Gone are the days when SMEs could behave the way they used to. Covid-19 crisis has created a make or break situation for them, especially the smaller ones. Performance and productivity in these organisations are either stuck or growing linearly at a slow pace. Time has come, SMEs will have to implement changes, which will enable them to grow exponentially and it has to begin at the employee level.

Traditionally, SMEs have a casual attitude and are happy with a linear growth with major decisions driven by top management and lower rank employees having not much role to play. Many of the SMEs do not have a really implemented Vision or a Mission Statement. This sometimes affects the top to bottom communication. As the employees are spread across, intra-employee communication is also affected. Many of the employees are clueless about their organisational expectations and objectives. SMEs have always shied away from investing in people and systems, because of which the co-ordination, work style and output is out of sync across departments. Many SMEs have not been able to effectively leverage the work from home (WFH) functioning of their employees, especially during the present crisis.

Investment in new age innovative technology and systems such as Performance Management (PM) Systems is the need of the hour and will help towards upping employee communication, coordination, and productivity.

PM will help an employer in measuring employees’ potential, understand what is lacking in him or her and what best can be done to enhance his productivity. A PM tool can help in transforming the thinking of an employee from a linear growth mode to an exponential mode.

Management should begin by drawing out a vision, getting the team aligned and implementing the vision with strong Mission Statement. Later, good Performance Management tools could be employed to monitor and control the productivity of the employees. This is essential especially in a WFH situation.

SMEs have a coordination problem with its employees who are spread across various locations. With a PM tool like Work Bench, the team can invite people for meetings online, a team leader or a project head can undertake a project online, assign a project manager working on the project, who can create his own team members, develop a comprehensive plan and assign work. The minutes of the meeting could be recorded with all tasks time lined with responsibility. The manager will be able to see what are the completed tasks, pending tasks, can monitor live of who is doing what, distinguish the performers from non-performers. So for any KRA, one can create a task and make employees report from wherever they are. All activities of employees could be perfectly monitored.

These tools become more important from a WFH situation, which will keep the employees alive and pumped up. In a normal situation, it is the management, who call the employees and take stock of the situation. Here, employees will be forced to report and all activities will be recorded. It will drive people effectively to work from home and enhance their KPIs. PM tools will completely re-shape the HR.

So a PM tool can measure how people are contributing to the growth of the organisation, who are able to think and ideate, who are able to go that extra mile to drive and implement those ideas. The measurement of these aspects become important in today’s situation. Today an employee is delivering at a particular potential. How can he stretch himself to deliver more.PM tools can help management understand this stretchable limit.

Covid 19 crisis is creating a big disruption in the industry, turning tides to every behavioral patterns of the industry. Those whoever are ready for adopting innovative changes are going to come out of the rut and succeed. Those who are not willing are going to face stiff resistance from the market forces and die slow death. The behavioral effects of disruption is going to be there even if Corona is going to vanish from the earth in the next few months, and will shift the industry into the next paradigm.

Veerendra Jamdade

CEO, Vritti Solutions