How Core Values Can Foster Open Performance Discussions

How Core Values Can Foster Open Performance Discussions

Kindness, Openness, and Ownership.  These are the core values that Anchore was built on and our team members exhibit every day.  At the core of these values are the underlying themes of trust, empathy, and communication, which are paramount to our continuous performance model.  We designed this model to create manager and employee relationships that enable and empower every employee to feel safe to raise their hand with new ideas and ask for help, creating open two-way communication.

Every other month, employees sit down with their managers for a Top 2 conversation, where they discuss two things that went well and two things that can be focused on in the coming months.  Most importantly, this feedback goes both ways.  Employees have a regular opportunity to share feedback with their manager (wanting more frequent check-ins, interest in stretch projects, etc.) and managers have regular opportunities to coach employees, providing the tools and resources they need to be successful. 

Additionally, every six months managers sit down with their direct reports for a Stay Interview, providing a dedicated time to discuss motivators, communication styles, and long-term career goals. With this understanding, the feedback and opportunities presented can be deliberately aligned with each person’s individual goals and objectives. 

To learn more about how our continuous performance model has given our team members the tools to build a trusting and open relationship, we sat down with Brandon Lee (he/him), Senior Accountant, and his manager Alaina Frye (she/her), Sr. Director, Finance, Accounting and RevOps. 

Brandon has worked at various sized companies, from large financial services firms to small startups, all of which had infrequent and unclear performance models (or none at all). When he joined Anchore, Brandon welcomed the opportunity to participate in a robust and regular performance development program. 

“I think what we have with the Anchore Top 2 discussions and Stay Interviews is pretty awesome and has enabled Alaina and I to have a very open and honest relationship,” said Brandon.  “Because the Top 2 meetings occur so often, it’s easy for us to reflect on what went well in the previous months, as well as help identify some of the processes that we can continue to enhance and refine. The transparency and open dialogue we have in our Stay Interviews is really helpful for my career growth and happiness at Anchore. I enjoy the opportunity to share my short-term and long-term career goals in a very candid way and really appreciate the continuous support in accomplishing my goals.”

Alaina, whose experience also ranges from large financial services firms to small startups, has become a champion of Anchore’s Top 2’s and Stay Interviews.  As a manager, they give her the ability to have constant communication with her direct reports. This ensures that expectations and goals are clear on both sides – ensuring strong communication all around. 

Top 2’s help everyone digest feedback because we have this set framework and recurring time to discuss performance regularly. It facilitates the opportunity to receive feedback and then work together on action plans,” said Alaina. “Some months there is specific feedback about how I can better support Brandon, but other months we sit down and talk at a higher level about process improvements we want to make.”

Even ad-hoc feedback conversations outside of Top 2’s have become more natural because Brandon and Alaina have built a foundation in their sessions, understanding how each other thinks, communicates, and what motivates them.  This sense of trust and psychological safety with one another has opened the door to real time feedback opportunities. 

Through Alaina and Brandon’s embodiment of Anchore’s values they have cultivated a strong relationship where they can learn and grow – together.  If you are interested in working on a team that fosters kindness, trust and open communication, head to our careers page or check out our open positions here.