Pandemic effect: How performance assessment system should be reconditioned with changing times

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November 11, 2020 1:15 PM

Pandemic effect: How performance assessment system should be reconditioned with changing times

performance assessment, appraisal season, changing job scene, work from home, gig economy, part-time job, remote working, HR policies for appraisal, shift in workplace seesessment systemThe Covid pandemic has forced the world to do a lot of things differently this year, change strategies and take steps that so long were thought unimaginable!

The season of performance assessment is here. Employees at corporate houses hustle to diligently fill performance sheets expecting a good raise and their managers and HR person sit to discuss the same and rate their accordingly. The Covid pandemic has forced the world to do a lot of things differently this year, change strategies and take steps that so long were thought unimaginable! IE records how things have changed in the workspace and why strategies need to be realigned to come out as more effective and realistic in approach.

Several organisations in May postponed their appraisal process and reduced budget dedicated for promotion cycle, a KPMG report said. Hence before discussing what must change on performance management it is important to discuss the contextual changes that demand us to reassess our present strategies and why the change is required.

With the health crisis looming large, work from home become a more convenient setup. Many staffers had to perform roles that were not part of designated responsibilities. The nature of the work environment became more dynamic as one employee got into multiple roles headed by multiple mangers in multiple teams. Hence assessments of performance need rethinking.

The traditional office setup witnessed a drastic change giving way to the hybrid workplace. In near future, only a few will be required to work from the office all the time and for the rest, it will be a balance of work from home and work from the office. With the office evolving, its nature of collaborations will also undergo a transition thus compels management for sharper and more objective assessment of employee performance.

With the gig economy growing, talented individuals soon will only commit to freelancing or part-time jobs leaving them much scope to explore their passion entrepreneurial spirit. Such staffers hence will need different performance assessment rules.

Changes required to redefine appraisal system

The new performance assessment strategy on mid-management levels should be based not on tasks but on the outcomes of the employee. The goal sheet of an individual staffer should reflect greater flexibility towards their role. Managers should be trained to be accountable to the larger goal of the firm and not merely occupying their calendar with tasks.

Conversation on the performance of an employee should be feedforward rather than feedback oriented. By giving feedforward reviews, instead of judging or rating a person’s performance in the past, the focus is on how they can develop in future. This will help employees to traverse unexplored territories, or roles in their work profile with ease without the thinking about the repercussion.

Emphasis should be given on innovation than achievements to suit the larger picture of things. This will help employees think of sustainable solutions and not short-term gains.

The frequency of performance assessment should step up. Employees should be evaluated not just yearly but monthly or activity-based. Technology should take care of the complexity in managing such a frequent assessment process and HR leaders should be at the forefront for bringing in such change.

The biggest challenge for performance professionals will be to segregate the assessment strategy for individuals customized according to:

Nature of Job: There should be different assessment guidelines for part-time and full-time employees.

Goals of the employees: Assessment and rewards should be decided depending on the aspirations of the workers in the organization.

Risk Goals: Employees at every role should be assessed according to their calibre of management or mitigation of risks.

The changing times and workplace scene call for HR professionals to come up with a revamped performance assessment strategy!

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