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Performance evaluation in the new world of work

13/04/2022 minute read Hannah Hirst

We’ve talked recently about the many challenges associated with measuring performance in the workplace. From the idiosyncratic rater effect, to a lack of useful data, the challenges are significant and difficult to overcome. 

But another lens to this comes from the way the workplace has changed, and particularly the rise of remote working. This change has added another level of complexity to the minefield that is performance measurement. Why? Well, let’s take a look.

Traditionally, organisations have taken a top-down approach to performance management, with HR and leaders publishing a set of objectives that are then cascaded down throughout the organisation to the rest of the workers. In the most part – at least in so far as office workers are concerned, workers were based in the office with their manager, who could steer and watch over them as they completed their objectives.

Because of this physical proximity, an employee’s manager would have felt at least somewhat qualified to give them a performance evaluation based on what they had observed of them in the office.  (Note, we said felt – as we’ve stated before, the reality is that a performance rating actually says more about the person doing the rating than it does the person being rated).

But of course recently, the nature of work and, importantly, the role of the manager is changing. The loss of proximity means the manager employee relationship is less about surveillance or assigning work, and more about coaching and providing support. It is no longer feasible for good managers to watch over day to day activity happening in their team, instead, they must give their employees the tools they need and trust them to complete the work themselves.

For this to work, performance management needs to start from the bottom-up. Meaning employees need to be involved with setting their own goals, and responsible for keeping track of progress. They need to be receiving feedback from the people they are working with day-to-day, and recording this for their manager to review.

Our Performance Management Report 2022 that we conducted earlier this year showed that over the past year there has been a significant disconnect between how managers are viewing performance management, and how employees view it. With disputes around subjects such as, productivity levels, quality and quantity of conversations happening, and how well employees are supported in regards to burn out.

This shows us that managers are not getting a full enough picture of the day-to-day goings on with their team. Using a performance management tool like Advanced Clear Review, one-to-one check-in conversations can be scheduled monthly, short term goals can be set and tracked by managers and HR, and feedback can be given between co-workers and reviewed by managers.

By using these tools, employees are empowered to take ownership of their own performance and development, whilst still receiving any support they need, so managers and HR are able to see progress and make fully informed evaluations of the employee’s performance.

Times have changed, the way people work has changed, so our processes should change to meet the new needs of the modern workplace.

For more advice on performance management related issues, book a free demo of Advanced Clear Review, and start saying yes to a great continuous performance management system.