Valve_Handbook_LowRes

How does valve make sure that the company is heading

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Unformatted text preview: is one. Not listening to customers or peers before or after a failure is another. Never ignore the evidence; particularly when it says you’re wrong. – 20 – Fig. 2-3 – 21 – S E TTL I N G I N Fig. 2-4 Methods to find out what’s going on 1. But what if we ALL screw up? 2. Fig. 2-5 3. step 1. step 2. step 3. step 4. 4. Talk to someone in a meeting Talk to someone in the elevator Talk to someone in the kitchen Talk to someone in the bathroom VA LV E M E THOD D IA G . 2 So if every employee is autonomously making his or her own decisions, how is that not chaos? How does Valve make sure that the company is heading in the right direction? When everyone is sharing the steering wheel, it seems natural to fear that one of us is going to veer Valve’s car off the road. Over time, we have learned that our collective ability to meet challenges, take advantage of opportunity, and respond to threats is far greater when the responsibility for doing so is distributed as widely as possible. Namely, to every individual at the company. We are all stewards of our long-term relationship with our customers. They watch us, sometimes very publicly, – 23 – V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S make mistakes. Sometimes they get angry with us. But because we always have their best interests at heart, there’s faith that we’re going to make things better, and that if we’ve screwed up today, it wasn’t because we were trying to take advantage of anyone. 3 How Am I Doing? – 24 – V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEES Your Peers and Your Performance We have two formalized methods of evaluating each other: peer reviews and stack ranking. Peer reviews are done in order to give each other useful feedback on how to best grow as individual contributors. Stack ranking is done primarily as a method of adjusting compensation. Both processes are driven by information gathered from each other—your peers. Peer reviews We all need feedback about our performance—in order to improve, and in order to know we’re not failing. Once a year we all give each other feedback about our work. Outside of these formalized peer reviews, the expectation is that we’ll just pull feedback from those around us whenever we need to. There is a framework for how we give this feedback to each other. A set of people (the set changes each time) interviews everyone in the whole company, asking who each person has worked with since the last round of peer reviews and how the experience of working with each person was. The purpose of the feedback is to provide people with information that will help them grow. That means that the best quality feedback is directive and – 26 – HOW AM I DOING? prescriptive, and designed to be put to use by the person you’re talking about. The feedback is then gathered, collated, anonymized, and delivered to each reviewee. Making the feedback anonymous definitely has pros and cons, but we think it’s the best way to get the most useful information to each person. There’s no reason to keep your feedback about someone to yourself until peer review time if you’d like to deliver it sooner. In fact, it’s much bette...
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