With all 50 states now open in some capacity, many managed service providers (MSPs) are reverting back to working from their offices, or are still more comfortable with working remotely. It’s possible that you, as an MSP, have restructured your departments, reduced or eliminated some employee benefits, or unfortunately have had to let some of your talent go. 


Whatever your specific scenario, the common thread is that we are all still figuring out this COVID-19 situation and its implications on our future. 


If you are amongst those who have delayed or eliminated promotions or merit increases, you should still take the time to sit with each employee and conduct a formal review. At the very least, this year’s performance should still be counted and recorded in the employee’s records. 


Beyond that, here are 5 reasons why goals and annual performance reviews matter now, more than ever.


1. Accountability. Fostering a culture of accountability is a really smart business practice. Not only does it teach your employees an invaluable soft skill that they’ll carry with them throughout their career, but accountability also helps keep everyone working towards important goals that impact your bottom line. 


Collaborating to set goals and implementing a goal-management software are two effective ways to get your team members to be more accountable. 


When you’ve got employees with specific goals assigned to them, and those goals are being monitored, that employee will feel encouraged and motivated to hit those goals. It’s our instinct as humans to want to succeed, so we’ll hold ourselves accountable to what needs to be done to get there. 


Especially as remote work continues to be the norm and there are fewer opportunities for quick check-ins, an annual review provides the space and time to evaluate goal progress, see where gaps in accountability exist, and talk through ways to improve. 


2. Investing in growth. Remote work used to be a novelty or a rare perk offered by select companies. Now that it’s here to stay in some fashion, MSPs and other employers need to explore other means of hiring and retaining the best talent. With budgets being slashed, today’s perks are going to have an even heavier focus on an employee’s personal and professional growth. 


Studies have shown that employees really value professional growth opportunities and if those needs are not being met, they are highly likely to seek them elsewhere. 


In times of crisis, continuing with annual performance reviews sends the message that your employee’s growth is a priority, their career and advancement matter, and their contributions are being acknowledged and can hopefully be rewarded if and when a state of normalcy resumes. 


3. Employee morale. Let’s face it, times are weird. And hard. People are angry, frustrated, scared, isolated, and overwhelmed. Any semblance of normalcy right now can feel pretty good. 


Continuing to set and track goals can provide that feeling of normalcy. On days when the world is just too much, but work must go on, goals can tell us what we should focus on and where we can be productive. 


Plus, knowing that as a company, we’re all working together to meet a goal can help us feel more unified when many of us are physically still isolated. 


As we come to the middle of the year and the time when many companies conduct their annual performance reviews, it can feel nice to carry on with something that’s expected when there are so many unexpected events happening around us. 


Having a formal time to chat and review performance can help employees feel good about what they’ve accomplished and give direction on what they can focus on as the year goes on. 


And without quarterly fun events, happy hours, or other social gatherings for colleagues to engage in, having a regular, expected performance review might just make us feel like things will soon be okay. 


4. Pulse check. Goals work best when they’re flexible and fluid, meaning they can change when business circumstances change. An unforeseen event like COVID-19 has made many MSP owners and managers reevaluate their goals for the year and redefine how they see success. Makes sense. 


Setting and tracking goals with each employee, and discussing them over a performance review, can serve as a two-way pulse check. 


As the employer, you get to find out whether or not your employee is making progress, what additional resources they made need to advance their progress, what roadblocks they’ve encountered, and how they’re projected to finish out the year. 


Employees get a real-time update on the health of the company, any changes in goal direction, constructive feedback on their own work, and expectations for the remainder of the year. 


Having a presumably longer chunk of time carved out for a performance review also gives an opportunity for employees and managers to talk about anything else that might be going on, whether personal or professional. In these times, we’re all leaning on one another a bit more.  


5. Company key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs will continue to be an important way for managers to run their businesses. Measurable KPIs are like a north star that leaders use to make sure the company is on the right path to success, and goals are the little stepping stones that lead us all along that path. 


Being diligent about setting and tracking each employee’s goal ensures that everyone is aware of the part they have to play and nobody is losing sight of those critical KPIs. 


Even though KPIs may change as the year progresses, the function of the individual goals remains the same, which is to make sure we’re doing the right things to get us to the optimal end result. 


BrightGauge provides partners with dashboards, reports, and a proprietary goal-management system that makes it easier to manage data and align with team members and clients. To learn more, schedule a live one-on-one demo today. 

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