol’ office space that our team has left behind, it’s not the walls that define us, but the stories we create within them—and, of course, the growth we share along the way.
How do you manage your team’s growth and development? What is working and what isn’t? Hit the reply and let us know! We love learning from other teams, too!