If this last year has taught us anything in the business world, the main lesson would be that we need to be adaptable. What used to work for businesses is simply outdated because of the changes brought on by the pandemic and its aftermath. In an article for Financial Management Magazine, Malia Politzer writes, “organizations have had to reconsider, and revamp, where they work, how they work, and how they measure and manage performance.” With a large part of the workforce still working remote, traditional performance reviews are simply not possible anymore because managers cannot “see” their employees. Despite the shift to online/remote working, employers still need to consider how to evaluate and track their employee’s performance.

Below are some ideas to consider implementing in your organization.

1.Create New Goals

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of obstacles for employees that didn’t exist before the pandemic. Michael Maksymiw, CPA, CGMA, a tax partner at Marcum, a New York-based firm, recommends that “managers ignore goals and targets that were set prior to the pandemic.” Instead, have an open dialog with your employees about their role expectations. Try re-listing goals that they can achieve in their current environment, and give them a tool they can use to easily track expectations in real-time. A fresh look will help your employee effectively evaluate where they are in relation to their goals and what they need to do to achieve them.

2. Make it a Conversation

Having an open dialog with employees is of critical importance when it comes to setting goals and reviewing their performance. While it’s probably not possible to have a call with each of your employees every single day, there are measures you can take to ensure your employees are set up for success. Sending each employee a daily set of questions to check in, making sure they know their tasks at hand, and ensuring they have the resources required to complete those tasks are all ways in which you can further communication between you and your employees. Communication is key, and by doing this management will also have tangible records to reference when it comes time for their employee reviews.

3. Incorporate Mini Performance Reviews

Reviewing an employee’s performance only once a year isn’t helpful for either the employee or the manager. Studies show that employees benefit from having clear, concise goals and expectations, and having a way to measure their performance against those expectations. In a post-pandemic world where so many employees are out of the office environment, it’s even more important that they are continually made aware of their performance since they may lack some of the oversight provided by the traditional office environment. Having frequent one-on-one meetings with employees is a great practice for managers to adopt. More frequent reviews allow managers to address areas of praise or concern so employees know where they are doing well or where they need to improve.

4. Lay Out Role Expectations and Provide a Path Forward

Having a clear and concise layout of role expectations ensures employees know what is expected of them in their current role. It also allows them to look to the future and see what is required for growth within the company. If employees know what role they want in the future and what it takes to get there, it allows them to set manageable goals to achieve the growth they desire. It also gives management a roadmap to coach and assist them in achieving their advancement in the company. Developing your employees and making sure their professional aspirations align with your company’s mission should be a focus for management.

5. Give Your Employees a Tool They Can Use To Track Their Performance In Real Time

All of these concepts are great in theory, but implementing them into your company’s work culture can be a huge obstacle without the right planning and tools. Performance Scoring’s software implements all of these ideas into an easy-to-use online application. The application houses tools for check-in questions, one-on-one meetings, quarterly reviews, role development, as well as mechanisms for in-the-moment coaching and data tracking. This makes it a valuable asset for both employers and employees alike to help gauge where they’re at and where they want to go.

Performance reviews are changing. The post-pandemic world we live in is making this fact even more clear. As Michael Maksymiw puts it, “performance reviews shouldn’t be a one-shot deal. If you are in charge of someone’s career, you should be investing in it every day… So when it comes to the end-of-year review, it shouldn’t be a surprise. And if it is, the manager is probably doing something wrong.” (Maksymiw). The success of a business hinges on the people that work there. Happy employees are vital to this success, and while there are many factors that help form happy employees, performance reviews are definitely an important one. Make sure you are continually evaluating and adapting how you’re evaluating your employee’s success!

Work Citied: Politzer, Malia. “How to Tackle the Post-Pandemic Performance Review.” FM Magazine, FM | Financial Management Magazine, 19 Apr. 2021, www.fm-magazine.com/news/2021/apr/post-coronavirus-pandemic-performance-reviews.html.

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