The year 2020 has changed nearly all business practices for organisations around the globe. Changing work models, job security and prospects, impact on staffing, etc., are apparent, with over 80% of businesses opting to work remotely. Some organisations implemented working from home earlier, but the sheer volume of the workforce migrating to working remotely because of the pandemic is unprecedented.

Performance management functions should also be updated due to this new working from home scenario. HR personnel are now also required to maintain employee motivation and engagement along with ensuring employee performance. The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled organisations and talent management leaders to debate whether to adjust their performance review process this year.

Assessing employee performance based on pre-pandemic criteria and standards would be unfair. The regular performance management system cannot be implemented in this changing world. We must discuss ways to assess employee performance that also consider the impact of COVID-19 on productivity, employee morale, and resources.

This article elaborates on the new ways to assess employee performance and provide the support they need. Let’s get started!

1. Reconstruct goals and KPIs to meet current needs

Most companies were accustomed to changing business goals annually. With the current circumstances, business plans are changing almost daily in response to COVID-19. Employees also acknowledge that their roles are evolving rapidly. They are learning new skills and performing new activities every day.

Business goals and their relative KPIs must be reconstructed to fall in line with current business needs. These are the times when businesses must focus on short-term goals rather than long-term goals, which might change over time. According to research, employees with goals that have high strategic alignment perform nearly 20% better than others. Organisations must allow their employees to set and adapt to goals that progress with dynamic business shifts.

2. Emphasise contribution more than performance

As the employee’s roles change, it becomes challenging to measure their performance based on one criterion. Changes in business priorities and personal circumstances also affect employee performance. HR leaders may want to balance outcomes and behaviours when assessing employee performance.

More organisations are asking managers to focus on employee contribution based on behaviour rather than performance based on outcomes. Managers are also being equipped for different kinds of conversations around the same.

3. Continual communication to acknowledge new realities and offer emotional support

Uncertain times, certain communication measures! HR managers who engage in empathetic conversations with employees during these times of uncertainty are more likely to encourage higher performance. Conversations starting with questions about the well-being and safety of an employee enable a sense of belonging for employees. It is more important now that your employees are working remotely.

Be open towards accepting the employees’ perception of work-life balance when working from home and offer help whenever required. Ensure that your employees are supporting each other and collaborating on work. Ask for continuous feedback on the remote working arrangement. These methods can encourage employees to perform better in the new normal.

4. Help employees plan and prioritise their work

The responsibilities of caring for others at home and adapting to the new work environment are all part of working remotely, and these changes must be accepted. It is important to help employees declutter their work routine during this time.

Rather than asking about what has been done so far, help prioritise their work for the next week, month, etc. Management may also want to allow flexible working hours to suit employee requirements. It allows employees to put in their best work when they can instead of working with less attention during normal work hours.

In Conclusion:

Performance management in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic is as confusing as it can get. Businesses need to exert more tolerance towards the new work conditions and trust in the capabilities of their employees. Online performance management systems can also be utilised for better management when working remotely. These systems help HR managers execute their tasks efficiently.