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Posts / Uncategorized / How To Handle Q4 Awards When 2020 Goals Are Missed Due To COVID-19

How To Handle Q4 Awards When 2020 Goals Are Missed Due To COVID-19

If you’re a business owner or a C level executive, here’s something that’s probably been on your mind lately:  Given the reality of the pandemic, it’s almost certain that you’re going to miss whatever fourth quarter targets you had planned on meeting.

The fact of the matter is that the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 have been devastating, and there’s no end in sight.  In fact, many governors are extending the lockdown periods for their respective states, even as a few states experiment with beginning to open things back up.

Survey after survey shows that more than 70% of American adults are more concerned with keeping the virus contained than with reopening the economy, and it seems that so far at least, a majority of governors are going along with this line of thinking.  Put all of that together and it probably comes as no surprise that whatever Fourth Quarter targets you may have originally been shooting for are probably going to be missed.

What you may not have considered though, is how to handle rewards and recognition in light of the missed goals.  After all, the goals didn’t get missed because your employees were slacking off, they got missed because the entire economy shut down.

Our view is that in this unprecedented situation, the best answer is to celebrate, reward and recognize the achievements of employees who have helped move the ball down the field, regardless of whether the actual goal is met.

It should be made clear and be well understood that this isn’t the new normal; that you’re not suddenly in the habit of rewarding missed deadlines, targets and goals, but these are extraordinary circumstances, and given the realities of our current situation, any forward progress toward your goals at all is better than none.

The fact is, your employees are working under incredibly tough circumstances that may stretch on for months yet.  Despite that, they keep doing what they’re doing and moving closer to the goals you’ve established.  There’s value in that, and it’s value that ought not be overlooked.

Rewards and recognition help morale.  Right now, with people isolated and working from home, morale needs all the help it can get.  If you don’t decouple the Fourth Quarter goals from the rewards in this instance, odds are you’ll hurt morale even more, which is going to hurt your bottom line.

It’s a counterintuitive approach but if ever there was a time to consider something like this, it would be for the Q4 Awards this pandemic-year. Reward your employees for the progress they’ve made toward your goals and for their tireless contributions in the face of a global pandemic.  Then, once the dust settles, recalibrate, reassess, and revise your goals from there.

It is said that no plan survives contact with the enemy.  In this instance, our common enemy is the virus itself.  We’ve all been impacted by it, but that only makes it more important than ever to celebrate whatever progress can and is being made.  It still represents a significant milestone, even if it’s not the milestone you were hoping for.