As discussed in this week’s town hall, we’re looking to try a peer performance system over the next month.
As an organisation, we should have a method of understanding contributor performance and impact. Doing that allows:
- Individuals toreceive some form of feedback on their performance, understanding of what they can do better, and appreciation for the work they are doing.
- Teams to understand their overall collaboration and impact.
- Status (as an organisation) to understand how our resources are being invested, and if they are being used wisely.
- Status (as an organisation) to understand which contributors are performing above the standard, and who could use support/development.
We considered the more traditional models of performance management (i.e. top down systems, reliant on “managers”) before going an alternative route. The 3 methods shortlisted are:
A stacking ranking system where each contributor would be asked to stack rank their peers based on performance.
Pros: Simple, very lightweight, gives a clear read of performance by team member.
Cons: Although we’d understand performance by team, we wouldn’t be able to understand performance across the organisation.
A peer review system (similar to our trial period system) where every contributor would invite peers to complete a form/survey, with questions around performance, collaboration, etc.
Pros: Provides good feedback and data for the individual.
Cons: Time investment: 95 contributors x 3-5 reviews each
A “supercharged kudos” system, where every contributor would write up a small summary of their work over the 6 month period, and it would be posted publicly for all to read, review and comment.
Pros: Completely transparent & open. Could provide a “leaderboard” style showcase of our top contributors.
Cons: Could negatively impact those not as “visible” or “confident” at self-promotion. Chance that people will avoid constructive criticism in an open forum.
This data could be used to help determine future salary increases or bonus awards. Right now, to do that we’d rely heavily on the input of Carl, Jarrad & Nabil but as we’re close to 100 Core Contributors it’s not realistic to expect them to be close enough to everyone’s work to make valid assessments.
There are a long list of pros and cons for each possibility but we should call out some specific challenges:
In any performance system, it’s likely that some people are more confident to “self-promote” whilst others are more modest. We want to recognise/reward performance not style.
Without people leads, some of the “behind the scenes” work with this system actually centralises within PeopleOps.
In an open performance system, there’s a chance that people do not feel comfortable to provide development or constructive criticism feedback to others.
What are we doing?
We’re looking to implement one of the above systems (unless there is a better alternative), so we’re looking for your feedback and suggestions.
There is no good system/process out there that translates well to an open, decentralized organization like ours. So we’re trying to build something.