Employer Insights

How to Rethink your Performance Review in the COVID-19 era

Meaghan GleesonPosted by Meaghan
min read
Mika Baumeister 7 Q Lz Z0q7d U Unsplash

​Without a doubt, we are in a more positive position coming into September 2020, with a number of mid – top tier Law firms looking at their support allocation and are replacing business critical roles, adding additional resources and employing temporary staff to assist. Insurance Litigation, both plaintiff and defendant, remain strong and we have more recently seen an increase in the number of vacancies listed within Family Law, Construction, Commercial Litigation along with a number of Receptionist positions where firms are continuing to return to the office. Notably, firms are increasing their Business Development and Marketing activities, along with boosting their IT and tech support, resulting in a number of new permanent and contract vacancies in these teams.

One of the main questions I am regularly being asked is,how are other firms attempting to manage employee performance in the current climate?

Communication. Regardless of whether your employees are working remotely or in the office, communication is key.Now more than ever, it is important to ‘over communicate’ and be there for our teams. Employees are facing more stress than ever, including family stress, financial, technical stresses from working remotely, worrying about their health, in addition to the pressures you would encounter in a normal working day.Add on the loss of team culture that can arise from working remotely and not engaging with your colleagues face to face and it’s no wonder many are feeling out of their comfort zone and under the pump.

Kindness. As Managers, we need to be kind to our team members, understand the situation they are in, and make sure to highlight their wins, even at the smallest level. Outcomes are important, however we do need to be empathetic. When usual measures on performance are not as clear, we need to use other metrics to manage productivity, such as activity levels and the ability to meet agreed outcomes. Other factors such as positively contributing to the team and its morale, are also essential and must be acknowledged.

One of my team members, Jayden Cooke, has upskilled and volunteered to be the Producer of p2p's weekly Facebook Live (each Friday at 12.30, thanks for asking!), which we launched during the pandemic. He is responsible for all of the tech and ensures our team are ready to roll every Friday!Our NZ Managing Director, Shannon Barlow sent a company wide shout out for his contributions, which I then shared to social media, to show our appreciation.  

Performance. During this extraordinary time, where the teams aren’t producing the usual financial levels they normally would, I focus on areas where they are going above and beyond expectations, such as continuing to adhere to our team marketing plan and demonstrating team work and contributing to meetings. As we cautiously move into what appears to be a more positive job market, it is imperative we not only look at attracting the best talent to our businesses, but also retaining those already working with us.Those who have worked hard to get us through what has been one of the most challenging years we have ever experienced.With a strong team behind us, we can then start the steps to recovery out of Covid-19.