Over 74% of Leaders Expect Shifts in Employee Performance and Learning Processes Amid COVID-19 To Remain

by Jacqueline Martinez Feb 19,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

In a recent research study conducted by Engagedly, survey results showed companies have accelerated towards a more continuous approach to talent development with higher levels of engagement from leadership.

ST. LOUISFeb. 17, 2021: Engagedly, a leading progressive performance management, Learning Management and People Enablement software company released recent survey results on how Organizations have changed their Employee Performance Management, and Learning & Development processes in 2020.

This report found significant changes to these two areas of Talent Management, as workforces overcame heightened productivity challenges such as mass transitions to remote working environments at the onset of COVID-19. The research found that, despite known obstacles to keep employees engaged and enabled to perform job duties, many organizations have managed to improve employee development processes in ways that will carry forward.

Reported improvements include:

  • Leaders are more frequently participating in performance management processes, such as ongoing check-ins (65%)
  • Organizations are more frequently participating in talent development processes, such as providing internal online training resources (69%)

Most importantly, the people leaders surveyed expect these changes to a more continuous approach to talent development to stick post COVID-19. This is especially important to note then that these changes will become the ‘New Normal’ and service providers and practitioners will need to get better at optimizing their processes based on these shifts to better enable employees.

Survey questions focused on these key performance management process areas:

  • Pay for Performance Incentives
  • Usage of Performance Ratings
  • Focus on OKR/Goal Management Processes
  • Frequency of Reviews/Assessments
  • Ongoing Check-Ins with Managers/Others

Based on the feedback, Ongoing Check-Ins with Managers, Frequency of Reviews/Assessments, and Focus on OKR/Goal Management Processes all increased in frequency during the COVID Era.

What stood out in the research is that 73.8% of leaders anticipate these changes to continue post COVID. It makes sense, because 70.7% of leaders were satisfied with the process changes related to performance management processes.

People Development Goes Virtual and…. More Feedback Focused

With the transition to remote work and organizations’ inability to conduct in-person training, we anticipated an increase in virtual and technology-driven learning and development.

Survey questions focused the questions on the following people development processes:

  • Online Training from External Content Providers
  • Online Training from Internal Content Providers
  • Live Online Training from Internal Teams
  • Live Online Training from External Content Providers
  • Ongoing Feedback
  • Developmental Assessment(s) (i.e. 360, Personality, etc.)

The changes in people development was more pronounced than the changes in Performance Management Processes. Over 50% of respondents reported that they were more frequently participating in all 5 of the people development processes that we inquired about. What did stand out even more is that Online Training from Internal Content Providers reported the largest change with 69.1% of leaders reporting this was occurring more frequently now.

Our Prediction

We are still in midst of the fog of COVID and remote work environments for most of the work places in the US. It still remains to be seen if these changes are widespread permanence or if it will be more industry specific. While we do anticipate that there will be some retrenchment to the old way of managing Performance and Learning & Development but it seems quite likely that we will not go back to pre February 2020 days.


Across the 270+ respondents we gathered demographic information on the following areas: education level, gender, job title, number of employees in company, and industry. The demographic breakdown and respective percentages can be found in the full report.  In general, the breakdown is well distributed and encompasses people across various industries, levels, and other key identifying characteristics.

About Engagedly

Engagedly’s cloud HR platform is built to engage, motivate, develop and drive performance. Given the virtual environment, many organizations have quickly transitioned to, it is even more imperative that organizations adopt best practices and tools to engage and align their people.

Download the full report from here: Performance Management And Employee Development In The COVID Era

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Jacqueline Martinez
Director of Marketing

Jacqueline Martinez is the Director of Marketing at Engagedly, where she leads initiatives to fuel the marketing-to-sales pipeline through strategic content management, revenue operations, and thoughtful mentoring. She is a growth-focused marketing executive with extensive experience driving multi-million-dollar revenues across SaaS, technology, real estate, oil & gas, and financial services industries.

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