Performance Reviews During COVID-19: Should You Suspend Them?

Kathy Gurchiek By Kathy Gurchiek May 14, 2020
​This is the eighth in a series of compilations of answers to #NextChat questions of the day about how people are working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should companies suspend performance reviews during the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted business routines and created challenges for employees, such as having to adapt to on-the-fly teleworking? And why or why not?

Those were the questions posed by Mary Kaylor, SHRM-SCP, manager of public affairs at the Society for Human Resource Managment (SHRM), in a recent #NextChat discussion. The following is a compilation of responses from LinkedIn and Twitter:

SHRM Resource Spotlight
Coronavirus and COVID-19

No, Business as Usual 

In my view, this is an opportunity to set the standards for covid19 and discuss how an employee's current performance measures up to the new expectations. You all know where to go from here. 

John R. Bell, author of Do Less Better: The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World, on LinkedIn.  

No, but Make Tweaks 

I think it's important to maintain some sense of normalcy, so suspending performance reviews seems unnecessary, even if goals/priorities shift. The one change I think should be made involves increasing the level of coaching and check-ins with employees if you do not already do this in your organization. 
Adrienne Temple, vice president of training programs at South Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership in Columbia, S.C., on LinkedIn.

If you are a company that does Performance Evaluations, then you should keep them. However, you should probably look at accordingly adjusting the targets that had previously been set for people, especially if they were annual targets, given that situations have probably changed so much since the targets were originally set. 
Gregg Tate, SHRM-SCP, founder and president of G.M. Tate in Charleston, S.C., on LinkedIn.

Companies should continue with their performance reviews but first reevaluate how to move forward as these are unprecedented times. Of course, we know that Q1 goals may not have all been met but the focus going forward should be about setting new goals that work within what will be our new normal. It's important that employees feel supported and given feedback on their productivity but as well as being given the tools and guidance to accomplish these goals in our new normalcy, as we all may have to come to the realization that things may never go back to the way it was before this crisis. Be safe to all. 
Wayne Lindo, HR manager at Autoloop in Houston, on LinkedIn.  


Delay Reviews 


More from this series:
For Better or Worse During COVID-19: Sharing Telework Space
Bone Broth Cleanse, Push-Up Clubs: HR Pros Share COVID-19 Workout Routines
Juggling Child Care with Telework? Here Are Some Tips
Tips for Employee Orientation During COVID-19
COVID-19 Continuity Planning: Identify Critical Tasks, Broaden Tech Use
Pet Pals Are 'Co-Workers' During Quarantine
People Look Forward to Simple Pleasures After COVID-19


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