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Money & Career

How To Assess Talent And Conduct Annual Reviews During COVID-19

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COVID-19 has brought in a lot of changes this year. Including work from home, for employees all around the world. So, some employees haven’t received performance feedback for nearly two months, since stay-at-home orders were issued in mid-March. With the annual reviews coming up, employers prefer to deliver feedback in person as opposed to over the phone or in a virtual video conference.

Moreover, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized. Nearly one-quarter of employees that don’t feel recognized when they do great work has interviewed for a job in the last three months. And recognition is the number one thing employees say their manager could give them to inspire them to produce great work. 

Alex Rizzuto, a talent management leader, believes consistency in communication and strong leadership is critical this year. Rizzuto focuses on executive and leadership coaching. Furthermore, it transforms leaders by guiding them to define and achieve their development and career aspirations. She has led the global talent management and organization and performance functions at multi-billion-dollar, multi-national organizations 

Rizzuto explains: 

“Not only do you need to share with your team what is changing, as quickly as possible, but you also need to keep communicating what is NOT changing. This will help dispel any rumors of what might be changing and focus your team on what is important. The traits that strong leaders are demonstrating now – agility; resilience; ability to lead in ambiguity; and inclusion and engagement – will continue to be traits for successful leaders in the future. 

Rizzuto shares three ways employers can continue to evaluate talent, and also prepare for their annual reviews. Additionally, employees can continue to receive constructive feedback during the stay-at-home orders: 

Embrace their disruption 

Rizzuto explains at the time of disruption, organizations, and teams naturally experience a decline in productivity. While external factors can’t be controlled, internal factors- such as how individuals, team members, and the workload- can be controlled.” 

Right now, managers should focus on strengthening other traits, and encouraging their team members towards creativity and learning. This can help individuals contribute to new solutions that might become part of future work methods. 

Embrace their emotion 

It’s essential to listen to what your employees are saying informally (such as through their tone of voice, body language, and casual conversation at the start of calls). Likewise, best managers will recognize and empathize where each employee is and acknowledge the grief, they’re experiencing in losing their ‘old normal.’ 

 Most importantly, they won’t chastise employees for their grief but coach them. Similarly, business goals can be accomplished and productivity can get back to an appropriate level. 

Embrace a self-assessment 

You cannot pay attention and manage your team’s emotions and uncertainty if you are not clear on where you are yourself. Therefore, consider your style and approach with your team.   

Ask yourself the following questions, 

  • Are you managing your stress, your workload?
  • When you show up for your team or individual employees, are you prepared – do you know what information you need to share? 
  •  Are you communicating priorities?  
  • What is your tone, method, etc.?  
  • What questions do you anticipate?  
  • How will you answer what you don’t know? 

 Most importantly, get feedback from your team on the new methods and practices – what’s working and what needs to be adjusted. 

Rizzuto also provides additional ways to assess talent and conduct more immediate annual reviews during COVID-19. 

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