In most companies I have been working for or consulting, one of the biggest problems has always been the question, "How to evaluate performance?" Many performance evaluations are done intuitively and are always subjective, mostly depending on the manager's attitude, that day's mood, or personal relationship with the evaluated person.
That's where the biggest mistakes come from, like evaluating teams based on velocity, comparing teams' velocities, or blindly calculating the number of items completed and bugs found.
I don't blame anyone. It is just not the way everything works.
Suppose you want people to be motivated and embrace true agility. In that case, their performance evaluation should be done the same way as their work, i.e. constant feedback loops, collaboration and shorter cadence.
Truth: It is not only about the performance evaluation. You have to take care of your Agile talent first of all. You do not want to evaluate them just for the sake of it. You need growth paths, mentorship programs, and communities of practice.
Areas to Focus On
To cultivate a thriving workforce, organizations must concentrate on the following areas:
- Setting clear goals and objectives is crucial for individual and team growth.
- By emphasizing collaborative onboarding, onboarding buddies companies can ensure new hires integrate smoothly into their roles and teams.
- Establishing communities of practice allows employees to share knowledge, learn from each other, and improve their skills collectively.
- Development paths and career mosaics enable individuals to envision their growth trajectory within the organization.
- Implementing mentorship programs facilitates knowledge transfer and personal development.
- Conducting regular 3-6-month evaluations(Self-assessment, 360 degree voting/validation for raise or promotion) with frequent position calibration by leaders will create a transparent and fair evaluation process.
- Dedicating a day to innovation fosters creativity and keeps teams engaged.
- Tracking employee turnover rate provides insights into overall job satisfaction and organizational health.
- Employee satisfaction surveys allow individuals to voice their opinions, concerns, and suggestions, ensuring their voices are heard.
- Measuring the growth rate per person, considering both technical expertise and communication skills, helps identify areas for improvement.
- Monitoring the achievement of goals ensures that employees are aligned with organizational objectives.
- Team performance metrics provide a holistic view of team dynamics, including value, flow, quality, and morale/health.
- Contributions in terms of mentorship, onboarding, training, innovation, and new solutions or technologies should be acknowledged and valued.
The Process of Performance Evaluation
Let's take a look at an example process of performance evaluation that encourages collaboration and growth:
- Self-Review: An engineer writes a self-review reflecting on their achievements and progress towards personal and team goals over a six-month period.
- Evaluation Topics: The evaluation covers technical skills, communication skills, contribution, team performance, and business/product goals.
- Feedback Gathering: The engineer seeks feedback from team members, including the Scrum Team, functional leader, and other related teams. This 360-degree performance evaluation ensures a comprehensive assessment.
- Calibration Meeting: If a promotion is on the table, the team leader defends the engineer's promotion based on feedback from the team and the scrum master. Calibration meetings bring together team leaders across the company to align promotion criteria.
Engaging in Company Initiatives
Employees should actively engage in different company initiatives such as communities, onboarding, work reviews, and mentorship programs to progress in their careers. Seniority is not solely determined by job title but by actively contributing to the growth and development of the organization.
Performance Evaluation for Growth
It is important to note that performance evaluation goes beyond salary increases and promotions. Its primary purpose is to validate employees' performance and growth, ensuring they are on the right track. Evaluation results help team leaders identify growth areas, and employees can choose mentors from a pre-approved list for each identified area.
Volunteers with relevant expertise can become mentors after passing a background and expertise check. By fostering a growth-oriented culture, organizations empower individuals to improve and excel in their roles continually.
Implementing an effective performance evaluation process aligned with Agile principles is essential for nurturing talent and driving organizational success. Companies can foster a culture of continuous feedback, collaboration, and growth by focusing on areas such as collaborative onboarding, communities of practice, mentorship programs, and regular evaluations.
Remember, performance evaluation is not just a checkbox but a means to support employees in their professional journeys and ensure their contributions are recognized and valued.
Embrace the power of effective performance evaluation and watch your organization thrive!
Hope you found it helpful. :)
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