COVID-19 shook the world like never before, months of stretched lockdown worldwide, disrupting how organizations function. Dispersed, distributed, and remote working became the new normal and majority of the enterprises are considering hybrid model in future. Due to the pandemic performance management systems have been thrown into chaos and much with remote working the legacy metrics are unhelpful in current situation. They no longer fit the purpose and capture the disjointed realities of digital workflows.
Carrying on with your performance management process without any amendments will likely lead to negative experiences for your employees and biased information to make decisions on, such as decreasing short- and long-term motivation, increasing burn out, declines in perception of fairness, and could even result in managers holding back critical feedback.
Therefore, carrying out performance management conversations within a thoughtfully adjusted performance management framework can help create a sense of stability amongst your employees, strengthening the perception that the process and outcomes are fair, and making it easier for managers and others to provide reinforcing and redirecting feedback.
Recalibrating key performance indicators (KPIs) is essential to ensure that remote working actually works. Enterprises that want the best from their workers – and for their customers – innovatively invest in digital accountability, but these efforts must acknowledge and respect newly blurred distinctions between work and home life. Restructuring and modifying individual employee policies like Performance Management becomes vital to adapt to the new normal to better manage the employees by developing a deep sense of understanding and trust between employers and the employees.
I believe this approach will go a long way in keeping the workforce engaged and drive the desired outcomes. Highlighted are some of the critical components of a modern performance management system that help this new working paradigm for organizations:
Objective Key Results Method
This method is prevalent amongst the leadership that helps organizations set, communicate, and track their goals. This technique is a holistic approach towards managing employees' goals and performance levels at every enterprise level.
Transparency and Placement to Organizational Objectives
Employees are often not aware of an organization’s vision, core values, and objectives. This becomes further pronounced in a remote working environment. A modern OKR based PMS empowers employees to set challenging goals that are directly aligned to organizational objectives. This ensures that everyone is working towards the shared vision and are driven for the same outcomes.
Set SMART Goals
The idea of goals is to support employees improve their performance. It is, therefore, equally important that the plans are understood and defined clearly. Thus, the goals must be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). SMART goals bring in the much-needed clarity, inspire commitment, and provide employees with a sense of ownership in achieving their goals.
Regular monitoring of Goals & Lead Indicators
Managers review overall goal progress and the underlying tasks and regularly update, but times like these permit that. This is important to ensure that employees are consistently focusing on these inputs, determining the attainment of outcomes (Goal).
Schedule regular feedback sessions
Every employee needs undivided attention. So, it is essential to conduct one-on-ones with employees regularly. This will keep leadership updated and provide their team members to speak directly about their problems and successes. Moreover, leaders can give constant feedback and discuss their progress with upcoming goals or tasks.
Link goals with employee abilities
Most organizations fail to explicitly consider employee's competencies in the context of the goals assigned to them. Different purposes need different competencies at different employee levels. Competency-based goal setting can help managers (and organizations) develop organization-wide competencies. They can link it to employees' performance as well as career development. This way, you can connect their competencies with the organizational goals and help them achieve work goals.
As a result of the uncertainty that the COVID-19 has posed on every individual life, performance management can significantly ensure employees feel that their contribution is valued. It provides some stability and motivation for moving forward. Employees will be encouraged with the adjustment in performance management processes. Changing the performance management philosophy to align with the change and adopting a performance management software that enables you to do this becomes critical for organizations to succeed.