This section outlines HR cadences for company wide operations.
Listening Sessions are 1:1 meetings with your HR partner. The intent of the HR Listening Session is to connect with each team member 1:1 for a general pulse check at the organization, team, and individual level. All feedback is welcome, and the conversation may often center around likes and wishes.
Why Listening Sessions?
One-on-one Listening Sessions offer an opportunity to share feedback that some may not feel comfortable sharing in a group or public setting. Similarly, it's also a chance to share context that may help uncover blindspots or brown m&ms. The idea is to gather general themes as it varies across teams. Feedback is kept confidential, unless otherwise requested or agreed upon by or with the staff member. Note: There may be topics that HR is legally required to act on (e.g. bullying, harassment).
Feedback themes help drive HR priorities, communication and/or clarification efforts, and even coaching opportunities for managers and leaders.
The goal is monthly for managers and quarterly for non-managers. Your HR partner will schedule time with you via Google Calendar. This may change due to HR team bandwidth. However, every staff member is encouraged to schedule time with someone on HR even if there isn't an existing scheduled meeting or if there’s an urgent topic.
Manager listening sessions will happen once a month. In addition to the above topics, this is also an opportunity for people managers to unpack questions around people management challenges, concerns, and/or best practices. This feedback will also help drive future Manager training topics.
What are async weeks at Mattermost?
During an org-wide async week, all recurring meetings are canceled (e.g. COM, MBR, team-wide meetings, 1:1s) with the goal of:
- Creating space for heads-down time. Meetings can be disruptive when our work requires deeper focus.
- Improving time zone agnostic practices, including: default document, default open mindsets. We have team members across the globe and in multiple time zones, and when we're able to communicate and collaborate with web-discoverable documentation we better enable our global team members with access to information, context.
- Providing time for calendar clean-up. We encourage every team member to use this as an opportunity to clean your calendar, and respectfully question if recurring meetings should be changed, canceled or alternate attendees.
Async weeks: FAQ
- Does async week mean that we aren't supposed to meet live at all?
Live meetings or calls do and should still happen, as appropriate. For example, our customer-facing teams may still have customer meetings or calls which can't be canceled. Others may be working on projects where a synchronous call or meeting helps our 'heads-down' work. We encourage every team member to use your best judgment.
- How do I effectively communicate while asynchronous?
Written communication that is open is key. Examples include Mattermost group messages vs. DMs, web-discoverable: handbook, GDocs, Boards. Use simple language. We're a global company and encourage every team member to be mindful of words or idioms that don't translate beyond our region. Similarly, please ask questions when something doesn't translate, it may be a blindspot and your question can help expand awareness.
Assume positive intent. Tone and intent can be very hard to read over text, and even zoom. When we assume there's positive intent, we're able to approach conversations with a more open, collaborative mindset, and ask follow-up questions to gain clarity.
- What are some other tips and best practices?
We're asking all team members to take notes on your experience during our async weeks. The People team will send an experience feedback survey after each async week to understand what's working and where we can add clarity in the future.
People use new hire feedback to improve the onboarding process as it relates to general company onboarding. People may give suggestions to functional or department lead(s) if relevant feedback exists. New hire feedback cadences:
Staff enablement data provides a benchmark understanding of the level of enablement felt by staff in the workplace. This is also a predictor of satisfaction and business outcomes. Quantitative data is a starting point to gather qualitative data for customized action planning.
Mattermost uses Gallup’s 12 Engagement questions to assess how enabled staff at Mattermost feel. The Gallup research indicates 12 of the biggest indicators of high-performing teams in terms of critical outcomes such as productivity, profitability, safety, and recognition. We use all 12 questions because each topic is deeply important to the Mattermost staff experience.
We value high trust over micromanagement and want to continuously improve how we enable all staff to bring their best self to work. The bi-annual engagement survey helps HR, MLT, and Managers focus on high impact initiatives that mean the most to the staff experience.
- Every six months (in March and September).
- Post-action planning at team and company level.
- Reporting group minimum of 5 responses is required for any reporting filters related to: Managers, Teams, etc. This is a commonly-used threshold that helps maintain anonymity of survey responses.
For additional information on Gallup see the Gallup website. You can review the list of questions ahead of taking the survey. Each question is important to Mattermost as it relates to our Leadership Principles, remote teams, and shared values of Trust, Growth, and Iteration.
Role clarity and alignment is vital at any company. This is especially important for our remote teams and is a significant reason Mattermost uses a variety of methods to align expectations with individuals, within teams, and across teams. This includes performance reviews to discuss expectations and give feedback, AORs to help cross-team collaboration, project planning with clear DRIs that create transparency on roles within project teams, and QBRs that provide team and individual focus as it relates to Mattermost’s Mission and Vision.
Beyond equipment and home office this can include any resource that would help optimize productivity and minimize distractions. Tools can include things like: systems, hardware, or internal documentation. There may not be a budget or resources available to approve every tool request but alternative or interim solutions should be a collaborative effort to grow our individual and team capabilities.
Being a Destination Workplace means each person is both willing and enabled to bring your best self to work. Many factors can affect one’s willingness and enablement to do what you do best, like: internal motivation, work style, strengths, growth areas, onboarding, or internal training.
