Many organizations are adjusting to the “new normal” in the workforce. For some organizations, this might mean remaining completely remote; for others it may mean going back to the office. However, many organizations are opting for a hybrid workforce with a study by Gartner revealing that 82% of companies plan to allow employees to work remotely some of the time.
What is a hybrid workplace?
A hybrid workplace is a blend of working remotely and working in the office. Some employees may be completely remote, while others might be in-office. Alternatively, some organizations may choose to have a set schedule or a certain number of days that employees can choose to work from home.
Whether an organization chooses to make employees return to the office, continue to work remotely, or implement a hybrid work model, organizations will need to make sure that employees are being productive and their performance is accurately documented. However, for organization implementing a hybrid work model for the first time, they might be wondering how can they conduct fair performance evaluations if some of their employees are not receiving regular face time with their manager.
Below, we list some tips to help ensure fair performance reviews in the hybrid workplace.
1) Focus on the deliverables, not the ‘when’ and ‘where’
‘Management by observation’ can lead to many issues. First, it is not an accurate depiction of performance. ‘Time depend at desk’ and the ‘number hours worked’ or ‘number of hours online’ (for remote workers) does not translate to productivity. Second, it can amplify common workplace biases. For example, employees who are seen regularly around the office are perceived as “dedicated, reliable, committed, and dependable”. People who are not visible (aka remote workers) tend to score lower on these traits.
For the hybrid workforce, managers need to focus on deliverables and deadlines during their evaluations, not simply what they observe in the office or online. To that end, employees’ objectives and expectations have to be clear and there needs to be specific metrics and deadlines. Managers should use their 1-on-1 check-ins (in-person or virtual) to provide real-time guidance and support, and most importantly, managers need to be documenting their check-ins with employees. This will help minimize other unconscious biases that occur in performance reviews.
2) Gather data with the right tools
Employees, particularly remote employees, can be concerned about the lack of face-time that they would otherwise have in the office. They may be unsure about how their performance will be ranked compared to in-office workers who often get regular face-time with their managers.
We encourage having a performance management solution (like Pavestep) to help employees keep track of goals, feedback, and reviews. Performance management tools can also analyze the data to make it simple to highlight strengths and areas of development of the employees so they feel empowered to take responsibility of their performance. It also allows employees (and their managers) to reference past performance.
3) Encourage face-to-face conversations
60% of communication is based off non-verbal cues; hence it can be easy to have misunderstandings in a voice call. For performance evaluations and check-ins, face-to-face communication is important. For your in-office workers, meet with them in person. For your remote workers, video meetings are key. It also makes these meetings more personal.
Have any other tips? Let us know!