Mid-Year Reviews In A Pandemic Atmosphere

Performance evaluation models are currently experiencing a change of paradigm. Productivity will no longer be seen in the same way as before. Goals and KPIs will be dynamic, competencies must align to this new era, and performance conversations must shift to other scenarios. This opportunity is an excellent excuse to redefine rigid and difficult-to-do performance management models. 


Agile models with continuous actions are stepping in. These include feedback and coaching focused on the future, evaluation processes in shorter periods, with different evaluators according to data and information they have from the collaborator. 


How do we evaluate employees’ performance at such a challenging time? And how do we make sure we’re fair given everyone’s different circumstances? How to streamline the process to obtain the indicators that will be needed at the end of the year?


Here are some do and don’ts to take into account when carrying out mid-year reviews in your company:


  • Jot down brief notes for each of the topics you want to evaluate. It does not matter if you leave something aside; these notes will help you have in mind all the essential items to discuss.
  • If objectives were not set before the pandemic, or such goals have changed radically, inform everyone in a clear and straightforward manner that they will not be assessed. It is a good idea to focus on acquired skills rather than a set of unattainable goals.
  • If you still need to measure objectives/goals, use a teamwork approach for short and measurable objectives, which can be reviewed in team meetings (zoom/meet).
  • Emphasize qualitative objectives if quantitative conditions cannot be met.
  • Implement continuous feedback with authentic performance dialogues. Approach your evaluations with more flexibility, leniency, understanding, and empathy.
  • Simplify processes, if possible.
  • Make sure you take this opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for employees who are engaged and working hard. It’s critical for their morale. 
  • Do not be hard on your low performers. Give them a grace period to get used to this new normal and turn things around.
  • Do not only look at the deliverables people are providing while ignoring their personal situations.
  • Think about how to do performance reviews better. In this environment, more frequent, smaller evaluations such as semi-annual or quarterly evaluations may be optimal. 
  • By 2021, review the complete model, ask the organization if it provides value and, thus, redefine with an agile approach.


Take this period as an opportunity to move towards a people-focused management system, built around flexibility, instead of efficiency and competitiveness, which will be more sustainable in the long run.

Posted in Work.

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