Employee Performance Management During COVID-19

by Srikant Chellappa Aug 28,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Employee Performance Management is crucial for all organizations, as it is one of the key drivers for organizational success. But many organizations often confuse or mix it with an annual performance review or a performance appraisal. Moreover, they use it as a means to remove low performing employees from the organization. Before we delve into the main topic, we need to understand: ‘What is employee performance management?‘ and ‘Why is it important?‘.

What Is Employee Performance Management?

Employee Performance Management can be defined as a systematic process that organizations implement to plan, set, review, and evaluate progress in terms of business results. Performance management is not the same as an annual review, instead it is a continuous process of communication between managers and employees to achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Whereas, performance appraisals and annual reviews generally happen annually and are considered as components of performance management. Effective employee performance management should focus on the following:

  • Clarifying job expectations and goals
  • Improving group and individual productivity through feedback and coaching
  • Effective and seamless communication between managers and employees
  • Employee development for greater job satisfaction and engagement

Also Read: Was Your Performance Management Strategy A Failure?

Globally, a majority of the population is still working from home due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19. It has affected employees’ personal and professional lives, which has led to stress and burnout. In this current scenario, it has become a necessity for organizations and managers to keep their workforce productive and engaged. Without meeting their employees in person, managers find it challenging to do so, but having a performance management software has made it easy.

In this article, we will discuss the features of an employee performance management software, which has made performance management a seamless experience in this era of remote working and remote employee management.


Oftentimes, employee feedback is the least important aspect managers pay heed to. Ongoing and real-time feedback helps to improve employee engagement and retention, and let employees know what they are doing right or wrong. But at times, managers not only fail to share feedback with their employees, but they ignore it altogether. A timely feedback not only keeps employees engaged but also increases their motivation and enthusiasm towards their work.

A feedback module of a performance management software should allow for simple sharing and requesting of feedback. Moreover, employees should be able to share feedback about their managers. Two-way communication promotes a healthy and transparent workplace.

Expert Tip: Whether positive or constructive, managers should share feedback weekly or every fortnight so that it retains the timely impact.

Also Read: A Guide To Effective Employee Feedback

Goal Setting

Goal Setting and Management is an important part of employee performance management. According to the Goal Setting Theory, put forward by Edwin Locke in 1968; clear goals motivate employees, and in turn, it improves their performance. Goals provide direction to employees’ efforts and help them understand what they need to do. Thus, goal setting needs to be a part of your performance management software to keep your employees motivated and engaged while they are working from home.

An employee should be able to set SMART monthly and quarterly goals, aligned with department and organization goals using a performance management software. They should be able to perform check-ins on their goals and modify their goals as and when needed.

Expert Tip: Organizations, along with managers and employees, should set short-term quarterly goals for themselves as yearly long-term goals often become irrelevant by the end of the year.

Also Read: What To Look For In A Goal Setting Software


Employee Recognition not only helps in improving employee engagement but also reduces employee turnover. Moreover, it helps in increasing productivity, improves retention rates, and boosts the morale of the employees. A recent study indicates 69% of employees would have worked harder at their job if they were better appreciated for their efforts

Most employee performance management software has recognition as a part of their feature. Engagedly, for example, have the following features by which employees can be recognized:

  • Public Praise: It allows users to praise anyone throughout the organization. All the users are notified through mail and in the Engagedly application
  • Badges: Default and customized badges can be awarded 
  • Points: Managers can reward points to their team members for their work

Expert Tip: A delayed recognition is equivalent to no recognition, recognize your employees as close to the event as possible. It makes them feel that their work is valued, and efforts are recognized. This keeps them motivated and engaged, and they put in extra effort into whatever they do.

Also Read: Is Employee Recognition Only About Employee Perks?

360 Degree Feedback

According to Bracken and Church(2013), 360 degree feedback has been adopted by roughly 60% of the top development companies for both development and decision making. It helps them in identifying high-potential employees and succession planning.

A multirater or 360 degree feedback is a type of feedback process where every stakeholder shares feedback about the employee. It not only involves the managers but also involves peers, direct reports, customers, vendors, and senior leadership as part of the review process. This is a more balanced approach than the traditional feedback process, where the feedback tends to be subjective and is based only on the direct supervisor’s inputs. It helps in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the individual and the team and boosts working relationships.

The 360 degree feedback software should offer customization and flexibility based on the needs of the organization. It should allow easy customization of 360 degree feedback surveys based on departments and teams. HRs, managers and the employees should have the flexibility to nominate reviewers for the review process.

Expert Tip: Organizations should train employees on how to share feedback in a 360 degree feedback process. As managers, work with your employees on an action plan and follow up from time to time to track the progress until the next 360 degree feedback.

Also Read: Why Accountability Matters In A 360 Degree Feedback


Workplace learning helps employees in professional and personal development. It not only helps employees to stay updated with the ongoing trends in the industry, but also allows them to up-skill and cross-skill themselves. According to a study in Forbes, 93% of the employees reported, they will stay longer in a company that is interested in their career development. A strong and rich learning culture during the pandemic will boost employees’ self-confidence, improve their skills, and keep them motivated at their work.

A learning module in an employee performance management software should allow easy creation and assignment of courses. It should also allow employees to subscribe to courses whenever they need it.

Expert Tip: Discuss with your employees their personal and professional development goals before deciding on their training and learning needs.

Also Read: A Guide To Understanding Job Competencies

If you are looking for a Real Time Performance Management Software for your organization, request for a free demo with us.

Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Get in touch with us to know more about the free remote working tool-kit. 

Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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