Atlassian rolls out a new performance review scheme to combat ‘brilliant jerks’

Atlassian rolls out a new performance review scheme to combat ‘brilliant jerks’

Atlassian has rolled out a new performance review scheme that focuses on employees' contributions to company values rather than their individual achie

Atlassian has rolled out a new performance review scheme that focuses on employees‘ contributions to company values rather than their individual achievements.

The new system, according to the Australian software firm, is being introduced to combat the phenomenon of “brilliant jerks” – workers who are technically talented and who achieve formal targets on a regular basis, but likely at the expense of others.

Traditional performance reviews, Atlassian believes, often give more emphasis to workers who are efficient and technically skilled, but who may not necessarily be team players.

Atlassian’s new performance review scheme, which took about 18 months to devise, rates employees based on their performance in three different areas:

  • Delivery on role expectations;
  • Contribution to the team; and,
  • Demonstration of company values

The company uses these assessment pillars to determine the individual achievements of employees, how they interact with their teammates, and whether they adhere to Atlassians values.

Managers are also asked to determine whether their employees had an “off year”, a “great year” or an “exceptional year”; how they delivered in the role; and how they contributed to their team.

The revised review format was soft-launched by the company in 2018, but it is now being ushered in permanently and will also be linked to employee bonuses, according to the company.

“Our goal was to create a system that recognises and rewards employees for work that often goes unnoticed or unaccounted for,” says Bek Chee, Atlassian’s global head of talent, in a blog post.

“This can be especially true for traditionally underrepresented groups who tend to volunteer for (and in some cases, are assigned) a greater percentage of work related to team building such as planning team offsites or leading community lunches for employees of colour.”

“By including team contribution into our assessment, were ensuring that everyone is equally incentivised to contribute to their team environment and are recognised for doing so,” Chee added.

Atlassians new review format also aims to alleviate the cognitive bias that influence managers ability to impartially rate the performance of each employee. Because of such biases, women with leadership qualities may be characterised as “bossy” in a firm, Chee believes, while their male colleagues with similar qualities are recognised as leaders.

Atlassian is responsible for the Confluence and Jira applications, widely used to support DevOps working practices. It is currently valued at $32.8 billion and has a workforce of around 3,000 people, serving more than 130,000 customers worldwide.

Atlassian has also called on other firms to think of realigning their performance review formats.

This article was originally published here