Hello Frieda,

Can I bother you with a question? It concerns our evaluation interviews. They normally take place every year in December or January. However, with the Covid measures, it may not be possible physically.

Frankly, I find it difficult because I have not been able to follow up on my staff as I wished. Telework has required a lot of effort from them. There have been some frustrations here and there. But I’m not in the mood to give too much negative feedback. Everyone is tired and has had enough of it. 

How do I deal with this? Should I give up the evaluation interviews this year? Or do I do them online? I don't know anymore.

Thank you for helping me out of this idilemma.

A dubious COO.

Dear COO,

I understand your questions. To be honest: you now have the perfect opportunity to get rid of classical evaluations. Evaluating employees can be done differently than addressing what has been.

How can you conclude 2020 nicely and look forward to 2021 positively?

By paying attention! By the way: our blog Attention as a competence for effective leadership deals with this.

Listen to your teams and their ambitions. In fact, there are few questions to ask:

  • First of all, sincere attention to how they and their environment are doing in the given circumstances. Of course, no need to tell you this is an everyday concern.
  • How have they experienced the year professionally? What helped them (or not) to do their job? Did they feel meaningful and belonging to the company?
  • What would they like to see changed in order to be able to work even better or with more energy?`
  • What do they want to learn, or how do they want to develop further?
  • What do they need from you? How can you support them?

Finally: if there is still an opportunity, face-to-face or online, to get together, organise a little ceremony to farewell the year: with one thing they want to leave behind, throw away, burn, ... and not take with them in 2021.

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