Employee Reviews in the World of 2020

Employee Reviews in the World of 2020

Four Ideas to Consider

By Sylvia Luneau

Just as we are ever growing and changing as a nation, so are our expectations and goals, both personally and professionally. If you are a manager looking toward employee reviews in the world of 2020 or in Q1 of 2021, expect the process to reflect the dynamic landscape that we are in. 

Adaptability is an essential skill in business (and in life). We are now unfortunately stress-testing everyone’s ability to adapt simultaneously. In addition to the compounding of stressors, when looking at assessing performance, there are many other new factors to consider this year. Were your employees given the tools to be as effective as “normal” this year? If successful performance is measured against a goal, or completion of a task, were the goals and tasks feasible? Did the employee have enough control over the business situation to be successful?

We’re navigating through unfamiliar, entirely uncharted territory. It’s okay to be unsure how exactly to proceed when reviewing your employees. Make sure to take into account that they have been just as unsure about how to handle this new world as you are in this.

Tips for successful reviews:

1. Foster a calm, respectful learning environment.

Make sure to hold the review in a comfortable location at an opportune time for both of you. Allow for last minute rescheduling with no issue. If the review needs to be on Zoom, ensure that to the very best of your ability, the environment is one of active listening, receptivity to new ideas, coaching, and compassion.

2. Look ahead with a strategy.

What can this individual control and successfully achieve in the next 8 -10 months? Are there changes you can implement, to help support this individual in achieving their individual goals and company goals? What information can you seek out from organizations with similar roles about how they are responding to the current business environment? Has this remote environment promoted success for this role and this personality?

3. Examine soft spots that may impact your business with compassion and pragmatism.

For the most part, people want you to know them, and 2020 has been a time of personal reflection for many of us. What has changed and may change in future for this individual? Have relationship statuses changed? Is childcare an issue? Are more people living in the home where they are expected to work remotely? Are they contemplating a move out of the area or wanting less hours? This is a conversation that can help you mold your future team and help you successfully support the individual that you are speaking with. What is the most successful aspect of this person’s work product? Can you further your company’s goals by giving them more of what they are really good at? Are they in the “right seat on the bus” right now?

4. Discuss company success.

Be as candid as possible with the future prospects of your company. During this time of uncertainty, trust is a two-way street. Just as much as you need transparency from your employees to help pave a better organization, they need to understand what they can and cannot depend on to build a better life. 

Does it seem like it may be better to put the review off? Easier, maybe, in the short-term, but almost certainly not better in the long run. Oftentimes more will come out of a candid conversation than you expect. And frankly, right now we are all craving more connection. 

The American culture is historically one where we often hold our careers at the core of our identity. It seems likely that given all of the upheaval this year has brought, we will see some very real changes to that part of the culture! Help to foster an environment your employee’s don’t feel they need to move away from to grow personally. Create a community that sees personal growth as integral to company success. 

We’re a few days on from the election and still without an official result. There is a lot of fear, frustration, uncertainty, and hope floating around. We are seeking an understanding of what the future may bring. We can’t know, but personally, I am hoping for more peace and understanding. That’s what I will be bringing into my company’s upcoming evaluations. How about you?

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