Dreading your end-of-year performance review? It might not be the sweat-inducing conversation of years past.
Many corporate leaders say they are taking a gentler approach to evaluations as the pandemic wears on and employees face trials on the job and at home. For much of the labor force, the idea of checking off goals set during the comparatively rosy close of 2019 now seems quaint. Many markets have shifted dramatically, teams have been redeployed, and workers are often doing the jobs of departed colleagues in addition to trying on the role of teacher or caregiver for a chunk of the workday.
In response, some companies are scrapping parts of their performance-management systems, like mid-year reviews and numeric ratings. Others are lowering sales quotas and instituting a sort of performance-score inflation, urging bosses to avoid doling out that dreaded “does not meet expectations” label.
It’s all part of a pandemic-driven management style called empathetic leadership. To be sure, some bosses remain unmoved, expecting things to march on as if nothing has changed. But many say these days they are recognizing—and evaluating—the employee as a whole person and not just a worker bee.