Written by Ben for iqyDynamics
From processing employee payroll to developing recruitment strategies the role played by HR professionals is a mult-faceted one. Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the evaluation of remote-working employees was a small part of the HR portfolio. Nowadays, this situation has changed drastically.
With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over, employees and managers have no choice but to adapt to the new normal. One that emphasizes remote working and social distancing.
Because of this, performance evaluations is one such process that needs to be reassessed. Working remotely for extended periods of time coupled with economic uncertainty is likely to put additional strain on both business leaders and employees.
From a management standpoint, traditional employee performance indices may no longer be relevant. Thus, making it that much more difficult to gauge an employee’s performance.
For employees, there is likely to be increased pressure to “convince” management of their worth to the company. As a result, this can lead to an increase in politicking and an imbalance in the team.
Such times call for a drastic overhaul of the evaluation process to ensure that employees are evaluated fairly. Here, we take a look at HR’s role in evaluating employee performance post-COVID.
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In an effort to curb the spread of the virus, the Singaporean government has encouraged employers to allow employees to continue working remotely. With remote-working likely to become the new norm, managers and supervisors will need to re-evaluate the way performance assessments are conducted.
Business leaders will need to be educated on the myriad of challenges currently facing their employees. Whether it’s the extended period of isolation to the added stress of economic uncertainty, there are plenty of factors that could affect employee performance.
This by no means is an excuse to ignore substandard performance. Rather, performance evaluations need to take a more pragmatic view of employee performance.
For example, an employee working from home may have to contend with multiple distractions that are absent in the office. This may subsequently slightly affect their performance in some way.
Instead of penalizing said employee, taking these factors into account when conducting a performance assessment ensures a fairer outcome. On the long-term, it may even prove to provide him/her with the motivation needed to perform better.
Related: HRiQ Performance Management System
With the economic downturn, employees may be required to take on and accept additional responsibilities beyond their current job scope. Given the current circumstances, most employees would have no issue taking on a heavier workload.
However, this goodwill should never be abused or taken for granted by an employer. Instead, employees must be educated and briefed on their new responsibilities and how it can affect their KPIs.
This allows employees to better prepare themselves for their new role and better prepare themselves to meet any challenges.
Given the current circumstances, it would be unreasonable to apply existing standards on an over-stressed/overworked employee. Doing so will only serve to frustrate and demoralize the entire workforce – something which is extremely counter-productive.
Instead, HR professionals and managers need to work together to develop a set of adjusted key employee performance indices that better reflect said employees performance. Thus allowing for a more accurate and fairer evaluation.
Faced with the prospect of global economic meltdown and the very real threat of job losses, HR professionals will be undoubtedly pressured to reduce expenditures.
Jobs losses and pay cuts were amongst the measures taken by companies to help reduce expenditure. While an effective and immediate means to reduce cash outflows, these measures also serve to seriously disrupt employee morale.
More often than not, poor employee morale will only serve to hurt the organization on the long-term. While most employees will continue working, taking them for granted can lead to disengaged and frustrated employees. Something which negatively affects performance and leads to resentment within the workforce.
This is why it’s especially important that employees are still recognized and rewarded for their efforts. With employee performance bonuses and pay increments going out the window, organizations need to take a creative approach when it comes to designing new employee incentives.
Additional vacation leave and flexible work hours are just some of the ways in which employees can be rewarded.
To remain relevant, organizations will have no choice but to reinvent themselves for the new normal. This includes making sweeping changes to the ways in which employees are evaluated and rewarded for their contributions.
HRiQ’s full range of HR and Talent Management Suite has the flexibility to adhere to any new policies that your organisation might create to react to the existing situation. With seamless integration between modules, gain insight and make smart decisions with live data. Interested to see how HRiQ’s HRMS and Talent Management System can encourage better workforce performance in hard times? Contact us here today.
Related: How HR teams can set the stage for a Post-COVID return