The Future of Performance Management in a Hybrid Workforce

Post by
Karthick Sundar
The Future of Performance Management in a Hybrid Workforce

Microsoft's 2021 Work Trend Index states that over 70% of workers want flexible remote working options. Hence, companies are under tremendous pressure to introduce hybrid working to remain attractive as an employer. At the same time, they need to achieve high levels of productivity and performance to continue generating profits.

How is the performance management system in your company? Are the employees and employers satisfied with it, or are they looking for ways to improve it? Or are you curious about how the performance management will be in the post covid era?

Whatever the circumstances might be, by the end of this article, you will know one thing for sure - the future of performance management in the post covid or hybrid workforce.

How is Performance Management shaping up in the 'new normal' world?

There is no standard approach to performance management, and there is certainly no proven method to get it right in the current circumstances. Yet, frequent and future-focused conversations on continuous development can be the pillars of a strong performance management system.

Although, one of the major challenges that organizations face these days is the combined effects of digital fatigue, burnout, and poor mental health of employees. Many studies are pointing to dangerously high levels of stress and burnout. Moreover, employees are reporting that they are feeling more and more disconnected from their colleagues and managers.

That is exactly why we all need better performance management systems. And thankfully, organizations are noticing and realizing it. So, what changes can we expect in performance management in the coming years? Let's find out.

What can be the future of performance management?
1. Combating Proximity Bias

Proximity bias favors people you physically see every day while undervaluing those you don't (remote workers). As managers see some employees more than others in the hybrid workplace model, proximity bias is more likely to occur.

The first step to avoiding proximity bias is to build awareness. Managers need to be aware of potential biases that could favor one set of employees over their co-workers. They also need to create an inclusive work environment that reduces the effects of bias. One way to do that is operating as if your entire team is remote when it comes to sharing information, scheduling meetings, and making important team decisions.

2. Redefining Productivity

Organizations will have to build a more robust and dynamic link between employee productivity, performance, and well-being. They would have to recognize that they cannot major productivity only in terms of volumes of work completed or hours logged.

3. Focusing on Outcomes, Not Tasks

Focusing on outcomes means setting a clear goal for your team but giving them the freedom to decide how they get there, instead of micromanaging them by dictating each task they need to complete. Hybrid team managers cannot personally monitor their remote workers, so they might prefer micromanaging their employees by focusing on minor jobs.

But often, micromanaging unnecessarily pressures employees, which leads to a lower level of work performance. Monitoring your employees too closely hampers employee creativity and productivity. Instead of focusing on minor tasks or the amount of time an employee spends at their desks, we shall see managers focusing on measurable outcomes.

4. Engagement and Well-being

Employee well-being is the key to performance and productivity. Organizations echo this sentiment and are keen on increasing focus on employee wellness initiatives. In such uncertain times, it is even more critical to provide employees with resources to help them combat the threat to their well-being - physical, financial, and emotional.

5. Rewards and recognition

Rewards and recognition are critical elements of performance management. Employees are already experiencing a financial setback today. To keep up their morale, organizations should explore non-monetary methods to reward employees.

6. Developing a culture of feedback

68% of employees said that feedback conversations helped improve their work performance. Feedback drives employee performance, improvement, and results. Scheduling feedback sessions regularly for remote and in-office employees can help managers increase employee confidence, reduce burnout, and improve employee engagement.

On a wrapping note

Performance management is constantly growing and responding to the fundamental changes in business models, organization structures, the nature of work, and the needs of the employees. The future belongs to those who can adapt to new changes.

A hybrid workplace will require a renewed focus on building and maintaining a supportive and strong company culture and new tools, techniques, and metrics that prioritize productivity and well-being in the coming years. While transitioning to a hybrid workforce comes with its perks and challenges, you can still maintain and increase productivity and improve employee performance.