Performance Reviews

How to do performance reviews the Mattermost way.

Performance Reviews

Why are performance reviews important?

The responsibility of a manager is to increase the total output of the organizations they control and the organizations they influence.

The purpose of a performance review is to assess a colleague's performance, have the colleague clearly understand how to progress professionally in the opinion of the manager, and hold the colleague accountable for increasing their performance based on the assessment and feedback.

It is one of the most difficult things a people manager needs to do, it is also one of the most important.

Other than increasing output, what are other objectives of performance reviews?

The primary goal of performance reviews is to increase the output of colleagues and of the organization.

The process also serves to align our actions to Mattermost Leadership Principles, which are used as the criteria for peer-evaluation, and to calibrate role levels with a colleague's, which may result in level-based promotions and compensation adjustments or if level expectations are repeatedly not met, changes in role.

High Output Management

We believe a manager’s fundamental purpose of a performance review is to improve performance. Andy Grove discusses this in Chapter 13 of his book, High Output Management. There are two mindsets from the book that should be considered whether you are writing a peer, manager or self review. If you are a manager, you should read this chapter, complete a short set of questions and attend one of the manager training sessions.

  • Three Ls: Level, Listen, Leave yourself out

    • Level - be straightforward in praise as well as criticism.

    • Listen - be confident that your feedback is heard and understood, listen to the response.

    • Leave yourself out - the review is not about you. Focus on the feedback you think is important in order for your direct report to increase future output.

  • Output Measures vs. Internal Measures

    We value high output and high impact and this tip facilitates the right balance. Performance that is tangible and capable of being measured is a straightforward indicator of success. It may also indicate the activity was short-term oriented. Performance that takes place over a period of time may be long-term oriented and intended to increase output at a future date.

How is feedback shared?

Feedback is solicited in a 360-degree style to incorporate feedback from peers. If you manage people, your manager may include direct reports in your peer feedback panel.

  • Peer Feedback - Peer reviews are a personalized version of Likes and Wishes. Staff will select 3-6 peers for their peer feedback panel. Managers can adjust the panel at any time prior to the deployment of peer surveys. We will try and limit peer review panel requests to 5 per person.

  • Self Reflection - Self Awareness is one of our Leadership Principles and will be a factor of success for the entire process. This portion is written by self.

  • Manager Evaluation - Managers will review all feedback to complete your performance appraisal.

What is the process?

All Staff will take part in the Annual Winter Performance Review Process. R&D will take part in a mid-year review cycle. The intent of the mid-year review cycle is to promote timely performance feedback. As other teams grow in size, mid-year reviews may extend to additional teams. Compensation is only reviewed during the annual Winter Performance Review cycle. If you have recently joined, your manager may prefer to wait for the 90 day New Colleague review in lieu of the formal review processes.

  • Placeholder for link to Mid-Year Review

    • Criteria: Staff members at Mattermost between 90 days and 6 months

  • Formal Review Process

    • Criteria: Staff members at Mattermost at least 6 months

R&D Mid-Year Performance Review 2020 - Timeline & Forms