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Is hybrid working letting managers off the hook?

A new Performance Management Report from leading software and services provider, Advanced, has revealed that 48% of UK and US workers are struggling in a hybrid environment with 73% stating that their teams would benefit from spending more time with their manager. 

A new Performance Management Report from leading software and services provider, Advanced, has revealed that 48% of UK and US workers are struggling in a hybrid environment with 73% stating that their teams would benefit from spending more time with their manager.  The report, which was conducted in November 2022 and surveyed 1,350 workers across the UK and USA, reveals that remote working is having a negative impact on effective performance management practice, leading to employee insecurity around their role with 51% of respondents concerned about pay cuts and 44% worried about being made redundant.

The findings also demonstrate a worrying upward trend when it comes to staff burnout with 91% of HR directors believing that burnout is now an issue, up from 84% compared to last year. Strikingly, 42% of the workforce are more stressed than last year, with only 21% feeling less stressed.

The report also highlighted a concerning disparity between managers and staff with regards to effective performance management.  77% of managers surveyed said that they have the right tools to support staff – but according to employees, they are not using them effectively, with 39% or workers stating performance management at their organisation is basic, or actively bad.

There also seems to be a disagreement between managers and their employees around their views on how frequently performance management conversations are conducted. More managers than ever (72%) say they are having performance conversations with employees at least once a month, up 5% from last year. A stark contrast to employees when we asked them the same question. Only 25% of employees say this is true, which is down 2% from last year.

Nick Gallimore, Managing Director, People Management, Advanced comments; “This year’s report is starkly demonstrating the real impact of hybrid working on individuals, and we are now seeing the cracks emerge; which coupled with challenging trading conditions, could have disastrous results.  Many businesses have fundamentally changed the way they work but with pressure on productivity and growth, what is becoming apparent is that organisations are lacking permanent management structures to accommodate the changes they made when adapting to a new way of working.”

“We know that labour market resilience is vital for economic growth.  Without happy, healthy and productive employees, companies will fail to prosper. It is therefore critical that companies quickly prioritise the needs of their workforce. By adopting the right performance management technology, companies can feel confident that they are adopting best practice, implementing regular communication, goal setting, development plans, performance tracking, open and honest feedback and engagement tracking.  Fundamentally ensuring one-to-one meetings with staff and managers are based on meaningful conversations that tackle issues before they become a major problem.”

The report also revealed:

  • 40% of HR directors say their main performance management priority is to enhance performance, compared to just 31% in 2021
  • Only 27% of HR Directors stated productivity and engagement as their focus, compared to 48% last year
  • Almost half (49%) of employees say that their manager does not help them avoid burnout at work
  • 31% of HR directors state they do not have the time to spend on continuous performance management
  • 36% say they do not have the budget to invest in a performance management system

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