When a Manager understands how each factor differs across a team they can iterate task assignments or adjust working groups to improve team performance and elevate team standards by leveraging individual strengths with alignment to business outcomes.
Recognition preferences and expectations are different for every person and team. Appreciation and praise can be difficult to feel in a remote environment where physical indicators of celebration, like a high-five or the sound of a gong, aren’t easy to replicate. However, being remote, asynchronous communication is a life-line and communicating recognition requires iteration and intent.
It’s helpful to understand that recognition is a form of feedback that positively reinforces what success looks like. For example, public recognition helps clarify what Mattermost’s standards for success are with a tangible example. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast works best when we are able to pause and show appreciation for good work in order to foster alignment for future growth at Mattermost.
Gallup’s research translates “caring about me” to mean “setting me up for success.” Although emphasis is always placed on someone’s Manager offering support, it's also the support of teams, peers, and MLT that creates a welcoming sense of trust in an organization. When individuals, teams, and cross-team working groups feel supported, there’s less hesitancy to innovate and iterate with autonomy and ownership and Mattermost, as a team, is able to be more productive.
Each person has a unique combination of knowledge, strengths, and capabilities. Encouraging one’s development balances this understanding with mutual commitment and self awareness from Manager and direct report determine what type of work or projects are viable opportunities to both leverage one’s talent and foster additional learning in order to grow in the role at Mattermost.
When opinions are asked for, and listened to, staff feel aligned with the issue and accept ownership of the solution. Even when a suggested solution is not the chosen solution, sharing context on the decision will help describe the complexity of an issue or highlight potential blindspots.
Understanding how one’s work contributes to a larger mission is a cornerstone of engagement.
When there is strong alignment with the Mission, Mattermost Leadership Principles and role expectations, individuals are able to self prioritize their work, iterate as needed, collaborate with impact, and earn the trust of their peers.
High performers are motivated to continue maintaining a high bar when they feel their peers and colleagues are similarly committed. Similarly, high performers can be motivated to not continue maintaining their high performance when they feel their peers or colleagues are not similarly committed.
Maintaining high trust in a remote environment requires intent from every team member at Mattermost. We can't physically “see” someone’s commitment to work, and micromanagement doesn’t work with our leadership principles or our culture of high trust.
To mitigate assumption-based thought, we want to focus on improving and communicating standards for asynchronous communications, transparent AORs, and empathetic remote norms (e.g. response times, time zones) as part of Mattermost’s culture of high trust.
The term “best friend” is intended to mean quality of work relationships. Gallup intentionally uses this term because it pinpoints a dynamic of great workgroups.
When camaraderie exists within and across teams, issues are more likely to be solved with greater ease, clarity, speed, and trust. Gallup's research also shows that when camaraderie or a sense of affiliation is low, high impact issues or problems that require partnership are more likely to be avoided, and less likely to be driven with positive actions that benefit the business and teams.
In addition to camaraderie within workgroups, we also care about fostering quality relationships with coworkers outside of workgroups. Socializing is physically difficult in a remote environment but not impossible. We have a great team of staff and contributors and want to support opportunities to create and build connections with team and community members around the world.
Performance reviews are completed once or twice a year, depending on the team's cadence. Individuals expect performance feedback at more frequent intervals but may not always ask for feedback directly.
Giving and receiving feedback are often avoided because the topic is discomforting. Fostering the value of iteration depends on the willingness to objectively hear and share feedback in order to grow individually, as a team, and at Mattermost.
Mattermost is fast-paced and high trust and from a bird’s-eye view there are multiple opportunities to learn, grow, and progress. The balance is seeing these opportunities and matching them to the individual characteristics of Q3 and Q7.
How to see the opportunities is an area we need to improve and make transparent so each person has access to what growth trajectories are available at Mattermost. The foundation of this begins with understanding job levels.
Understanding where you are today and what the next step may be improves transparency to opportunities. Matching your unique talent combination with work is a team effort between an individual, manager, and Mattermost.
Staff Net Promoter Score (SNPS) is a health index measuring overall engagement, happiness, and loyalty. SNPS is a common indicator of attrition, both voluntary and involuntary. Understanding how Promoters, Detractors, and Passives rate each category gives us, Mattermost, an opportunity to retain talent, improve performance, and enhance the staff experience.
Team summary survey responses will be shared across the company. Managers with more than five direct reports, and responses, will receive summary data from their team. Team MLT members and Team Leads will decide on the appropriate group for the Post-survey team discussions and action planning.
These questions give Managers insight on behaviors that are positively observed or role-modeled, so they can better understand which behaviors to continue, as well as opportunities to grow. Also, in the spirit of Learn, Master, Teach, Managers can help share best practices as it relates to leadership principles they may strongly embody.
After the survey analysis is presented at COM, HR will share Team Enablement Results with MLT and Managers, as long as there are at least five submitted responses. HR will work with MLT or the Team Lead to focus on relevant and actionable results based on the feedback. Next, MLT or Team Leads will share and discuss any next steps with the team.
Post-survey actions start with team conversations and may include pulse surveys and listening sessions to help contextualize feedback and uncover blindspots. With bi-annual surveys, post-survey action planning should be iterative throughout the year.