Pandemic Performance Reviews | Should They Stay or Should They Go? - Part 2 - Bim Group

Pandemic Performance Reviews | Should They Stay or Should They Go? – Part 2


In the latter half of this two-part series, we pick up on some additional reasons employers decide to halt performance reviews due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and resulting workplace changes. As a recap, part one addressed waiting until things go back to “normal” and not wanting to give more bad news. While it may be tempting to skip reviews altogether, it is important to consider the message you are sending to your employees.

We don’t think our employees find value in the process.

Many organizations’ performance management processes are bogged down with bureaucracy. The process has been referred to as an “administrative nightmare” by participants. Managers are overtaxed by the number of reviews to complete with a large workload on their desk. Most importantly, employees do not find value in this tedious process.

This is a lightbulb moment! Since the onset of COVID-19, we have seen businesses face new challenges and rise to the occasion in record time. Companies are overriding complicated rules and procedures to solve novel problems and the change management climate allows businesses to fast-track the implementation of these solutions. Jeroen Kraaijenbrink notes, “COVID-19 shows that as soon as there is a strong enough stimulus, things can change.”

Why not apply the same level of innovation to overhaul your ineffective performance review process? This injection of energy tells your employees you want to invest in them even during hard times. You have the freedom to be creative and try something new. A tip? Keep it simple. Get rid of complicated online forms and focus on one-on-one live conversations. Employee development is more important now than ever.

We do not want to evaluate goals that are no longer realistic.

You started 2020 as a manager with a plan. You worked with each employee to set thoughtful objectives aligning their contributions to the company’s goals. You patted yourself on the back for setting such clear expectations and then, BAM! The world is turned upside down. Your company was forced to cut expenses, which may have included staff, and find new ways to engage clients. Being asked to conduct performance reviews during all of this sounds like a joke. Employees would be asked to rate goals that are no longer valid. Do you even want to remind them of all the great things they were supposed to do this year that are no longer possible?

The short answer is yes. Employees want to talk about anything that has changed during these uncertain times whether that includes their goals or preferred communication style. Invite a candid dialogue on how goals have shifted (even if in hindsight). Ask a few questions to hear how they have evolved over the last eight months. For example, what have you learned about doing your job when faced with a change in resources, tools, or direction? Show your flexibility by acknowledging that this year’s performance review may look different than those from years past.


Read “Pandemic Performance Reviews – Should They Stay or Should They Go? (Part 1)”

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