The end of a fiscal year marks the time for annual performance reviews, but in the current employment landscape, just how do performance reviews look? More than 62% of workers have worked remotely at some point over the last year.  With many of these employees still working outside a traditional office setting, HR Professionals have to find innovative solutions to conduct their yearly reviews. 

Companies have been sharing the various ways they are tackling performance reviews this year. Some organizations are postponing or delaying their reviews, while others are ditching the formal review format and are, instead, leaning toward more consistent and frequent feedback. Put simply, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to conducting performance reviews in 2020, but by arming yourself with the right knowledge and tools, you can find ways to adapt your process to work for you and your employees. Check out our three performance review tips for managers. 

Rethink Your Ratings

Measuring performance this year can be tricky. Many of the organizations’ goals before the spread of Covid-19 are no longer applicable, as the workplace environment and benchmarks have shifted. Leaders have found that traditional systems of rating employees on their performance are ineffective, as they don’t account for an objective measurement of success. The bottom line is that the metrics you’ve previously used to track and rank employees are unfair benchmarks for analyzing performance. 

This year, over 69% of employees have stated that they have felt burnt-out by work. @CaliperCorp says that #PerformanceReviews are the perfect time to boost morale with these 3 tips: Click To Tweet

As you approach performance reviews, allow for flexibility in your ratings. Rather than using cut-and-dry numerical rates, tackle the discussion with openness. Use the time to speak to your employees about the challenges they have faced, and highlight specific achievements or projects they have completed over the last year. Using a hyper-specific magnifying glass on their yearly performance will allow you to provide insightful tips and recommendations on their performance. 

Performance Review Tips for Managers #1: Rather than measure success against a set of metrics, break down each project, and provide feedback on a case-by-case basis. This method allows you to provide specific, frequent feedback (and did you know that 69% of employees prefer consistent feedback compared to annual reviews?)

Channel Compassion 

This year, it is important to recognize the stresses and challenges employees have faced, both professionally and personally. Employees have been juggling new responsibilities, sometimes without proper training, and many parents are juggling full-time jobs with becoming a full-time homeschool teacher. When approaching performance reviews, be mindful that everyone’s situation has been unique this year. 

Be transparent in your conversations with employees. With many organizations still working remotely, these performance reviews allow managers the opportunity to connect with their employees in a meaningful way.  It takes extra preparation for a virtual performance review. Some things to help you prepare include:

  • Provide feedback ahead of time This allows both parties the chance to read through the questions and data provided and prepare for a more detailed conversation during the review.
  • Take notes Bringing notes to the discussion will help streamline the conversation and provide talking points to support their performance.
  • Ask for peer feedback With over 42% of all employees still working remotely, it is difficult to see your team’s daily success or pitfalls. By asking peers for feedback, you can get a more holistic view of how effectively they perform at their job. 

Remember to be empathetic with your employees. Under these unusual times, it is essential to reinforce your company culture by showing your employees you understand their troubles and will support them in any way you can.

Performance Review Tips for Managers #2: Sometimes, it’s best to be quiet. Performance reviews are a two-way conversation, which means that listening is just as important as speaking. Let your employees have the chance to talk about their experiences this year — you might walk away with a better understanding of their situation.  

Celebrate the Successes

This year has been challenging for everyone, and we can all agree that celebrating the wins when they come is crucial for keeping morale high. Keep this in mind as you approach performance discussions. Shift your focus from the shortfalls, and instead highlight the things that employees have done well. 

With many employees still working #remotely, HR Professionals have to find innovative ways to conduct their yearly reviews. @CaliperCorp has 3 tips for #HRLeaders as they adjust and adapt their #PerformanceReview processes: Click To Tweet

These wins don’t have to be colossal achievements or tangible accomplishments. Instead, they can be intangible assets they provide to the organization, such as increased transparency in communication, shouldering more responsibilities within their department, or finding innovative ways to continue working in a new environment. Take the time to acknowledge these achievements and provide recognition for those who have earned it. 

Performance Review Tips for Managers #3: This year, over 69% of employees have stated that they have felt burnt-out by work. HR Professionals agree that burnout leads to higher levels of turnover. Employee morale and retention rates have an immediate and direct tie to recognition. Taking the time to celebrate the small wins just might save your bottom line.   

Like nearly everything else this year, performance reviews will take some adjusting and adaptation. As your company prepares for performance discussions, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one organization doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for yours. But, take confidence in knowing that we are all working through similar troubles. 

Caliper’s Talent Management solution enables organizations to provide a holistic and insightful performance review and offer support where needed. To learn more about how Caliper can help you facilitate an effective performance review during these changing times, schedule a demo today with one of our experts.