Making Performance Management a Top Priority

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August 29, 2023

Performance Management! Why is it more important now than ever? And how can you make it a top priority in your organization? In increasingly volatile times, is it worth replacing that person on the team who's giving you 20% less than the next candidate could? And when is a good time to do performance reviews?

Cat Miller is the CTO of Flatiron Health, leading an organization of over 400 technologists who are working together to reimagine the infrastructure of cancer care. Cat is a software and data engineer by training, with over a decade's experience in data-focused startups and nine years growing the team at Flatiron (through acquisition and beyond).

Cat is addressing the issue that most companies either find themselves in a state of hypergrowth or attrition – and in either scenario, there's usually an open headcount.

So, if you're growing fast, there seemingly isn't the time to evaluate performance output. And if there's suddenly a hiring freeze, when someone leaves, you don't receive a backfill for that position. Another challenge is that managers are often not incentivized to performance manage because they don't know what's on the other side of that process.

But as Cat and Debbie concur (and we can attribute the sentiment to Simon Sinek), feedback is a gift. And so thinking about where the person you are evaluating wants to be in five years can help the process.

Good managers care about other people, but it is also about thinking about a person's worth and output from the perspective of the business – and the impact that person's performance has on the rest of their team.

This is a fascinating deep dive into the 'Why, How, What, When, Where, and Who?' challenges that performance management throws up. And if we are looking for steady organizational growth and staff prosperity, these are challenges we need to face.

"Product managers really know when their engineering team is delivering – and when it's not." - Cat Miller

  • Why Performance Management isn't a Top Priority (when you have open roles to fill)
  • The challenge of performance managing someone out of a role that then needs to be filled
  • How can we use business urgency to drive performance?
  • What are the risks of de-prioritizing performance management?
  • Who's asking: Is this the best you can do?
  • When is a good time to do performance reviews?

Let's collaborate.