New Productivity KPIs Needed to Assess Employee Performance

By Wiona Teo

In 2022, HR and business leaders need to consider productivity measures that are better suited to the new ways of working.

Part of the HR 2022 Outlook series

Changing values, shifting expectations

The Great Resignation has come into the spotlight this year and is expected to make its way well into 2022. With more companies promoting the return-to-office policy, trust in the company weakening, and employees relooking at their values, more than 40% of the global workforce are now planning to leave their current company.

Nearly 4 in 10 workers in the US, UK, Ireland, and Canada plan to change jobs in the next twelve months. 49% of Singapore’s workforce plan on leaving their employers this year. In Australia, 24% are already actively seeking other employment. More data from companies across the globe would paint similar stories.

This calls for organizations to take a deeper look at what employees expect from the new workplace in the wake of COVID-19. If companies wish to retain their best talents, employees must be provided with meaningful work and productivity goals that are in line with the newly (re)discovered values. 


The evolving context of 'productivity'

One example can be seen in attendance – what used to be a metric to measure productivity in the office has shifted significantly. Employees are no longer required to work nine-to-five and flexible working is rather encouraged as 43% of remote workers said that it helped them achieve better, greater productivity.

Another significant change can be seen in the way employees are getting promotions. As a result of remote or hybrid working, employees are now required to regularly communicate and work with different stakeholders from various departments, and each one of them plays a role in determining promotions and performance outcomes. This is why performance reviews and compensations should not be governed by direct line managers alone.

Employee priorities are also shifting – with flexibility, diversity, and productivity measurement being their three main priorities. Flexibility is favored by 76% of employees who want to put their personal life first and 83% who want to relocate and create their personal remote workspace. In terms of diversity, employees and HR directors both agree that it will be a major propeller for business growth as well as a competitive differentiator.

However, employees and companies don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to productivity measurement. 86% of employees would choose to work in a company that measures productivity in terms of impacts and outcomes, instead of the amount of output. On the other hand, only half of HR directors believe that their companies would perform better if employees feel they are trusted to get the work done and provide quality contribution to the company. This gap now raises concerns that companies need a new approach in defining productivity and measuring employee performance.


Focus areas for organizations in 2022

Rapid changes and transformation call for agility. The old productivity KPIs may no longer serve their purposes as effectively anymore and need to evolve accordingly if companies are to reduce their attrition rate and mitigate the prolonged Great Resignation.

1. Adopting a closed-loop model for performance reviews.
This model encompasses a three-pronged approach in performance reviews: feedback, where participants are selected for multi-rater reviews; calibration, where meetings are held to ensure consistent rating standards, objective reviews, and agreement on ratings; and compensation, where employees are rewarded according to their performance to positively reinforce high-performing behaviors.

The feedback frequency needs to adapt as well. Currently, many employees receive manager feedback only a few times a year or even less, but research has shown that monthly performance reviews are 1.5 times more effective at engaging and retaining employees.

2. Combat the risk of bias in light of the new metrics
A single-rater, non-anonymous review is prone to bias that may have crept in through individual manager subjectivity and remote working structures. An anonymous, multi-rater review system increases the reliability of performance ratings and mitigates the judgemental bias from a single person. When done consistently, this model can also facilitate conversations between employees and managers to align on learning priorities and career goals.

With this new culture of communications, employee performance reviews will be more accurate if colleagues, team members, direct managers, and interdepartmental stakeholders are involved. Reviews need to remain anonymous, however, to avoid bias and subjectiveness. One way for companies to conduct these reviews seamlessly is by implementing a platform that automates their 360 feedback program like EngageRocket. Companies will get powerful insights on employee performance and productivity from selected raters in a timely manner, without compromising confidentiality.

If you would like to know other emerging trends that will impact employee experience in 2022, download our latest HR 2022 Outlook report here.


Tags: Performance Management, Employee Experience