At this point, there’s no need to recap everything businesses have gone through over the last year and a half or so. It’s been a lot to handle, and many of the changes that the pandemic and stay-at-home mandates brought about completely blindsided employers.

Now imagine how employees have felt throughout this time. Overwhelmed probably doesn’t even begin to summarize it. That’s why it’s important that, as an employer, you adjust how you run your employee performance reports this year.

Because of so many changes we’re still going through globally, there’s still adjusting to do, and your employee performance reports are part of that process. Click To Tweet

Depending on your previous employee expectations and performance indicators, holding them to the same standard might not be an accurate or fair assessment.

Here’s how to create a performance report that accounts for all the turbulence in 2021.

What are employee performance reports?

First, it’s important to know what employee performance reports are and what they’re not. A performance report, in its most basic form, is an assessment of an employee’s performance over a set time period.

Maybe you run your performance reports every six months. Maybe even yearly. But the important thing is to ensure they’re always fair assessments that take nuance and circumstance into account. Contrary to what you might be thinking, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get subpar work from your employees. In fact, an adjusted performance report can help strengthen your employment relationship and build company loyalty.

Create new performance report standards

Around 48% of businesses say their performance reports need some rework. You might be included in that statistic. If so, 2021 is a great time to revise your reports. It starts with setting new standards by which to measure each of your employee’s performance.

Maybe this means you’ll create a different report schedule to give your employees time to adjust to your new performance standards. Sending a company-wide announcement with your changes can help your employees not feel blindsided by yet another unexpected change.

You can create new performance report standards for areas like:

  • Attendance to virtual meetings (if any)
  • Teamwork (or remote teamwork if your employees are working or worked from home)
  • Communication (were emails answered within a reasonable period of time?)
  • Meeting deadlines (were deadlines met or at least communicated about if they weren’t)
  • Quality of work (was work satisfactory within the context of all the changes your company went through?)

Using software like ImagineTime can help you organize the process of creating and executing employee reports. This way, you keep track of and identify your highest-performing team members. Integrating the right software as part of your employee performance process can help you make data-driven decisions that you wouldn’t easily be able to do otherwise. You can learn more about our employee performance tools here.

While performance reports can be thorough and rigorous, they can also be designed to account for turbulent seasons so that your employees aren’t penalized for unreachable standards.

Communicate that change with your employees

Employee performance report

You’ve made the appropriate changes to your reporting standards. Now what? Communicating about your employee reports is a key part of the process. In fact, 77% of more informed employees outperform the less informed employees.

While this might not mean that you’ll want to give employee reports twice a week, it does mean that your employees want to be kept in the loop. How are they doing? What can they improve? How are they performing according to the goals of their position? Is there any chance of upward mobility in the company?

All of these questions can and should be answered through your performance reports so as to not leave employees in the dark. Setting a constant cadence of communication that works for the goals of your company can help improve your team’s overall performance.

If needed, schedule performance report checkpoints with more frequency and look at your overall results. ImagineTime’s employee performance report tools can help you visualize how your employees are doing with tracked data. From there, you’ll be able to make more sound decisions.

Listen to concerns they may have about work turbulence and changes

Employees with managers that are in constant communication with them tend to be up to three times more engaged in the workplace. While employees like to be told what to do, they also want to be heard. And being listened to is part of a healthy employee relationship.

Especially this year, it isn’t surprising that employees have concerns about what’s expected of them or if there are any more changes down the pipeline. Listening to your employees can be as simple as opening your employee performance report meeting by asking them an open-ended question about how they think they’re doing.

Being listened to creates highly engaged teams. According to Gallup, highly engaged teams show up to 21% more profitability. While accurately evaluating your employees within the context of what’s happened during the pandemic, listening to their concerns, thoughts, or ideas is an important part of the puzzle.

Provide constructive and actionable feedback

As an employer, offering constructive feedback is a great way to have your concerns heard while letting your employees know how they can improve. Though the practice of providing constructive feedback might seem like an obvious thing to do, many managers fail to incorporate this into their process.

Providing constructive and actionable feedback can start by going out of your way to first highlight what the employee has done right. Where do they excel? What are the goals they’re constantly meeting? What positive remarks have you picked up on about their work performance?

It’s only after reinforcing the positive that you’ll want to provide feedback on what your employee can improve. What have they done well that could be done even better? Where did they fall short and what specific steps can they take the next time they have to complete that task? What additional support will you provide them to ensure they’ll improve after you speak with them?

It’s answers like these that the employee should glean from your performance reports. Otherwise, you run the risk of only highlighting the negative aspects of their performance without giving them the tools they need to grow.

It’s easy to assume that most employees just want to hear praise. But that’s a misleading assumption. In fact, about 57% of employees actually want constructive feedback, so as a manager, it’s important that you don’t withhold constructive feedback from your employees. When in doubt, overcommunicate every piece of constructive feedback you may have, without making employees feel like you are piling on.

Automate your employee performance report process

Employee performance reports are only one aspect of running your accounting business. There’s a lot of managing to do, and we were specifically designed to help with that. ImagineTime was created by accountants for accountants. So it’s safe to say we know a thing or two about running the whole process with tools that streamline your workflow.

And yes, this includes the creation and ongoing maintenance of employee performance reports. We provide the tools to help you centralize your data for a more effective performance report process.

If you need a better way to manage all the aspects of running your accounting agency, from client management to payroll and more, request a demo here.

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