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Posts Tagged ‘employee performance management’

Beyond remote work: insights and strategies for enhancing employee productivity and performance


Remote work and the implications of continuing the process, including its potential impact on employee performance, are widely discussed. However, there is no right answer, and it is not one-size-fits-all. 

The future of work includes flexibility, employee experience, agility, and the responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI)—these significant shifts impact where and how employees work. With an increase in remote work options, we have seen positive trends in work-life balance, employee empowerment, inclusivity, and an increase in diverse talent. These factors are also known to increase employee productivity and retention. According to BCG, a considerable population of employees are ready to leave their jobs if they find their flexible work arrangements unsatisfactory. Based on their survey, approximately 90% of women, caregivers, individuals identifying as LGBTQ+, and those with disabilities, deem flexible work options as crucial in determining whether they will continue or resign from their current employment.

Remote work productivity is subject to debate due to various factors that must be considered. Some suggest remote work can increase productivity due to a flexible schedule, no commute, and fewer interruptions. While many employees thrive in a remote work environment, some find it challenging due to the discipline it demands.

Remote work was on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic. A July 2023 report from Stanford University found that working remotely has doubled every 15 years. Then, when the pandemic occurred, although devastating, it provided a new perspective for those previously constrained, forced to relocate, or live in less favorable locations to work for a specific company and advance their career. Worldwide ERC states that around 56 million Americans moved to new residences between December 2021 to February 2023 due to COVID-19-related shutdowns and the surge in remote work and online education. With such a huge increase in their number over the past few years, this begs the question: do employees working remotely demonstrate productivity?

Taking a deeper look into the study by Standord University, researchers shared that remote work employees’ productivity differs depending on perceptions—the nature of the research and the conditions under which it was conducted. The report revealed that workers believed productivity was higher at home (approximately 7% higher), while managers perceived it lower (around 3.5% lower). Another example, according to a poll by the video presentation applications mmhmm, 43% prefer office work and 42% favor working from home for peak productivity. Moreover, 51% of employees stated that working asynchronously or having the flexibility to set their schedules contributed positively to their productivity. Perceptions aside, the Stanford analysis found a 10% to 20% reduction in productivity across various studies.

The bottom line is today’s company culture is crucial. Ensuring work-life balance and putting the employees in the driver’s seat are the best ways to retain and increase productivity because they will feel valued and empowered. In a 2022 Microsoft employee engagement survey, 92% of employees say they believe the company values flexibility and allows them to work in a way that works best for them. An even higher percentage (93%) are confident in their ability to work together as a team, regardless of location. People have different preferences—some individuals opt for a hybrid approach, while others choose either remote or in-person work exclusively. 

Regardless of the work setup, company leaders and human resources (HR) or human capital management (HRM) executives should ensure that they can still make a lasting impact on employee performance. One measure involves establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that assess innovation, program, project, and product success—the output, not the physical location. Another crucial step is developing a strategy that includes all future work options, such as in-person, hybrid, and remote choices. Employees tend to be more productive if there is a level of empowerment that allows them to decide where to do their best work.

Planning in person events makes a difference. Leaders who bring new hires and internal transfers, new to the team, on-site for several days should see an uptick in productivity post-gathering. In-person team or company-wide gatherings 1-4 times per year provide employees an opportunity to reset and socialize. Moreover, managers should bring teams together for major program and project kick-offs. When onsite in person, people being present makes a difference. Discourage using Teams or Zoom when employees are in the general vicinity. I have seen companies spew the importance of in-person just to fly employees into a specific location and have people take meetings from their desks or in a different on-site building-conference room, defeating the purpose of in-person interaction.

Having organizations foster all work options is critical and foregoes having to decide which is best. There is no right or wrong answer to this challenge; it should be considered a new way of working and requires future-forward ways of thinking, just as we do with emerging technologies. 

About the guest author:

Dr. Malika Viltz-Emerson is a Senior Global Human Resource Leader at Microsoft. She has over 20 years of experience in human capital management. Her mission is to identify and address the real-world challenges and opportunities for employees and the company, and design and implement optimal solutions that leverage the latest tools, technologies, and processes.

