Coronavirus: Only half of employees received appraisals during lockdown

Many businesses may be ill-equipped for working from home, reseearch suggests. (Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

Only half of UK employees have received an appraisal during lockdown, showing that despite the “virtual buzz,” most businesses are still ill-equipped for remote working, research suggests.

A survey of 1,000 full-time workers, by employee management platform StaffCircle, found only half have had their quarterly appraisal that otherwise would have been scheduled for sometime between March and June.

The survey, which was confucted with OnePoll, included employees across a range of sectors, including accounting, engineering, marketing and IT.

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Quarterly or annually, appraisals are often the one meeting that present an opportunity to ask for a pay rise or bonus, discuss key performance indicators and to set targets for months ahead. So why have only half of employees received their scheduled appraisal since lockdown began?

If these were all business as usual, it fails to explain why scheduled appraisals were not carried out, StaffCircle said.

Over half (54%) of employees revealed management had not enforced appraisals during lockdown, while just under half (47%) said “old-fashioned paper processes” are still used for appraisals — indicating they are not digitally set up to do so.

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This may also explain why a third claimed office communication has in fact decreased since lockdown.

Furthermore, over half of those surveyed blamed the lack of a sufficient online platform being in place that could have led to their appraisal being carried out during lockdown. This suggests that if a platform was in place, it would facilitate employers to carry out employee appraisals remotely rather than being skipped.

StaffCircle CEO Mark Seemann that by skipping appraisals, team members are more likely to lack morale and direction, and therefore be less productive in their day to day work, whether this is remotely or “in the office.”

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Recognising employee efforts are significant during standard one-to-ones and this leads to setting key performance indicators or targets — all of which can be done remotely, he explained.

“There’s no escaping the virtual way of working, and while for some it’s standard procedure, it’s a whole new territory for many of us. With so many ‘office culture’ elements missing when it comes to remote working, continuously engaging with employees and rewarding them is what will keep them going,” Seemann said.

He added: “Businesses should be less concerned with snooping on staff and more about acknowledging their efforts through positive and regular communication, as you would have in an ordinary office setting everyday conversations.”