Remote working became the new normal during the pandemic lockdown. What should employers keep in mind while revising the performance framework for their remote employees?

Today's subject matter expert

Isdar Andre Marwan
Director of Career Services, Indonesia, Mercer

The mass adoption of remote working as a result of COVID-19 has spurred a rethink of how companies assess their workforce. Legacy metrics which tend to focus on input rather than output are no longer useful; and KPIs need to be recalibrated to reflect objective measures that focus on output and delivering on expectations.


Central to this is more frequent two-way information exchange between people managers and their employees. Communicating clearly and frequently regarding where the organization is going and the plan to get there is imperative. With that, people managers need to be able to establish clear guidance on performance expectations through constant reminders and reinforcement of employee goals.


The next aspect of establishing this clear guidance is through performance coaching. Performance coaching is a critical area for improvement as 8 in 10 managers said they lacked the skills to provide feedback and coaching to employees based on Mercer’s 2019 Global Performance Management Study. Specific actions people managers can take include:


  • More frequent and shorter check-ins with each employee to understand their personal circumstances
  • Getting feedback from employees on what is working well, what’s challenging and how they can help
  • Acknowledging their contribution to the team and company, which is foundational for building trust.

However, in this new world of work, people managers not only need to see themselves as performance coaches, they must also provide active support. The results of Mercer’s Healthy Minds at Work Assessment point to two specific aspects employees still lack in the remote setting: First, taking into account employee opinions and views, and second, guiding employees to people who can help solve their problems.


With active support in the form of listening and redirecting them to helpful assistance, performance barriers would be removed, productivity will be enhanced and employees would be kept focused on their goals to ensure business continuity. Now, let us take the opportunity to work on it and help our employees perform with more confidence, even if it is remote.

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