“If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near”
Covid-19 has been a huge disruptor and a definite game-changer throughout the global economy. Many business and HR functions have gone through extensive transformation since 2020 changed the very foundation of all our work-related beliefs and practises. A robust performance system that connects to the changed work dynamics is more important now than it has ever been. While businesses have suffered financial losses because of the pandemic, they cannot afford to lose their organisational structure and stability due to it.
One of the most prominent changes that has created a whole new gamut of tasks and challenges is the global imposition of remote work. It was the most commonly used safe approach to maintain effective business continuity during pandemic-induced lockdowns worldwide.
Let’s review some of the key components of Continuous Performance Management to ensure productivity in the remote workplace.
1. Revaluate goals and KPIs for the new normal
With new ways of working, role workloads have gone through considerable changes. different roles have different workloads even though the responsibility levels of those roles might be similar. Therefore, it is important to realign the role and KPIs so as to deliver cost savings and facilitate cross-functional support. Functional responsibilities alone cannot be used to evaluate employee performances.
2. Use the OKR methodology
Implement the Objective & Key Results (OKR) methodology to set, communicate and track organisational goals. Being a comprehensive approach toward organisational goals and employee performance at all organisational levels, it can help connect accountability with quantifiability.
We will discuss this subject in further detail in our next chapter.
3. Set SMART goals
Goal setting is the foundation of a successful Performance Management system. Using SMART goals is a proven method of creating goals that lead to organisational success. We have discussed the SMART goal in detail in Chapter 2.
The physical distance created by remote work has also led to an emotional disconnect between employees used to working together in the same office every day. It has also led to a sense of alienation among those working in individual roles or roles that don’t require too much interaction with other functions – even digitally. Besides, the pandemic has induced a number of fears and insecurities in employees regarding their work, performance evaluation, and job security. Clear and regular communication from management will help alleviate some of these inhibitions and help steer better performance with employee wellness. It is equally important for employees to have a forum to express their concerns and fears to the management.
5. Exchange regular feedback
Remote work provides lesser opportunities to demonstrate everyday victories and even overall performance. In the absence of regular feedback, employees may feel neglected or disengage from trying to perform well if they feel no one cares for their performance anyway. Continuous feedback gives a sense of normalcy in these exceptional times and helps maintain the motivation levels of employees.
6. Mutual trust and consideration
Remote work is not for everybody. Personal working style, ability to concentrate amid distractions, household constraints, presence of children around, etc. can severely affect an employee’s ability to perform their best or meet deadlines, etc. it is important to have patience with such situations, provide support wherever possible and give such employees time to adjust to the new way without passing hasty judgements on their efficiency or integrity. It will also help control the anxiety felt by many about their usefulness when not working directly in front of their manager’s eyes.