• Firm scraps system based on quantitative score for workers
  • Near instantaneous feedback will be offered later this year

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. changed the way employees receive performance feedback and plans to start a pilot program later this year where workers get reviews more quickly.

The bank, often an early mover in Wall Street compensation and employment policies, is scrapping a system that scored employees on a nine-point scale in favor of one more focused on strengths and weaknesses, according to two memos this week obtained by Bloomberg News. Employees will also receive feedback earlier in the year.

The New York-based firm will test the pilot program in parts of the company before rolling it out more widely, according to a person briefed on the policies. Managers or employees will be able to ask for reviews from colleagues, who can also offer unsolicited feedback, the person said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policies.

“Over the course of the next year, we will adopt new feedback practices to focus further on growth and development,” Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and President Gary Cohn wrote in the memo, which was sent to employees Wednesday. “Providing high-quality and ongoing feedback is at the heart of our culture, and is an important investment we make in our people and the future of our firm.”

The policy shifts were reported earlier Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

Goldman Sachs was one of the first to lighten the workload for junior investment bankers by requiring them to leave the office on weekends. In 2012, it stopped offering two-year contracts to investment-banking analysts, instead making them full-time employees from the start to encourage longer careers at the firm.

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