How to Conduct a Fair Employee Performance Appraisal During Covid-19

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Employee performance appraisal is a fine balancing process, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. In these uncertain and difficult times, there are several responsibilities that HR must shoulder. From crisis planning, employee wellbeing during remote working, ensuring smooth communications, to performance evaluation, they have a lot to address. 

But conducting an impartial performance appraisal is the biggest HR challenge. With COVID-19 drastically changing the way we work, how much we work, and how long we work, HR and the top management must figure out the right and just way for performance reviews and appraisals.  

As an HR, you have to consider both the high-performers and those on the other extreme. When you conduct a performance-based appraisal, the question that comes to mind is: what are the main things to consider for fair justice to both sets of employees?   

Before that, let us understand what is performance appraisal: it is the process of reviewing an employee’s performance, skills, achievement, and growth on the job and make important decisions like promotion, compensation, etc.

Here are some ways you can conduct a just employee appraisal. 

5  Ways to Carry Out Fair Employee Performance Appraisal

Remember, every org-wide decision affects employees as much as the business. To make better decisions, consider these 5 pointers while handling appraisals for employees.  

1 Communicate Company Goals and Expectations

Unless your employees know their performance expectations or company goals, they cannot deliver results. Especially now when everyone is working remotely. Improper or no information confuses employees, leading to constant follow-ups with higher authorities and greater delay. As an HR professional, you must clearly outline the company objectives and goals to preempt such pitfalls. Better still, set up meetings or send emails to communicate and reiterate these goals so employees remember and adhere to them better. This will help you make the right decision for appraisals and employee evaluation.     

2 Relax Certain Criteria for Performance Review 

In this pandemic, your employees might be going through a lot of stress while working remotely. From putting in the required work hours, managing all projects remotely with limited resources, to dealing with personal issues, they’d be managing several things daily. Relaxing certain criteria can ease your employees’ work and make them focus better. If possible, offering common bonuses and appraisals to all employees meeting some minimum expected criteria can be a better solution.   

3 Encourage Peer Reviews for Performance Appraisal Evaluations

More than managers, employees spend time with their peers while working remotely. For performance evaluation purposes, you could send review forms to peers and ask them to add their points or grades for other colleagues. You can then assign the review forms to managers for their inputs. Peer reviews often highlight the skills, efficiencies, and work of your employees.   

4 Consider Employee Learning and Development Activities 

While conducting the performance appraisal process, observe if employees engaged in learning and development activities, either voluntarily or when assigned to them. There are several industry-specific courses or certifications that they can take to enhance their skills and implement their learnings at work. Based on their new skills, you can offer fair compensation in appraisals.      

5 Reset Expectations, if Required

Resetting expectations is not wrong. Your employees can have certain expectations from the business or might be facing issues working remotely. Considering those and making small amends in your employee expectations can help them perform better and meet their goals sooner. To start with, you can directly ask your employees on what KPIs they need relaxation, and take an informed decision, discussing with the leadership team.

Summing Up

Remote working has transformed how you can evaluate employees and the performance appraisal process. You might have to reset a few KPIs to generate a fair result or use a different method to assess. Use the above 5 pointers to make assessments and make appropriate decisions.

Also Read: 5 Tips to Ensure Fair Remote Work Performance Review

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