Humane technology: the future of employee performance management


Image source: DKosig from Getty Images | Canva

Employee performance management has long been regarded as a key player in the territory of talent development and organizational excellence. However, in our modern world, one characterized by relentless digital transformation, the way we approach employee performance management is undergoing a profound shift. The infusion of technology into this pivotal aspect of human resources has ushered in a new era filled with opportunities and challenges alike. This article aims to examine the future of employee performance management, underscoring the imperative to strike a harmonious balance between technology-driven solutions and a resolute human-centered approach. Over the course of this discussion, we will explore three central themes that encapsulate the evolution of performance management in our digital age.

Technology’s vital role in employee performance management

In the current era defined by digitization, technology is a crucial partner to optimize the performance management processes. It is obvious that the arrival of artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the business environment. AI tools offer immediate performance tracking, data analysis, and the ability to provide real-time insights—which were previously not visible. For example, machine learning (ML) procedures can discover complex trends within employee performance data, which supports management to take proactive actions that are designed to improve productivity and enhance job satisfaction. Moreover, cloud-based platforms have made performance evaluations more accessible, facilitating the maintenance of consistent and efficient performance management practices, particularly for geographically spread teams and organizations.

Technology’s role in performance management extends beyond the scope of data sifting. It also encompasses the streamlining of administrative tasks, which fosters transparent communication channels, and the accessibility of performance data. Ultimately, this results in a shift towards more agile and approachable performance management processes. Keeping in mind that technology assists in automating routine tasks, HR professionals will be able to allocate more time and resources towards the all-important human elements of performance management, such as coaching and mentorship. In essence, technology is the engine that drives employee performance management into the digital age, allowing organizations to harness the full spectrum of new opportunities that come with it.

Maintaining a human-centered approach

While technology assumes a pivotal role, it is paramount to recognize that it should serve as an enabler and not a replacement of the human element in employee performance management. Employee engagement and motivation remain deeply rooted in personal interactions and the provision of constructive feedback. HR professionals must thus prioritize these core aspects, leveraging technology to facilitate, rather than displace, these crucial facets of the employee performance management process.

In a world increasingly characterized by virtual communication and remote work, the importance of face-to-face interactions cannot be overstated. Employees derive immense value from the opportunity to engage with their managers and colleagues in real-time. Constructive feedback, delivered through personalized conversations, holds the potential to drive substantial performance improvements. A technological revolution should not signify the obsolescence of these personal connections but should instead facilitate their continuation in unique ways.

Mentorship and coaching, too, remain essentially human activities. While AI can provide valuable insights, there is no substitute for the guidance and wisdom that experienced professionals can convey to their peers. Employee performance management should encompass these essential human elements, leveraging technology to create an environment where mentorship and coaching thrive alongside data-driven insights.

Transparency and fairness through data

When leveraging technology, organizations can establish objective performance benchmarks and metrics that reduce the influence of biases in evaluations. These data-driven insights serve as a foundation upon which fair and consistent decisions can be made regarding promotions, compensation, and developmental opportunities.

Moreover, the utilization of technology allows organizations to share performance data with employees, which fosters a culture of transparency, accountability, and self-improvement. Once employees understand the criteria by which they are evaluated and witness the fairness with which these evaluations are conducted, it creates a more productive workplace.

However, organizations should exercise caution when using data, especially where ethical considerations are involved, such as protecting employee privacy and ensuring the responsible handling of sensitive data. Moreover, they must also avoid the pitfalls of algorithmic bias, making it a priority to continue assessing and fine tuning their algorithms to mitigate unfairness.

The right equilibrium

The synergy between technology and human expertise will not only drive individual and organizational performance, but also ensure fairness, transparency, and employee satisfaction. By navigating this growing model, organizations that strike the right equilibrium between technology and humanity will not just adapt but thrive in the digital age. The future of employee performance management should be an appropriate balance of technology and humanity—a path that leads to greater prosperity and progress for individuals and organizations alike.


This article is written by Chadia Abou Ghazale, a seasoned banking professional with 24 years of experience and who excels in budgeting, sales performance management, data analysis, and resource planning. Beyond banking, she is a dedicated reader of self-development topics and passionate networker. Chadia believes that life’s purpose is the pursuit of knowledge. Her extensive expertise and unwavering enthusiasm are a dynamic combination, driving success in her career and enriching her life’s adventurous journey.


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