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Covid Impact: Companies Moving To Quaterly/Half-Yearly Appraisal System

In the post-pandemic world, the mechanism of employee performance management is set to undergo a radical shift. AI and ML are set to play a more active role as well say experts

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Pandemic has given a new outlook to performance management of employees within organisations. More and more companies are opting for quarterly or half-yearly appraisal systems instead of yearly while encouraging active feedback mechanism for scheduled appraisals. Take for example the impact of pandemic on employees at IndiGo, country's largest low-cost carrier. "My personal belief is that even as we deal with an imminent economic turbulence, we need to weigh our balance sheet against employee expectations and find a middle ground that is fair to both. This is best achieved by mid-year check-ins laced with transparent discussions that will help to bring back the focus on potential opportunities,” says Raj Raghavan, Senior VP and Head HR, Indigo.

Experts say that due to pandemic there has been a big push to the digital agenda. "Because of digital push, it is much more easier to collect as many data points required with respect to the time employees are spending on meetings, impact of ideation, among several other parameters," says Unmesh Pawar, Partner, KPMG. Hence, the role of feedback mechanism takes a firm front seat while deciding upon the appraisals for each employee, Pawar adds.

“The future will be about deploying technology through multiple digital platforms to provide frequent and concrete feedback to employees, instead of relying on annual appraisal discussions with limited proof points,” says Sameer Wadhwan,  Senior VP and Head HR, Samsung India.

Experts are of the views that if you want a high performing culture then you need to have quality feedback because its frequency allows people the opportunity to do something with that feedback. And it plays are cherry on top if feedback mechanism is actionable, can be tracked or is specific and which can help people impact their feedback in a positive sense.

The role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in Human Resource Management is also expected to increase manyfolds in coming time. Agrees Tapan Singhel, MD and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. He says, "To me, appraisal mechanism in times to come would be a continuous system on a daily basis, assisted by AI and ML in which employees will also have the right to seek guidance on few aspects where they think they need help or assistance from their leaders or mentors. This guidance will further make empower employees towards contributing actively to their career advancement and development."

Way Forward

Organisations are finding a way to spare expenses. Notwithstanding, the HR chiefs shared fascinating thoughts regarding what could change the 2021 onwards scenario. The experts are of firm belief that organisations will have to set momentary business targets, alongside using variable compensation more to spare expense than boost outperformance. Additionally, pay-outs may not be totally equation based. Organisations will have to mend their ways and change the perspective of screening each employee differently as now work-from-home has designated different responsibilities for each employee now.

Employees should be asked to focus on company performance rather than business unit or individual performance. Organisational revival cannot be achieved by working with ‘silo-ed’ performance goals, hence building a culture of “all hands on deck” may be important from current financial year onwards. Secondly, employees are expected to bring about structural changes driving organisational agility to focus on specific priorities. Decision-making chains are becoming shorter in a technology-driven work from home environment. Even after we go back to office, these chains may not revert to their earlier shape. A well-designed 360-degree feedback process would allow others in the office a more accurate and diversified perspective on an employee’s performance to contribute their thoughts. Offering 360-degree feedback will also allow employees to review their managers, hold managers accountable for taking this part of their role seriously, enact consequences for ineffective managers and offer incentives for effective ones. Hence, an improved appraisal process must be thoughtfully designed making the most effective use of feedback mechanism, backed by technology in the larger picture.