What can we expect from performance evaluations – and what should be evaluated
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The adoption of teleworking, new task flows and the dispersion of teams, phenomena forced by the covid-19 pandemic have led organizations to rethink how to measure the objectives of managers, middle managers and collaborators.
“Data and analytics from a pre-covid-19 work environment no longer serve today’s teleworking purpose. It does not capture the disjointed realities of digital workflows. Stressed, separated and challenged to improve with less, people need a better understanding of how they are doing. Productivity now demands more aggressive and actionable measures. ” This is how an article by MIT Sloan Management Review poses the challenge that organizations have had to face when measuring the achievement of their teams’ objectives in the midst of the pandemic.
According to Michael Schrage, the author of the text and a researcher at the MIT business school, it has become necessary to “recalibrate” KPIs to ensure that teleworking really works. Without trust and transparency, monitoring or following up on telecommuting your employees can be viewed as invasive and exploitative. “Redefining and re-measuring high performance may be the real disruptive opportunity for post-covid-19 growth,” he adds.
The dispersion of the work teams and their members generated by the pandemic has forced companies and executives to modify their management. In other words, they have moved from supervision or the “open door” policy to admitting that “some significantly measurable form of real-time monitoring” is now necessary.
In this context, what should be evaluated? “We must expect it to be a much more immediate workforce, quick to react and highly adaptable to the new way of working, remotely and which only communicates through screens” explains Pilar Villarino, partner and consultant at HK Human Capital.
Furthermore, this way of working requires frequent and fluid communication. For this, the corresponding tools are varied, from e-mail or WhatsApp to Zoom, for example, and demand reciprocal openness from the parties. “You have to build trust ties with the team, make them feel committed to their work and give them the opportunity to be creative and flexible” adds Villarino.
Despite these considerations, Schrage stresses in his article that “most companies lack metrics or real-time measures to assess the effectiveness of team and / or process communication.” Although companies present this information deficit to evaluate their people, “next generation performance management depends on digital monitoring and tracking platforms to generate analytical information in real time. Those workflow and process ideas can be prescriptive and predictive as well as descriptive. High-performance leaders embrace this practice. ”
Before proceeding with this redefinition of how the fulfillment of objectives in organizations is measured, our partner and consultant Pilar Villarino also calls to take into account the cultural changes necessary for its implementation: “Much flexibility, starting from the premise that everything is different and new to everyone. Make clear the objectives, the changes that these may have undergone as a result of the pandemic, and the development of new indicators that measure the scope of these objectives.”