3-2-1 Performance Chats

Hey y’all,

While we’ve gotten so much better (I think) in setting direction and product priorities, we’re still not consistent in evaluating performance and giving useful feedback.

One of the ways People Ops can support reaching our broader organizational goals is by providing frameworks and support to make sure these conversations take place. And that they’re useful in identifying where each contributor is shining, and where they should focus to make sure the overarching product and strategy goals are met.

This is not achieved by having occasional (annual even) ‘performance reviews’, but by normalizing (self-)evaluation and talking about what’s good and what is less good. It includes defining what behaviors we value as a group and what behaviors don’t add any value or slow us down.

The way I’d like to propose working with this starting Q2 is combined:

  1. Performance conversations (roughly every 6-9 months between contributor and team lead - see below)
  2. 360 (once or twice a year - more to come in Q2)
  3. A culture of direct, timely and useful feedback (consequence of 1+2 and some more).

As for item 1, I’d like to test a framework derived from something I used a lot with engineering teams and that always worked well because of the simplicity and non-dogmatic approach.

It consists in summarizing the past period of time in:

  • 3 things done well

  • 2 things that didn’t go well

  • 1 thing one really wants to learn

  • What can your lead (or team, or Status, or POPs) do to support you

Contributor and Team Lead both write that down, and organise a chat to get their reciprocal views. The notes from these discussions inform what should be changed and what is important for a contributor to focus on in the next mid-term (learning objectives, coaching, do more of… etc).

In order to help with what behaviors create value, here you can see a Status-specific list of value-creating behaviors, and some of an infinite array of examples in which they could manifest.

**It is not a checklist of things every single person must do.
**It has been created with massive help from @JohnLea, and really useful feedback from @hester, @guylouis, @ruslan & @arnetheduck .
**It’s a constant WIP- and you can add to it as you see fit.

I’ll leave this here over Easter, and give a bit more context at the next product strategy call. After that, I’d like to ask for a couple of volunteers - team leads and contributors - to give it a shot in early Q2 to gather feedback and tweak. If you’ve been struggling to start a conversation - be in touch.
I’ll add to [email protected] only once it’s a bit more definite.

As for item 2 (360) - it will be developed during Q2, stay tuned for updates.

Questions, comments, concerns? I’d love to discuss! Feel free to write here or ping me/Terry.

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