In ‘neo gig’ age, cos need to reset performance evaluation

In ‘neo gig’ age, cos need to reset performance evaluation

In ‘neo gig’ age, cos need to reset performance evaluation

In ‘neo gig’ age, cos need to reset performance evaluation

Dr. Vishalli Dongrie | Partner,

Even before Covid-19, advancement in terms of improving the performance management system (PMS) and measuring productivity was well under way. Organisations, all around the world were rethinking and incorporating progressive changes in the PMS, but the pace of progress was slow and incremental.

The current crisis has, however, pushed organisations to think afresh, and quickly. As organisations are grappling with issues like cash crunch, erosion of demand, disruption in supply chain, leaders are forced to look through a cost-conscious lens and go back to the drawing board to redefine their workforce model to come up with solutions to do more with less.

Neo gig to be new normal

As organisations are changing the way they are operating, new families of roles have emerged, and it is critical now, more than ever, to understand which family would be the ‘best fit’.

A typical organisation today will have roles that are working on site, working full or part time from home, a network of outsourced or managed services vendors, gig roles and the neo gig with 2-3 years of exclusive contract that will no longer be permanent and subsequently move out of solid employment cost.

Organisations are defining the road map of structuring the workforce landscape across these new job families and embracing liquid ways of working to meet fluctuating demands of workplace, while managing employee cost. With the changes in the ways of working, evolution of new families of roles and the new operating model, organisations and managers will need to reassess the way performance and productivity is measured and evaluated.

Challenges for PMS 2.0

With the new families of roles and ways of working, there could be some eminent challenges with the traditional PMS that would need to be addressed swiftly.

  • Measurement of productivity would be impacted by limited oversight, monitoring and tracking for the virtual roles. The long-term and exclusive contract manpower role, that is, neo gig, would also need a nuanced productivity assessment to measure and manage the workload of the contract workforce.
  • Linkage of one’s own work with the organisational goals, or the big picture, will be unclear due to virtual roles and other new ways of working.
  • With limited oversight, objective key responsibility areas (KRAs) are even more critical as the assessment must be linked with the true performance.
  • Organisations would face difficulties in measuring efforts, especially for the new gig and virtual roles.
  • With limited interactions, casual chats and unplanned meetings, the neo gig and virtual roles would face a challenge in receiving feedback and ongoing feedback, unless it is carefully structured in the process.

Other challenges that would have to be addressed are how to mitigate risks of social isolation, restricted observations resulting in limited data points on behavioural development, inadequate performance & development conversations and striking a balance between objective and behavioural assessments. If not addressed, the issues of the new ways of working may lead to dissatisfaction and disengagement.

Some key elements of PMS 2.0

  • A critical aspect of PMS 2.0 is how organisations will measure and leverage productivity data to staff employees, plan activity, act as input for developmental conversations and to improve processes. Organisations are identifying different ways of tracking productivity through digital tools to capture on-screen time, application usage, location tracking, mouse movement, project timelines, etc. The digital measurement technique should be carefully identified on the basis of the nature of the role to ensure accuracy productivity measurement.
  • The KRAs should be objective, outcome-based and system-driven to minimise subjectivity and build fairness into the process.
  • Effort-based KRAs would be critical for ongoing developmental conversations.
  • While the outcome-based and effort-based KRAs are critical, ongoing milestone-based goals would help in keeping track of the achievement effectively.
  • Contextualising goals and moving towards more outcome-based KPIs.
  • Using peer stakeholder group to have developmental conversations and assessment will be essential for new family of roles.
  • Companies can use a real-time dashboard for tracking individual and organisation outcomes continuously.
  • Continuous check-ins for increasing frequency & quality of performance conversations with managers.
  • Using cohort-based normalisation for virtual workforce and job families.
  • Pulse checks by using chatbots to gauge moods and carry out surveys & assessments.
  • Redefine & align rewards and variable pay with performance.

Given the changes in operating model and shift in priorities of organisations to optimise cost, there is a strong business case to re-think the performance and productivity systems to meet business targets in a sustained manner in the current situation and beyond.

A version of this article was carried by Times of India on 22 July 2020