Rethinking the Traditional Performance Review

Data drives the way we work in a number of ways (pun intended). Lead generation, marketing campaigns, and even the number of blog posts each week are determined by analyzing information. Success in a high performance culture like Nitro’s is thus measured by metrics.

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All that being said, it’s up for debate as to whether numbers tell the story of an individual’s high performance. Sarah Sipek at Talent Management recently dove into ways in which employers are breaking out of the typical performance management mold – away from quantitative evaluations and into qualitative.


Nitro is at the front of the pack on going qualitative. COO Gina O’Reilly spoke to Sipek about some of our internal processes for how we do it, including the 90-day contract. Every three months, Nitronauts outline three to five deliverables that they are expected to focus on. The goal is to narrow the gap between what we say we can achieve and what is actually delivered.

“The whole concept of the 90-day contract is to bring you back to that North Star,” O’Reilly said. “Wherever it is in that quarter, these are the three to five things you are focusing on. They have to be measurable, something that has to do with revenue or lead conversion or bug fixes. It has to align with projects.”

And the whole concept serves as a starting point for conversations between employees and managers, who are also required to do weekly one-on-one meetings.

O’Reilly said,”The 90-day contract and checks are a reference point for employees and managers to do performance management. ‘How are you doing? What are your blockers? Have we overestimated or underestimated something?'”

Learn more about the rhyme, reason, ins and outs of qualitative performance reviews at the full article, A Return to Qualitative.