We’ve reached the time of year when organisations typically conduct mid-year performance reviews, a formal mid-year check-in point in the performance management process. It’s designed to reflect on progress made towards annual objectives or identified goals, and outline performance expectations for the remainder of the year.
Given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on employees’ work and professional lives, and on business priorities overall, talent management leaders are debating whether to adjust their performance review process this year. Assessing employees against objectives that don’t consider the impact of COVID-19 on productivity, employee morale and resourcing seems confusing and frankly – unfair.
Talent management leaders should encourage managers and employees to adapt check-in conversations in four ways:
Focus on Contribution, Not Performance - To help managers prepare, most organisations are equipping them for different kinds of conversations, validating the contributions employees have made over whether they are meeting rigid KPIs.
Adjust the agenda of check-in conversations to acknowledge new realities - Conversations during a pandemic should begin with questions about employees’ well-being and safety as a priority – not questions around productivity or even performance.
Enable flexible goal setting - Organisations must encourage and enable employees to adapt goal setting to keep pace with dynamic business shifts. Focus on shorter term prioritization of workflow rather than long term goals susceptible to change.
Help employees prioritize through short-cycle work planning - During a pandemic, it is important to help employees focus on short-term priorities to create visibility in the fog.Instead of asking about past progress or priorities for the next month or quarter, discuss work plans for the next day or the next week to help employees view work in more manageable chunks.