The Covid 19 pandemic, as we know it today has significantly impacted overall business structures. It is also anticipated that this pandemic will bring about numerous permanent changes to work practices and workplace functions. All organisations were hit hard with different challenges at each point of this global crisis. From closed office premises to downscaling of businesses, the rapidly changing business environment calls for the management to be empathetic and adaptable. Revision and restructuring of certain employee policies like Performance Management becomes extremely important in order to adapt to the new environment post Covid 19. This will aid in better management of the employees by developing a deep sense of understanding and trust amongst the employers and the employees.
In order to reach upon appropriate metrics of performance management, it is necessary to keep a few essential points in mind. Since a number of challenges will come your way while driving your performance management activities, we’ve listed the following important factors to be incorporated which will ensure that your revised performance management plan will sail through smoothly.
Empathy and understanding are essential
Lack of empathy often becomes a hurdle in the way of accurately carrying out performance management. It often comes as a challenge for managers or the HR to be able to relate with what an employee might be going through. Which is why, it is important to incorporate the empathy factor in the way you set performance expectations. Adjusting to the new normal post Covid would be a challenge for several of us. Personal dilemmas or the global tension might take a toll on your employees’ well being. It is important to check they aren't over burneded and in the right frame of mind to attend to their designated responsibilities.
Make sure to take into consideration individual working circumstances of your employees. With more and more businesses switching to work from home as a permanent resort, physically being present in the office premises is extremely different than working from home. There could be several factors outside the employee’s control, like power supply or internet connectivity because of which the new WFH environment may not be the same as the workplace. One employee in both scenarios- one in which they work from home compared to them working in the office premises, the employee might perform differently.
Frequent and clear communication is the key
Clear communication is the most important key in the delivery of measurable and successful results. Lack of clear expectations often becomes a challenge which leads to individuals assuming what their manager expects from them. The need to Identify what needs to be done every day or week wise is extremely important. It helps in clearly identifying objectives and setting goals. Managers should make an effort to extensively use communication and collaboration technologies including on-cloud or shareable services which allow transparency across various levels and make your assignments visible to everyone on your team.
Employees may not be aware of your vision, plans and objectives while working in a remote environment. This calls for a modern OKR based approach which would empower employees to set and chase goals that are aligned with organisational objectives. This would ensure that teams are mutually working towards a shared outcome. It will enable effective communication, clear goal setting and defined objectives for better performance management in the days to come.
Streamline performance management through technology
Organisations are constantly looking for new technologies to streamline their employees’ performance. With the changing landscape of business structure and functions in the Covid era, it becomes important that organisations invest in a performance management service to overcome the complex challenges involved in performance management which will help in aligning and measuring your performance metrics. It is important in order to make employees feel included and valued by being involved and by providing them autonomy in decision-making processes. it will act as a platform for continuous feedback so it naturally becomes feasible for companies to engage employees regardless of geographical barriers and boost them to give their best. It will also aid goal tracking where managers can set and prioritise goals in alignment with employee competencies. Lastly, it will empower employees to set their own goals which creates a sense of accountability in them as well.
While the challenges faced by the industries keep fluctuating, identifying and executing the most suitable employee policy is the key to dealing with the post Covid change adequately. As there is such a great amount of uncertainty about how the post Covid era will play out, there is a greater need to manage and engage the workforce with the right tools and resources to sustain the situation. Thus, revising the performance management policy to align with the changes will aid organisations to continue to succeed.