2020 has been a different sort of year, to say the least. With the coronavirus pandemic turning our lives upside down, it seems many hallmarks of normal life have fallen by the wayside. In the business world, performance reviews are one of the elements that feel extraneous under such bizarre circumstances. If you are a manager, you might feel like your stressed, overworked employees would not benefit from a review of their performance. They have been working their tails off under difficult circumstances. The last thing they want is to be judged, right? Wrong! In reality, most employees relish the chance to see their hard work rewarded with praise, recognition, and positive messaging. You should take advantage of performance reviews to offer this uplifting message while giving gentle corrective shoves.

You should still conduct performance reviews in 2020, but you should do them a bit differently. Here are four ideas to keep in mind.

Treat the Review as a Chance to Check In

The past months have been tough, and your employees might be feeling the strain. Use a performance review as a chance to ask about their emotional well-being. This year, all meetings should have an extra focus on mental health. Times are tough, and organizations need to show that they support their employees.

Acknowledge the Abnormal Circumstances

People are facing challenges this year that they have never had to face before. If you plow through a performance review acting like everything is normal, you’ll only breed resentment among employees. They have been adjusting to a new reality while dealing with all sorts of family obligations. Take this into account and address it openly with employees.

Remove Stress from the Review Process

Employees are likely to be feeling some extra stress this year. To show empathy, you should make the performance review as stress-free as possible. Give employees time to prepare, and make it clear that you’re aware of the difficulties they’ve been facing.

Lay the Praise on Thick

Performance reviews always require a balance between correction and praise. You need to let employees know that they are appreciated while pointing out their shortcomings and encouraging them to improve. This year, lean towards prioritizing praise.