Impact on Performance Assessment and Goal Setting during COVID-19  0

Ankur Gautam
The last few months of change and crisis have done a number on employee wellbeing and morale. With most of the workforce now working from home, leaders will have to look for ways to revise performance assessment and goal setting to get employees back into the swing of things. In this article, we learn how HR teams and leaders can use effective communication and consistent performance assessment to refocus employees and eventually achieve results.

The COVID-19 has given a setback to performance management in the pandemonium situation. It has been almost 8 months since the pandemic hit us, but the uncertainty and confusion still prevails – when will we be out of this; and whether we will see anything of the pre-COVID days. Companies of all sizes, across industries, are battling these uncertain times and having to deal with performance evaluation and goal-setting in the new normal hasn’t been easy.

In this nature-imposed situation, organizations need to create a balance among things like employees’ work and personal life, employee wellness and well-being, streamlining business activities, and at the same time, focusing on the growth of the company as well as the employees.

In current circumstances, organizations are more focusing on productivity and output resulting exceeds in goals for the individual. So here, we need to assess the current workload of individual and feasibility to achieve them as the pressure can be given for the time of period but if it remains incessant then the thing will not go longer gleefully between organization and employee. Being an HR, we need to restructure and amend the way of assigning a task, output as per finances approved for the whole process.

Ankur Gautam 2We need to weigh up with the team to understand the scenario of a company, required output and their goal-setting which should be feasible to achieve as the unachievable target can create discomfort in employee’s mind and to force them to leave the organization in spite given hundred per cent. If somedays, if it is expected to work in extra hours and additional responsibilities are required to assign, the leaders should discuss all the scenario with the employee to get their willful consent. By adopting this process, work quality will not retard, and the employee will feel privileged for job enlargement post consent.

HR leaders should revise the KRAs and goals so that employees could realize that organization is acknowledging their contribution and can be part of the evaluation in the next appraisal period. Organizations must define their fresh targets and goals along with R&R.

Being an HR, we need to restructure and amend the way of assigning a task, output as per finances approved for the whole process. Click To Tweet

For achieving goals in new normal, when most of us are working from home, proper communication between managers, peers and client is must to understand the requirement to complete on time. We all have adopted new environment of working from home and some are working from office as per their role in organization, so we need to make team more attentive and calculative towards time management specially those are working from home so that rhythm of working can be matched up.

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Here, the task of the analytics team will enhance as they will have to keep an eye on the performance of individuals on a quarterly basis especially for remote teams. When an employee performs a task in a work from home model, he/ she can have multiple situations which can hinder assigned task to be completed on time; only in rare cases, one can manage to maintain the same performance in the same time frame like they used to do it in past. The grievance should be handled carefully and tactfully and the concerned party should be dealt professionally and an alternate process should be figured out to handle the re-occurrence of similar incidents for the same employee or any other without creating a fuss.

Consistent performance assessment can assess the agility of individuals and ensure output as per the organization’s goal. Sometimes if we do not establish communication about performance and day-to-day challenges with teams, they feel discarded or unacknowledged. Timely conversation brings a sense of responsibility and agility to complete tasks on time.

Effective communication matters a lot when it happens frequently between teams and their team managers. Two-way communication helps to understand the situation, tasks and challenges that lie within it. It reduces the chances of getting distracted from goal and targets looks more achievable. Proper goal setting and proper communication are key to success in this new normal.

Goal setting should take place at the individual level, department level and organization level. Balancing between all these verticals are important to avoid ambiguity in any manner so that the whole team can focus in one direction desired by the management.

At the time of deciding goals at the level of organization, we must reconsider what action is required to take or not and purpose of opting and leaving. We need to focus on those goals that can be achieved or those who are not going to be successful during this time.

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Similarly, the same practice is required to perform on department level that as a team whole, how we are going to leave the most impact on the organization’s new goal. We must not ignore our previous goals and we should also ponder what critical goals should proceed with. What should be postponed for some time and how we can adjust with unavoidable goals.

Similarly, for team goals, we must outline goals for the individual as well but here your reporting manager will be the mentor of individual who will guide to achieve the goals. It is the ideal scenario when employees have a voice in opting their own goals and aligning them to company’s drive, they tend to set higher goals and have higher performance than those whose goals were assigned by their reporting manager. This culture brings more clarity in expectations and its output with effective strategies to achieve the goals for the individual.

As an individual contributor one should update about goal’s achievement and status with their peers and managers. An individual should welcome feedback from their peers and managers as well. Individual team person should do it introspect before opting any goals that how can his goal line up with the team, how can new goals or revised goals help him in personal skill development.

Now, with this approach, you can see new agility in the entire team to work in one direction without distraction. Proper alignment of goal setting can help you to achieve the vision of an organization in this pandemic situation when there are multiple scenarios which can create disruption. Goal setting for an individual could be flexible with the fixed periodic review process to analyze the succeed in decided goals or re-adjustment if required, and as an organization, we must appreciate the contribution of each team member in achieving organization’s goals, not only performance always, especially in this new normal when goals and expectations of output are changing rapidly.

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Ankur Gautam is a Strategic Human Resource Specialist with almost 16 years of experience in various HR genres like HR Business Partner, Employee Engagement, Talent Management, HR Analytics, Performance Management, HR Operations, Compliance and Audit, HR Project and Industrial relations. He has worked in a variety of industries including IT, Consumer durable, Advertising Media, BFSI & Manufacturing. Previously, he has worked with Unicode Systems Private Ltd, Energy and Fire Tech India Private Ltd, Sigma Trade Wings & Sahara India. He holds an MBA in International Business from Pondicherry University.

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