Performance Philosophy

The philosophy of Performance Management at Rocketium ties back to all four of our Prime Directives.

  • Enabling the team members in identifying their stronger competencies and rewarding them for being exceptional at their craft. We do this by reflecting on the impact areas and how their efforts brought a positive change. Also, identifying everything they could do differently to leave an even bigger impact.

  • Integrating the development areas with the growth plan. Every team member is encouraged to push above their limits while striving to be better every day. The goals are structured in a way that they’re constantly aiming towards pushing you to meet the bar one level above. Team members who perform multi-levels above are rewarded in line with it.

  • We can only become aware of our strengths and development areas by sharing openly & often. Managers are expected to share timely clear and pointed feedback to avoid unpleasant surprises. Calling out low-quality deliverables or unmet expectations is expected to be as clear as the praises for exceeded expectations. The sharing of clear feedback goes vice-versa, to ensure the effectiveness of the manager as well.

  • Each feedback shared, tough decision taken, or a goal planned, is modelled keeping in mind that empathy is our superpower. We take into consideration all the possible ways of doing things rightfully such that they are in the best interest of the individual, and the team. If the interest of either is breached, we should know that our intent has failed.

How do we manage performance?

Performance management at Rocketium is done is done in more ways than one.

  • Monthly 1:1s - All managers perform 1:1s with each of their direct reports, on a monthly cadence. These check-ins are leveraged for discussing the progress on goals, status of priorities, clear feedback about met/unmet expectations, mental well-being, and work-life balance.

  • Semi-annual reviews - We run performance reviews twice a year (H1:Jan-Jun, H2:Jul-Dec). The outcomes of these reviews are both tangible (role change, salary change, more ESOPs) and intangible (clarity on expectations, performance mapping with peers, …). The incremental feedback, improvements, and quality of deliverables over 6 months, cumulatively account for the outcomes in these reviews.

Sometimes, they adopt further ways if it adds value to them.

Indicators of high performance

  • Consistently keeping up with the timelines and performing above your level

  • High-quality deliverables with close estimations and requiring little to no revisions

  • Maintaining the table stakes high (showing up on time in planned meetings, displaying accountability, taking ownership of mistakes, promptness in responding to critical requests)

  • Building trust and showing empathy towards fellow team members (Keeping away from gossiping, spreading false rumours, being unapologetically rude)

  • Setting up fellow team members for success but supporting them in their dependent goals

Indicators of high performance of a manager

All of the above and -

  • Consistently sharing clear feedback

  • Documenting the feedback towards improvement areas

  • Displaying the aptitude to timely act upon the improvement of low performing team members

  • Creating a cordial work environment for the team members and keeping away from resorting to micromanagement, not being open to listening to ideas, not taking feedback positively

  • Respecting the space and mental wellbeing of the team members

Next steps for the Manager if they see signs of underperformance in a team member

  • Reflect on their past performance records before making any strong judgements

  • Share feedback with them and try to understand if they are going through any personal crisis

  • Understand if there are any extrinsic factors at work that are affecting their performance

  • Resort to one or all of the options mentioned in the next section

Basis the severity of performance negligence, all or some of the below options will be chosen -

  1. Feedback - When a manager notices signs of underperformance, they are expected to immediately bring them up with the team member. There should not necessarily be a waiting period until the monthly 1:1 for sharing such feedback. Given that these signs can affect a team member’s eventual performance evaluation during the 6-monthly cycle, there should be no blind spots left behind. This feedback should also documented on the performance management platform during the check-ins so it can be referred back to during the review cycle.

  2. Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) - This is to clearly mark the areas where a team member has consistently missed meeting expectations and the manager wants them to work towards helping develop those. The intent of a PIP is to believe that the team member will consciously acknowledge the gaps and put efforts into improvement. The manager can choose to skip the PIP and decide on taking step-3 if the performance gap is large and the team member has not been showing the intent to fill that gap. In a case where the manager chooses to implement a PIP, they need to meet the following prerequisites -

    1. There should have been a written note of recurring feedback from the past

    2. A 1:1 discussion along with the written details specifying -

      1. What was expected?

      2. What was missed?

      3. What needs to be done in order to make this PIP successful?

      4. What will be the duration of this PIP?

      5. What happens if the team member is unable to meet the expectations of the PIP?

    3. Looping the people success team in the conversation thread about PIP. This is to help the people team prepare for the necessary next steps in advance and also to touch-base with the team member’s improvement.

If the team member has not been able to meet all goals stated in the PIP but has made significant progress, the manager at their discretion can choose to extend the duration of the PIP. This should again be for a stipulated no. of days agreed upon.

3. Parting Ways - This should be the last step if the team member has not shown progress or the intent to progress, even after multiple nudges. If the team member fails to meet the expected goals listed in the performance improvement plan, we will unfortunately have to part ways with them. If a team member has been underperforming behaviourally, the manager can decide to part ways with them without necessarily putting them on a performance improvement plan. Disciplinary actions can also lead to parting ways with a team member. The people success team is kept in the loop before a decision is shared.

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