The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the way we work in Ireland. We were suddenly thrown into an emergency situation, during which many of us had to work remotely.
Thanks to the success of the vaccination rollout, we are now entering into the recovery phase of the pandemic. However, it’s clear that what’s normal in the world of work has shifted.
Changed working practices
Several surveys have indicated a strong preference by employees for continuing remote or hybrid working into the future, and many companies are now looking at how to make these new working practices sustainable into the future – both to attract and retain talent and to ensure that strategic goals are achieved. But with this change comes a number of challenges.
“One such concern is how to drive employee performance to continue to deliver business results as we move into the new world of work,” explains Lola Ade-Onojobi, People & Management Specialist at Enterprise Ireland.
“Pre-pandemic, performance management practices had already evolved significantly, and the pandemic only further accelerated this evolution. A sudden move to remote working, along with significant personal upheaval such as having childcare responsibilities during the day or looking after vulnerable family members, forced many employers to adjust their management and leadership practices to better support their employees during this time of uncertainty.”
“Now that we are moving into a period of recovery, it is essential for companies to focus their efforts on building sustainable practices to support employee engagement, performance and, ultimately, business growth.”
Implementing successful performance management
To help companies implement successful performance management in the new workplace, Enterprise Ireland has launched a new guide in partnership with performance management experts ‘Our Tandem’.
Entitled ‘Managing People, Driving Performance: A Good Practice Guide’, this is the latest in a series of guides for employers on navigating the post-Covid workplace and is free for all employers to download.
“While recognising that performance management requires a tailored approach by every company, this guide provides valuable information, based on best practice and latest business theory, that helps employers rethink their approach to performance management,” says Lola.
“The guide examines the evolution of performance management best practice over the years and how it has been affected by the pandemic. It also highlights the foundations of good performance management such as goal setting, check-in conversations, fluid feedback, performance reviews, and reward and recognition practices.”
“Crucially, the guide provides relevant tips on embedding a strong performance culture within a company, on how managers can become coaching leaders, and on building communication to ensure that the changes are implemented successfully.”
This is a practical guide, with templates that are useful for every company, regardless of sector, size or maturity, to identify the changes needed within their own performance management process and implement them successfully and sustainably.
Supports to complement our performance management guide
For Enterprise Ireland-supported companies, the guide complements a range of financial and non-financial supports currently available.
“Non-financial support includes access to our e-learning platform (eiLearn.ie), which contains many articles, podcasts, videos and downloadable content on people management,” Lola says.
“We also offer a range of financial supports such as business growth advisor and strategic consultancy grants, which contribute to the cost of engaging external consultants to help companies address business challenges. More details on these supports are available from your Enterprise Ireland Development Advisor.”
It’s clear that every company must carefully examine the way in which they operate and ensure that it’s suitable for the new world of work – and to do this as soon as possible in order to maintain optimal performance and retain and attract talent.
A key part of this, according to Lola, is enacting the right performance management framework, both for the company’s sake and to support employees during this time of change.
“The benefits of a performance management framework are clear – for employee engagement, retention, team spirit and ultimately positive bottom-line results for the business.”