The pandemic has changed our lives. It seems like we are in a different era, giving BC a new definition, Before Covid.
We witnessed many new changes in our office life, work from home, the time changes, etc. Many things have changed, creating an ongoing debate on whether these changes were a boon or bane.
Many companies have profited from the lifestyle change by the pandemic, and many were affected adversely. Adapting to these situations was hard, but innovative human minds have found different ways to power through with their will.
New and efficient ways of managing a business have come into effect. Performance management is one of the most crucial parts of HR management, and it has a more personal approach with an emphasis on human emotions.
The performance management process is an essential part of the success of a business, and there are a lot of things we need to understand.
Like every successful company, we also have a performance management system in place at NeoITO. Through this blog, we would like to show you our performance management journey amidst this pandemic.
Let’s look at each section like a comparison between before and after covid for an easy outlook.
In the US, 42% of the labour force was working from home full-time in summer 2020. That is about half the working population forsaking face-to-face communication. But it didn’t stop human interaction, and we found one way or another to convey our thoughts.
The traditional performance management plan had taken a huge hit here; with no way to interact with employees or see them perform, it became nearly impossible. To top that off, most of the hiring was done during these pandemic times. HR performance management was at an impasse at this stage.
But with the help of human creativity, the distance between people was mended with new technology. Video calls, phone calls, VR-AR rooms etc., provided new ways to interact with each other. This also meant the evolution of new performance management processes.
With team members not seeing each other at all, the management of teams became a challenge. So periodic scrum calls and meetings were arranged to improve the interaction between each other. Team leads maintain a positive relationship with all their team members and regularly check their process through goal setting and goal completion methods.
They receive feedback about the team members on a day-to-day basis because of this regular interaction with each other. This served as the base for the new performance review process.
The irony here is that a pandemic that made social interaction impossible made human communication more valuable.
By the traditional methods, the collection of data was conducted through a face to face interview, and this was conducted annually. This was an age-old process and had many flaws. After the brief meeting with the manager or team lead, setting new smart goals was a redundant process.
Though considered an important part of the performance management cycle, smart goals are forgotten after the meeting and only remembered at the time of the next annual appraisal.
According to the report of a study conducted by workhuman in 2019 , more than half of workers say annual reviews do not improve their performance. Microsoft, Google and many organisations have changed the past process and have turned to a more personal approach.
Less formal conversations by team leads or managers create an agile and effective review process. With these informal conversations taking centre stage, it increases employee morale and attitude towards their work.
Though we have an official quarterly performance review now, leads and managers have regular interaction sessions to remind everyone of the goals and objectives and congratulate them on their progress. By helping companies realise the importance of this two-way approach, Covid became the catalyst of improvement for the performance management process.
Read: How to Manage Remote Teams Effectively
Dealing with Feedbacks
The goal of performance management is to take action based on the data collected. Dealing with feedback is an important part of the continuous performance management process.
The feedback received from an employee, performance management review, was generally taken into consideration for the objective allocation for the next cycle. The main drawback of this system was that if a person worked hard, more work would pile upon him while an inefficient employee would be neglected, but they both would receive the same benefits as long as the team completes the goals.
Today the reviews are taken by the norms of individual performance; with the introduction of WFH, the need for individual output is essential. Though the employee feels the pressure to perform, this opens new horizons for a strategic performance management system.
With individual performance being calculated rather than team performance, the feedback obtained can be used to help the employee be more productive. If the employee receives an exceptional review, they are eligible for a performance appraisal.
Now for the struggling employees, we give mentor programmes or classes to help them gain the knowledge needed to give a more substantial output. For the lazybones, the new performance management process helps narrow them down, and if they are voluntarily slacking off, they would be given proper warnings and a time limit to prove that they can be productive.
Transparency of Processes
The process of transparency actually differs according to the individual rules of the organisation. Here the process is really transparent; the employees are aware of the reviews and the opinions they received in the performance review.
The long-term benefit of having a transparent process is that they can help an employee grow by acknowledging their weak points and helping them overcome this.
But the pandemic has made an impact on the company policies of many organisations; for high-performance management results, proper transparency of processes is now maintained. This is evident in the new performance management model of organisations like Microsoft, Google, etc.
The relation between performance and the well-being of an employee can be found in recent research by HR Grapevine. The investment made in workplace health initiatives delivers a sizable return.
These pandemic times have made it clear that health is, in fact, wealth and pushed employee well being to the top of the priority list across all businesses. Introduction of covid protocols and making sure that all the employees are vaccinated became a part of workplace well-being.
Business performance management reviews of companies that incorporated strategies to ensure a safe workplace for their employees showed a significant rise in its productivity due to the number of active employees in the workplace.
Most successful organisations will gather data to conduct employee wellbeing programmes that drive performance. In these pandemic times, the mental health of an employee also takes significance. Conducting creative activities which everybody can participate in is a great way to improve the monotonous work environment.
The real-time participation of employees in these activities can help build morale among the team members and a positive relationship with the managers and team leads, creating a healthy work environment.
In our childhood, we had yearly exams; in adulthood, we had performance management reviews.
Regular reviews are needed to improve the business and evaluate the role of an employee in the team. The importance of performance management can be seen in the success stories of many organisations.
The worthy employees will receive the appraisal they deserve with a proper review system, and the slackers can be narrowed down and educated. As I have mentioned in detail, the pandemic has acted as a catalyst for establishing improvements in the performance review process.
Traditional performance review methods are now being changed to make way for new ideas that can make employee and management work relations better. We at NeoITO value relations and do all we can to preserve that bond. We try to help the struggling people and reward the exceptional.
Also Read: NeoITO CEO in Conversation with GoodFirms