Organizations today are unable to decide whether they should create workplaces which encourage involvement and commitment, assuming that employees will perform – or, use performance review and management processes to assess the productivity of each employee, knowing that some of the committed employees may be offended by this apparent lack of trust in their commitment. This situation is quite exacerbated by how most jobs are being executed remotely by employees working from home as given the protracted periods of self-imposed or mandated lockdowns on account of the COVID-19 crisis, companies are changing the way they work and adopting digitization to incorporate more or less permanent work-from-home plans and preparing to make it the new normal for the longer term.
Against this background, employers need to adopt new strategies for performance review and management.
Maintain clear lines of communication:
Proactively put processes in place to ensure that employees are able to give their best to their jobs, even when working from home. Use technology to offer them multiple options for communication. Establish a dashboard that can help them track the progress of ongoing projects against deadlines. Supplement emails with conference call online using tools like Skype, Zoom, Hangouts, or Slack for idea-sharing, brainstorming and discussions between groups.
Establish SMART goals and track lead indicators
Provide every employee with simple but measurable goals which they must achieve in a specific time period, usually the end of a workday. Setting up goals is a way to help employees work harder and improve their performance. Such goal-setting is referred to you as SMART, with the letters represent Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound, to help employees track their own performance and to pull it up if necessary, to meet new standards. Inspire healthy competition by tracking performance regularly and by getting it updated on the shared progress dashboard.
Maximize productivity, while working with WFH employees
Periodically check with each of them to see if they are facing any challenges with working from home and assist them to resolve it. Ensure that they are not facing issues with the tasks assigned and equip them with the necessary skills and tools to deliver on the tasks assigned. Keep tabs on how they are managing their personal lives and keep them motivated at a time when most people are becoming despondent due to their lack of social interactions and inability to pursue active lifestyles anymore.
Keep track of observations, for future reference and evaluation
Observe your employees to understand their performance standards and record your observations so as to maintain objectivity and for use as future reference. Use technology to maintain a log of daily activities and track the highs and lows of an employee’s daily performance. Whether an employee is working remotely or at the office, such tracking proves highly effective in conducting annual employee appraisals and helps to establish performance standards.
Invest in technology and digital transformation to gain real control
In the current day scenario, measuring the productivity of workers needs to be effective and agnostic to their physical location. Organizations are turning to HR technology not just to automate manual HR tasks but also to set more effective performance review and management processes in place and provide an improved employee experience to their workforces. Managers can track the key indicators of team performance using the right software and can plan to succeed in spite of the turbulence of the times. There is no better time than now to take advantage of these benefits to manage workforces, whether distributed or co-located as they strive to execute their various tasks to the expected levels of coordination and perfection.
Building resilience is the only way to go in tough times and the current period is probably one of the toughest times that mankind has ever navigated through. Let’s look upon it as an opportunity to evaluate and adopt avenues for further growth.
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