Performance reviews are one of the most important tools managers have to measure and improve employee performance in the workplace.
But what happens when the workplace is turned upside down and employees find themselves performing in unprecedented conditions, with new limitations?
The COVID pandemic shook the workplace, forcing performance management to be reinvented and new processes for conducting them to be established. During the height of the crisis, when many employees were adjusting to remote work, opinions differed on whether or not to proceed as usual.
Some companies suspended the review process altogether, while others modified their approach. According to our recent LinkedIn poll, 80% of respondents said their company temporarily suspended reviews during the pandemic.
According to SHRM, there is no better time to revisit your approach to performance reviews than right now: “New skills, competencies and attitudes are required to navigate today’s changing workplace priorities. It’s critical that you capture and incorporate the drivers of organizational success into your performance appraisal template.”
Tips for Improving Performance Reviews
Since remote work and workplace uncertainty is the new reality for the foreseeable future, it is important to reconsider your processes moving forward. Here is some advice.
Give More Frequent Reviews
Ideally, employees would receive constant feedback on their performance, know what they are doing well, and how they can leverage their strengths to improve.
While that’s not feasible, you should check in with workers more frequently. Smaller evaluations done on a quarterly or bi-monthly basis gives managers an opportunity to provide timely feedback, and gives employees the chance to adjust their efforts accordingly.
Remote work can make employees feel shunned and disconnected from their managers. Regular face-to-face or screen-to-screen communication helps employees feel more connected and supported as they navigate new working conditions.
Be Aware of Biases and Misconceptions
If you have previously assessed performance using quantitative measurements like revenue, sales, and production goals, now is the time to rethink the type of criteria you use. Consider measuring qualitative standards like teamwork, flexibility, and resilience. These traits, which were important during the early days of the pandemic, will be even more important in the future.
It’s time to shed the misconception that time spent at a desk equals productivity. This mindset led managers to panic buy software that could track their employees’ keystrokes and website visits.
By focusing on output rather than time clocked, you get a more accurate representation of your employee’s performance.
Praise and Reward
Acknowledging the efforts of your top performers has always been critical for both their morale and your organization’s ability to retain them. It is more now important than ever.
Your top talent will always have other employment options, even in today’s tough market.
Take the opportunity to recognize and reward employees who are productive, engaged, and committed. Employees are facing uncertainty amidst the current state of the economy. Praise gives your valued employees the reassurance they need.
Performance management is just one of the many tasks that our Human Resources Information System (or HRIS), part of our all-inclusive HCM solution, can help you master in our new normal. Find out how.