Undercover Manager Activities
Chapter 7: Managing Employee Performance
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Value-based Performance Reviews
In Chapter 7 (Managing Employee Performance), we explained how Atlassian discourages “brilliant jerks” by building its organizational values (e.g., being a team player and generating positive change) directly into its performance management system. In this activity, you will reflect on the alignment between your own organization’s values and its performance management system.
Find the performance management documents your employer uses to evaluate your own performance, and the performance of people who report to you. Do the assessed dimensions fully capture performance? In many organizations, the performance management process focuses exclusively on an individual’s solo performance (e.g., their individual sales or productivity metrics). But there may be other organizational citizenship dimensions (e.g., mentoring or supporting coworkers or proactively improving work processes) that reflect employees’ contributions.
Organizational citizenship behaviors can be part of any job, but their importance varies across organizations. The “strong culture” organizations we discussed in Chapter 5 (Onboarding New Employees) are most explicit about the organizational citizenship behaviors they value. What about your own employer’s culture? Do you see an alignment (or misalignment) between what your employer says it values and what it measures in its performance management system?
If you see a misalignment, consider how organizational values might be built into your employer’s performance management process. This is a challenging task, because many value-based performance dimensions are hard to observe and quantify; some organizational citizenship behaviors occur only in special circumstances and behind the scenes. You may need to think carefully to clearly identify your employer’s values, and identify the ways that individual employees enact those values. How might those values be incorporated into your employer’s performance management documents (e.g., by adding questions)? In your managerial role, how would you ensure that these values were being fairly and accurately evaluated?
We’ve included some background reading on Atlassian’s performance management system below.
Atlassian’s performance management:
Chung, F. (2019, July 19). Atlassian ditches ‘brilliant jerks’ in performance review overhaul. News.com.au. https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/atlassian-ditches-brilliant-jerks-in-performance-review-overhaul/news-story/82a5e2abba1939f51d68ae81db8f05bd
O’Donnell, R. (2019, July 24). How Atlassian got rid of the ‘brilliant jerk’: A Q&A with Bek Chee, global head of talent. HR Dive. https://www.hrdive.com/news/how-atlassian-got-rid-of-the-brilliant-jerk-a-qa-with-bek-chee-global/559168/