As the global economy is succumbing to the pandemic outbreak, we can see the impact of the disaster spreading to most businesses and processes. While organizations are struggling to sail through the tough times, it is equally difficult for the HRs to keep their processes synchronized. 

Now the HRs and the people processes are more involved in keeping a company functioning by being active in multiple directions, managing communications, handling crisis response, and planning for the business operations.  

And until the businesses struggle to anchor their stance, the usual business functioning will be impacted like salary hikes, bonus payouts, new hires, talent retention, and so on. 

So, do you think a performance evaluation during the pandemic is necessary? While employees are working from their homes, struggling to keep up to their morals, do you think a performance evaluation will do any good? 

Well, it is time to find out. So read along!

Is performance evaluation during Covid necessary?

The major difficulty that every organization is facing over the world is the indicators to analyze employee performance. As we all know that professionals were once stuck at their homes dealing with mental issues and daily activities, the indicators to understand the percentage of salary hike to be given are still under process. 

A latest survey by Aon Salary Increase Survey, India Inc reveals that about 29 percent of surveyed organizations provided no hikes in the year of 2020, while 46 percent of organizations gave increments between 5 to 10 percent. Only 16 percent of organizations offered a salary hike of 10 percent or more in 2020. 

Employees are stressed, separated and worried to understand how their performance has been all throughout the year and if not for a salary hike, performance evaluation must be done to boost employee morale. 

And this evaluation must be on a positive aspect and should motivate the employees, rather than leading them down. Organizations must look into recalibrating the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and prepare the management for the new normal. 

What are the things to consider during performance evaluations?

Proactivity and transparency

It depends on the organization to remain proactive and transparent before and after the performance evaluation keeping in mind about the latest finances, sales, profitability, or losses. 

Doing so, your one move towards future decisions will be entertained by the workforce and create a positive outlook. 

Don’t shun away discussions about appraisals

As an organization, the decision to provide increments to your workforce depends on multiple factors like finances, sales, operations, profits, losses, and many more. It is important that you remain transparent with your employees and don’t keep the discussion about appraisal on hold for a longer time. 

Amend deliverables

The goals and objectives of every organization have been revised because of the ongoing pandemic. And to be fair with your employees, you must also revise their objectives and goals to maintain a positive and calm environment. 

Focus on the purpose

During the performance evaluation, don’t just aim to weed out the less performing employees. Focus on their ability to adapt and help in strengthening their skills to create a positive culture. 

Be empathetic

Empathy is the key to change the world.

Managers must understand that employees are in a different state of mind during the pandemic, and no two employees are on the same footing. Employees have their hardships and it is only fair to them when managers are empathetic during the conversation. 

Recognize and reward

Recognizing efforts is a great way to boost employee morale. If not monetary recognition, a public announcement, or token of appreciation, or an option to upskill must be given out. 

We understand that organizations are going through many hardships, but it is up to you to keep the sailors feeling good. 

Get on a video

Video calls are best when discussing an employee’s performance. Getting on a video helps both the parties to understand the status of the call, gives visual cues as to how the interaction is progressing, giving enough hints on making necessary adjustments. 

Since growth and appreciation is what we are focussed on, so the managers must conduct the calls with care and thought. 

End with a positive note

Performance evaluation is a sensitive topic, and now that these discussions will happen over video calls, they would leave stronger insights on the employees. If the call ends on a negative note, this will only stress the employees and scare them so much that their productivity might decrease, leading them to job insecurity. 

To avoid all the negativity above, it is wise for managers to end the calls on a positive note, take the call on a positive note, and provide positive feedback. 

Follow up emails

Once the call is done, send follow-up emails to the employees regarding the commitments set, feedback provided, and ways to stay more productive. Don’t leave sensitive topics like performance appraisals on a verbal note, keep it documented and acknowledged. 

Takeaways

The pandemic outbreak has been an unprecedented time in our lives. While the pandemic may eventually subside, the quality of becoming a brilliant manager will never diminish. More than any reward, an employee needs a supportive and understanding manager who can always pull their team up at hard times. 

Performance evaluations before the pandemic can’t be taken into consideration during the in-pandemic performance evaluations. Many things have changed, employees are dealing with different situations, and thus, there is an acute need of managers who can equip, inspire, and enable employees with various aspects to judge.