Here’s How Companies Are Going About Their Performance Reviews This Year

Almost every company has been affected by the global health crisis. It has impacted the annual or biennial performance reviews of their employees. In this case, companies should shape their performance review and appraisal processes as per the situation at hand and the requirements in their location.

Performance reviews are an integral element of employee development. However, due to the ongoing global crisis, companies are increasingly becoming more innovative with different approaches to employee performance reviews. Moreover, the increase in remote work has led many companies to reconsider their performance management system for the coming years.

Many companies are of the view that annual reviews may not be that productive and do not provide any comprehensive improvement in employee performance. This may be the best time for such companies to plan and implement new real-time performance management strategies that are more effective and bring out instant employment development. Others can simply devise various effective methods to review the performance of their employees during this period. Further, they can use performance management as a tool to reassure their employees and show empathy for the difficult situation faced by the employees.

So, whether it is the permanent change you seek or just a temporary tweak to tide over the current circumstances, you need to conduct a performance review. Let us check out the best approaches to performance appraisal that the companies have taken for this year.

Postponing their performance reviews

Most companies conduct employee performance reviews either once or twice every year. This year, however, the global health crisis has forced many companies to defer on their typical business plans for the year, one part of which included the performance appraisal. Many companies have chosen to suspend their reviews for an indefinite period, as most of their employees are either working remotely or from home, and also because the sudden health crisis has led to changes in business operations.

This means that goal setting for the year and promotions will be placed on hold till the situation becomes more viable.

Industry experts believe that now is the time to focus more on the foundational aspects of the business — the critical activities that keep your business viable and operational despite the tough business environment due to the pandemic.

Consulting majors in India, such as PwC India, EY India, and Deloitte India, for instance, have taken a similar step of deferring their employee performance reviews and the resulting bonuses and promotions linked to the appraisal cycle.

This step will help companies navigate their uncertainties efficiently, ensure the safety of their employees, and make the organisation sustainable and operational.

Providing flexibility

When it comes to multinational corporations with locations spread across the globe, a singular approach to employee performance management would not be feasible or possible now, due to the current global crisis. Therefore, many of the major corporations are adjusting and customising their employee review cycle to suit the unique needs of their respective global or country head offices around the world.

Experts say that the situation is different in every region, and therefore, there is no way that a singular approach will fit all. Allowing respective country head offices the flexibility to take the final call on conducting the performance review is a great way to decentralise the decision-making during these pressing times. This tailored approach to performance appraisal will ensure business sustainability and employee safety.

Also, for offices that are gradually commencing operations again, ensure that you don’t make your employees feel more anxious by immediately loading them with all the targets for the month or the quarter. Your employees are already stressed with the sudden change in global dynamics, and assigning targets to achieve will only worsen the situation further. Rather, you can encourage your employees to have equanimity in thought and work towards sustainable productivity during the current business setting.

Coaching and check-ins

Many companies consider annual reviews as less important during the current situation. What matters most now is coaching and regular check-in with employees.

As most of the employees are working from home or remote locations, employers can stay updated with their performance by checking in with them regularly. You can evaluate your employees according to the amount of work they do in a given week or by the business they were able to generate in a given week.

Keeping this in mind, you can then assign them short-term goals to measure how they fare on achieving these targets. It can help you make an efficient evaluation and provide immediate and effective feedback on their performance and their areas of improvement. In a way, this kind of performance analysis and feedback mechanism is better than waiting for the whole year to provide feedback.

Real-time, feedback and coaching allow for immediate employee development resulting in prompt improvement in their efficiency and productivity.

This period is also the best time to conduct virtual one-on-ones with your employees to understand their current state and coach them on various factors that would help improve their performance. These one-on-ones are also a great way to engage with your employees individually and to understand their thought process and how they view themselves in the future with the company. This information can provide you with great, actionable insights on your future course of action.

Giving positive performance ratings

Giving positive performance ratings to all your employees can be the best way to even out things during this pressing situation. Your employees would not feel anxious or stressed due to the postponement or deferring of the performance review. Major companies, such as Facebook, have decided to grant each of its employees the same positive rating this year.

This helps downplay the issue of an appraisal. Plus, the employees also stay happy at being awarded a positive performance rating for the year. Additionally, Facebook has also offered each of its full-time employees biennial bonus this year considering the situation.

As an employer, you can also plan to give a performance bonus to all your employees if your policies or your finances permit you to do so. If not, you may simply give them a positive rating in their performance review given the good work they’ve put up despite the challenging circumstances.

This year almost every company has got affected by the global health crisis. It has impacted the annual or biennial performance reviews of their employees. In this case, companies should shape their performance review and appraisal processes as per the situation at hand and the requirements in their location. That may mean either pressing on, modifying or postponing performance appraisals altogether.

Involve your employees in this discussion and seek their feedback, as ultimately, they are the ones who would be impacted the most by the decision you take. Think about the overall wellbeing of your employees, especially the ones who need additional support for improving their performance.

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