How To Evaluate Employee Performance During A Pandemic?

November 21, 2021

With the year coming to an end, the question right on the minds of many HR managers right now is how to evaluate employee performance amidst a pandemic. While many employers take a wait and watch approach to this, some completely cancelled this for the year. 

The COVID-outbreak is challenging employees to do more with less, and it’s fair for them to expect an honest appraisal. Moreover, with many advanced HR systems in place, handling performance management during this unprecedented time is simplified. Here are some simple ways how you can evaluate employee performance during a pandemic. 

Maintain Transparency

One of the reasons why employers hide away from performance evaluation is not knowing how to approach promotions, increments or terminations. So before beginning or announcing performance evaluation, make employees aware of the state of your organization. Be it the current state of finances, sales and the profitability of the business. This will help employers fairly justify any adjustments to compensations or job roles made, while not offending the workforce.

Be Proactive 

One of the main ways to handle performance evaluation during the pandemic is to be proactive. Keep employees informed about the approaches or any revisions that will be taken under performance evaluation. Communicate the standards or indicators against which performance will be evaluated. Consistently informing employees about how evaluations will be performed through a centralized HR platform can let them know what to expect and prepare accordingly.

Revise Deliverables

Almost every aspect of business functions is forced to be rethought and revised in the face of Covid. The same applies to performance evaluation. You need to revise, restructure and strategically amend performance expectations from employees depending on the state of your organization. Besides, you need to ensure that the employee job roles are modified with fair and achievable goals and objectives. Expecting employees to perform beyond what the organization has to offer can lead to unfair evaluations. 

Reflect On The Purpose

How HR managers evaluate employees during a time of crisis can make or break an organization. Focus on resilience and adaptability than focusing only on weeding poor performers. Let the employee know why they were evaluated a certain way. Help them understand the reasoning behind the evaluations and let them see how it was done through the use of appropriate HR software. This can motivate good and average performers to do better and see the areas they are falling behind. 

Recognition And Rewards

As much as it’s important to fairly evaluate employee performance, recognizing them accordingly is equally necessary. Although the pandemic may have imposed financial restrictions on organizations, recognizing and rewarding employees, even through possible small measures, can motivate employees to perform better. If monetary rewards are not possible at all, public acknowledgement, tokens of appreciation, or career development options can be given out. 

Approach Evaluation With Empathy 

Last but not least, approach performance evaluation with empathy. The pandemic has been a hard time on every one of us, if not monetarily, at least emotionally, or health-wise. While discussing or giving feedback, employers or HR managers should keep in mind that not all are on the same footing and might have faced different hardships. Make communication, choice of words, or acknowledgement empathetic in a way that won’t offend employees’ emotions or demotivate them.