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Evaluating Employee Performance During a Pandemic

Methods of evaluating employee performance have drastically changed due to the pandemic. Many offices, which resorted to a remote or hybrid setup, were able to lessen the health risks but, consequently, also lessened the visibility on tasks and other career milestones. With this, managers and HR practitioners may have needed new ways to approach career conversations and appraisals.

If you’re still struggling with the performance evaluations in your company, here are some key performance indicators that you can look for and tools that you can use as we approach another season of year-end appraisals. Use the tips in this article to evaluate employees from different industries and positions—from interns, high-quality content writers, graphic designers, and up to your managing executives.

Knowing What to Look Out For

Especially with a setup that limits visibility on how tasks are being delivered, it’s important to set key performance indicators (KPIs) with each of the people in your company. KPIs must be agreed upon by both the evaluator and the evaluatee for them to make sense.

Performance indicators vary depending on someone’s function. Some have leadership roles while some don’t. Some directly contribute to sales while some don’t. That is why KPIs are personal and unique to the individual employees of your company.

With the pandemic still ongoing, KPIs related to visibility and collaboration may be more crucial. Here are some examples of KPIs that most employers value in their employee assessments.

Business KPIs

Sales target — For sales teams, business development officers, etc., managers can determine if they are effective and positively contribute to the company’s revenue by looking at how close they are to their sales target or quota.

Lead conversion ratio — People in sales and marketing will also have to set goals to increase their lead conversion ratio, which is simply the number of interested people who turn into actual sales.

Number of outputs — Managers can also take a look at the number of outputs related to their position as a measure of productivity. E.g., A website content writer can set a KPI for how many articles they publish per week, customer representatives can track the number of customer complaints that they resolve within a day, etc.

Client or customer satisfaction — It’s important to have indicators that tell if stakeholders that directly work with your employees are satisfied with the services or relationship. In the end, happy clients and customers make up a successful business.

Developmental KPIs

Employee awareness — This determines how aware employees are to the communication processes within their teams and within the whole company.

Effective collaboration — Managers can also take a look at the relationship that an employee has with their teammates. Especially with the pandemic, it’s important that employees know how to collaborate despite the geographical distance.

Leadership — It’s important to watch out for the people, who can actually take on leadership roles.

Setting SMART KPIs

For them to be relevant to your company, KPIs must follow the SMART principle: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. SMART KPIs allow for clarity, structure, and measurability, which make goals even more realistic.

Before their performance review, ask your employees the following questions.


What is it exactly that they want to achieve?


How will they know if they have achieved their goals? What are the milestones?


Is the goal really possible to achieve given the circumstances and resources?


Are the goals aligned with their values and the company’s?


What is the realistic timeline for the completion and other milestones of their goals?

Knowing How to Track and Measure KPIs

Once the KPIs for the period has been set, it’s important to oversee the progress and achievement of these performance indicators. It’s also crucial to set a benchmark for each metric to serve as your reference for what’s considered satisfactory, and in order for you to track key milestones.

Peer Evaluations — Get the people who directly work with the evaluatee to give their opinions about the subject’s performance, attitude, and ability to work within the team.

Timesheets — While punctuality is becoming more and more irrelevant as an indicator of performance with more flexible working hours, employers can still use timesheets to determine employees’ productivity.

Online questionnaires — With work from home set-up, it only makes sense that evaluation forms now come in digital form. Managers can use Google Forms, Type Form, and other form builders to create online questionnaires that can be used to track KPIs.

Client or customer feedback form — These can be used to determine client or customer satisfaction.

Virtual one-on-ones — Most importantly, one of the best tools to help you track KPIs are one-on-one sessions with your employees. This can be done through an audio or video call considering the remote setup. A one-on-one is a great opportunity to discuss KPIs and set goals for the next period. This can also be a tool that will help you recognize skills and growth that you wouldn’t have recognized through other tracking methods.

The process of setting KPIs, tracking them, and conducting one-on-one conversations can be a tedious process. If you want to lessen the number of people that you evaluate, you can consider outsourcing some of your staff. For example, hire a third-party website marketing company for all your needs for website content writing services or graphic design services. With outsourced staff not being your actual employees, you can just evaluate the agency’s overall output and the working relationship you have with them only.

Make sure that you tap an agency that also values high-quality employee performance and evaluates it in a way that matches the objectives of your company.

Employee evaluations are essential to keeping a company operating smoothly. More than just identifying the key indicators of success and setting goals, it’s also a way for you as a manager or HR practitioner to get to know the people that make your company what it is today.

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