As a Divisional Manager, I have seen firsthand how management has changed since the pandemic. Regardless of the industry, the workforce has undergone a lot of change since 2020, much of which is centred around a lean towards remote working and finding a better work life balance. But, there has also been a change in relationships between employers and talent. This is often referred to as ‘talent management’ and it’s becoming increasingly common for managers to focus on valuable employees, managing them based on their
contribution to the company. This is something that we are seeing more and more of post-COVID and, in a candidate-short market, it makes sense to focus on the value of an employee and retaining them.
How Has COVID-19 Impacted Talent Management?
As is the case in a lot of sectors, COVID-19 has impacted how people are managed. With the increased use of technology and a preference for remote work, employers are increasingly scattered geographically. There is no longer a reliance on needing candidates to be close to a workplace, as the workplace can be taken to them. Regardless of location, employers can now access top talent from around the world, eventually hiring and retaining them. Though this is a change that has been a long time coming, COVID-19 accelerated it in a big way.
I’ve noticed that candidates have a lot more say in how they work, when they work and where they work. Top talent – those who are high performers and those with impressive experience – are in control. They can dictate the terms of employment, request remote working and flexibility, and achieve an improved work life balance, all without missing meetings or hindering the business’ success. This access to top talent is hugely beneficial from a management point of view, but it does mean that virtual leadership is becoming more important.
COVID-19 Has Changed Performance Management
Pre-COVID, performance management focused on behaviours and results. Now, with remote and hybrid working, it’s hard to factor in behaviour in the workplace. Instead, there is a bigger focus on employees’ results. This means that personality and characteristics are no longer being factored in, and whether or not a person is likeable is irrelevant. There is no longer a risk of someone getting away with subpar workmanship, simply because they are well liked by a manager. When everything is being done virtually, results are the most important part of assessing someone’s performance.
It’s also important to remember that with more people working remotely and staying indoors, managers need to consider the social and mental toll this can take on a person. In a lot of industries, stress and burnout are on the rise, with many employees struggling to switch off from work at the end of the day. To combat this, managers need to pay attention to individual employees, and provide the support each person needs. In a post-COVID candidate-short market, managers need to look at the bigger picture and focus on employee wellbeing, and not just how well they are doing at work.