4 Tips for Conducting EHS Employee Performance Reviews Amid the Pandemic

It’s that time of the year again! Annual performance reviews. This year, the pandemic has made conducting reviews a much greater challenge than in previous years. However, don’t eliminate them altogether just because you can’t provide in-person assessments. It’s especially critical that you share with your employees the feedback they need to do their jobs well as we approach 2021.

Implement these best practices to prepare for and conduct annual reviews with your team members in a remote setting:

1. Clarify your expectations. The pandemic has changed the work landscape significantly. Assess exactly how your workplace has shifted and determine new expectations for staff that match it. During your performance review conversations, make sure your employees are on the same page as you regarding what is expected of them, regardless of whether they are working remotely, working in your facility, or both.

Consider checking in more often with your team members beyond annual performance evaluations. Keeping open lines of communication on your expectations is vital to smooth facility operations. Many people are still trying to navigate the new workplace, and being there to facilitate the shift will be critically important to your organization.

2. Make sure you understand your staff members’ situations. Being aware of what your employees are handling in addition to their work will help you better manage their performance and provide feedback during their annual reviews. This will also demonstrate your empathy as a manager. You can determine if a team member needs more flexibility in their hours to complete their work. Perhaps their child’s virtual learning may be affecting when or how they can work, for example. However, be careful when asking staff about personal matters. You can get a sense of the difficulties they’re experiencing, but avoid asking questions that are too specific, as they could violate employment law.

3. Share specific feedback. This year is more important than ever to consistently share what your workers are doing well and how they can improve. However, this shouldn’t only be during the annual performance evaluation. If there are performance issues, you don’t want to catch an employee off guard by first communicating that during their review.

4. Concentrate on performance outcomes, not the process. During performance reviews, it’s crucial to articulate to staff members the certain results you expect from their work. Focusing on the outcomes instead of the process allows team members more flexibility to utilize their skills and strengths.

While the pandemic has made conducting performance reviews more difficult, they’re not something you should consider getting rid of this year. Take the time to sit down with employees during a video call to provide the feedback they need to end the year and start 2021 on a positive note. 

5 ways to revamp performance reviews during the pandemic, Gwen Moran, Fast Company.

How to Do Performance Reviews — Remotely, Rebecca Knight, Harvard Business Review.