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Performance Management in the COVID-19 Era
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Most business owners, managers and supervisors have at least heard of the term “performance management,” but many people don’t have a complete understanding of the concept and how to best apply it in their own organizations. In this article, we’ll provide a definition of performance management, explain why it’s so important in the COVID-19 era, and show you how you can implement this process with your own employees.

Put very simply, performance management is the process in which both managers and employees engage in continuous communication and feedback in order to achieve the strategic goals of the business. This practice helps to ensure that workers are performing at their most productive levels on a regular basis. Performance management is not a new concept. In fact, historians tell us that the notion of performance management dates back to somewhere around 220 AD, when emperors from the Wei Dynasty started to rate the performance of their family members. But it wasn’t until the 1800s when employers began to utilize this theory in the workplace. For many years, performance management typically came into play during annual employee evaluations, when the supervisor or manager would share the company’s strategic objectives with the employee and assess whether or not and to what extent the employee was contributing to achieving those objectives. But in our modern era, the performance management concept has evolved into a continuous cycle of communication between managers and their employees, so that the employees can maintain a constant awareness of the goals of their company and better understand how they can contribute to achieving those goals throughout the course of each workday.

Utilizing performance management is especially important now, when the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in so many employees working from home. If you don’t follow an effective performance management strategy, you run the risk of your remote team becoming disengaged, unmotivated and nonproductive. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to implement an effective performance management process with your own telecommuting staff, including the following.

  • Clearly state your company’s goals and your own performance objectives for each staff member. Your employees can’t possibly perform at a satisfactory level without knowing what that level is. Help each of your remote workers to understand the performance goals you have for them as individuals, and how their work product will contribute to achieving the overall goals for the organization.
  • Implement an effective software tool that can help you more clearly assess the productivity levels of each employee. MySammy is an excellent choice for this purpose. Our cloud-based software allows you to measure productivity levels of remote workers without spying on them or blocking their access to certain websites. And MySammy is intended to be used with the full knowledge of the employee, so that each individual remains motivated to meet and exceed the goals that you have set for them.
  • Rather than waiting for an annual performance review to provide feedback to your remote employees, communicate with them on a regular basis to let them know how they’re doing. If an individual is falling short of the productivity/performance goals you have established for that person, offer real-time advice on how he or she can improve.
  • Offer your telecommuting employees rewards for a job well done. This doesn’t necessarily have to include financial incentives (although it certainly may). Other rewards for achieving performance objectives could include additional time off or being named “Employee of the Month,” for example.
  • Establish a schedule of regular meetings with each of your remote workers, whether in-person or through video conferencing. Taking the time to meet one-on-one with each employee not only demonstrates that you care how each worker is progressing, but also provides you with an opportunity to touch base with that employee and remind them of the important role they play within the organization and how they are contributing to its success.

While it’s true that performance management strategies have been used by some managers for many years, those strategies can play an especially important role during the era of COVID-19, when so many employees are working remotely. Start building the toolkit you need to implement an effective performance management method for your own staff by signing up for your free trial of MySammy today!

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