Will Appraisals This Year Be The Same?


With remote working being the norm now, 2021 and the years ahead are expected to see many more changes when it comes to measuring the performance of employees. The move from using employee ratings, comparing them with their peers, and measuring performance by numbers, to viewing them on a more human level is a welcome change. Companies today understand that employees are socially distanced, work in different environments, and are dealing with different issues. Thus, checking on their needs and well-being, keeping them inspired to perform better as well as keeping them engaged is now an important part of performance management when it comes to appraisals.


All said and done, employees do anticipate the performance appraisal with mixed reactions, even though it means highlighting achievements and giving honest feedback for the better. Talking about appraisals seems a little out of place since layoffs and pay cuts are still doing the rounds. However, the question cannot be avoided since it is appraisal season!


How Companies Can Differently Deal With Appraisals This Year


Whether companies are going to bypass the performance rewards, or go ahead with it all depends on how hard they have been hit by the pandemic. During these challenging times, empathy, and rewards for their dedicated hard work is sure to motivate them to do better. Companies need to be fair by considering personal factors as most employees are working remotely, at the same time be transparent when it comes to making difficult decisions. For example, being absolutely honest and giving reasons about why there is no performance reward will help to instil trust in the company and workforce.


For a better employee experience, managers need to be more supportive and find out what is stopping their team members from giving their best and try and work out ways to improve it. Informal and regular holistic conversations between managers and employees rather than the retrospective review is what works best and is a less hierarchical style of contemporary management. Having said that, the frequency and format of such conversations could vary. This regular conversation model helps build employee confidence and it helps them develop ideas for growth.


What Companies Are Doing To Compensate For Last Year


The next big question on everyone’s mind is – how are companies going to make up for ‘no appraisals’ in 2020? A report by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India, gives all employees a ray of hope. It says that increments are likely to go up from 4.4% in 2020 to 7.3% in 2021. It further says that only 60% of the companies gave an increment last year to their employees, through off-cycle increments. What may also bring some cheer to the to the pandemic-hit India Inc’s workforce, is the report by global professional services company Aon’s latest Salary Trends Survey in India that has projected that 87% of the surveyed companies plan to give salary hikes in 2021.


But the risks related to COVID-19 are not yet over, and companies are still treading with caution. What is required at the moment from both, employers and employees are to be more flexible and ready for change. Conducting traditional tick-box methods of appraisals is not only old school now but also unreliable. An evidence-based performance appraisal is the new norm for a more empowered and inspired workforce.