How to Plan Performance Reviews for Remote Employees

October 31st, 2022

The dramatic shift toward remote work following the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most significant workforce changes to occur during our lifetime. One survey found that in the Spring of 2022, as many as 58 percent of American employees reported the opportunity to work from home at least one day per week.

Most employees embrace flexibility when given the chance, and many companies have found that remote work options can actually lead to more productive team members. For employers, remote work can create cost savings and reduce staff turnover.

However, the trend toward remote work has also brought with it new challenges–especially for managers hoping to build a cohesive, high-performing team. As teleworking becomes increasingly popular, it is important to adapt your performance management system to accommodate remote employees.

Luckily, new platforms like Teamble have made it simple to manage a remote workforce and conduct performance reviews with your team members. For more tips on how to plan for performance conversations with remote employees, check out our article below.

Establish Clear Expectations

Conducting performance reviews for remote employees can be challenging, but it is certainly not impossible. One of the key strategies is to set clear expectations on what and how things need to be done. Considering performance management processes, performance review for employees working remotely require a higher degree of competence because remote team members may have different struggles than those working in a traditional office setting. Yet, developing a sustainable culture that empowers both office and remote workers is still achievable with the right strategies.

Setting clear expectations paves the way for remote performance review and constructive feedback. When remote team members are acknowledged precisely for their part in fulfilling objectives, giving them honest feedback becomes much easier and more effective. After all, knowing that your efforts will be noticed, your motivation toward the project increases. Therefore, setting expectations can portray the content of feedback and encourage employees that work in a remote setting, leading to a more effective performance management process.

Encourage Participation and Engagement

Encouraging participation and engagement during remote performance evaluations is essential to ensure that remote team members feel valued and supported. Remote performance reviews can sometimes result in employee disengagement, especially if it's about negative feedback. Yet, by encouraging employees to actively participate and tell their point of the story, you can manage the process easily. Remember, providing ongoing feedback can help remote employees to improve their performance and achieve their and also the company's goals.

Encouraging employees to share their thoughts and ideas can also help to improve workplace practices and company culture. By establishing a culture of continuous development and creating relevant materials and guidelines by the HR teams for this character of the company, employees are more likely to take ownership of their own performance levels and work towards achieving their goals. So it creates a win-win situation for both managers and remote teams. We know that, especially in HR processes, this is one of the most significant KPIs that all specialists want to achieve. Ultimately, the key to a successful remote review process is to encourage participation and engagement.

Provide feedback often

Don’t just leave feedback for periodic performance reviews. Instead, work toward establishing a culture of continuous feedback with all of your employees. Regular check-ins show employees that their manager cares about them and wants to help them succeed. Further, continuous feedback and regular career conversations help increase engagement and motivate employees to perform well. Creating an environment of frequent and open communication is especially important when managing remote workers, as it can be more difficult to build a cohesive team when everyone is virtual.

Holding regular one-on-ones can also help make the formal performance review process easier. For example, if you hold weekly meetings with an employee, you won’t be faced with the task of summarizing months or even a year’s worth of performance information in a formal performance review.

Incorporate Employee Development

Incorporating employee development into remote performance reviews is an essential aspect of the process. In today's remote environment, it's crucial to ensure that the entire team has the skills necessary to succeed. This is especially true when it comes to management skills. By providing remote employees with opportunities for development and growth, you can ensure that they feel valued and supported. Encouraging employees to take part in training programs and providing HR software for self-paced learning can be incredibly beneficial.

The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of investing in employee development, as it can help remote employees to adapt to new working conditions and thrive in challenging situations. Ultimately, incorporating employee development into remote performance reviews is a win-win situation, as it benefits both the employees and the company.

Develop review standards that apply to all employees

If you are managing a hybrid team, or your organization has both remote and in-person workers, it is important to develop the same performance review standards for all workers. This can help you to avoid making common mistakes associated with performance management.

Once you have developed a standardized performance review system, make sure your employees are aware of it. This ensures all employees are treated fairly and know exactly what to expect from a performance evaluation.

Conduct Performance Reviews in a Conducive Environment

When it comes to remote performance reviews, creating a conducive environment plays a crucial role. Employee performance is directly impacted by their surroundings, so it's important to create an environment that encourages engagement and openness. Working remotely can be isolating, and performance reviews remotely can exacerbate this feeling. Therefore, it's important to create an environment that puts remote employees at ease, making them feel comfortable enough to share their own performance and receive constructive criticism.

Creating an environment that is both comfortable and professional is key to effective performance reviews for remote employees. Promoting a self-evaluation culture is also important; because self-evaluations can also be a significantly useful instrument to help remote workers assess their performance and share their goals with their managers and directors. By creating a conducive environment for remote reviews, managers can ensure that remote employees will feel connected and supported. Also, the disadvantages caused by the remote working structure will be minimized.

Turn On Your Camera During Your Performance Review for Remote Employees

Just because your employees are remote doesn't mean you can't have face-to-face interactions. Although cameras aren't necessary for every conversation, it can be helpful to use video technology for more challenging discussions like a formal performance review. Video calls will help both you and your employees feel more present and engaged.

Visual connections also enable you to pick up on significant non-verbal cues that are impossible to catch without video. These indications provide valuable context to the discussions and employee performance reviews by expressing feelings, attitudes, and reactions. When both the manager and an employee can see each other, it becomes easier to stay focused and involved.


Prepare for meetings

To get the most out of performance conversations, you should make sure both you and your employees come to performance review meetings prepared. This means that you need to develop clear objectives and talking points for every performance review and share this information with your employee ahead of time.

Knowing what to expect mutually, you can have a more efficient session while conducting performance review for remote employees. It will also contribute to an overall culture of transparency and trust that is especially important to establish for a remote workforce.

Provide Feedback Often

Don't just leave feedback for periodic performance reviews. Instead, work toward establishing a culture of continuous feedback with all of your employees. Frequent conversations increase an employee's work performance by showing that the manager wants to help them succeed. Further, continuous feedback boost engagement and the employee's performance. Creating an environment of frequent and honest feedback is especially important when managing remote workers, as it can be more difficult to build a cohesive team when everyone is virtual.

Holding regular check-ins can also help make the formal performance review process easier. For example, if you schedule weekly meetings with your employee, you wouldn't need to summarize months or even a year's worth of performance information in a formal performance review.

Give Your Employees the Chance to Provide Their Own Feedback

During performance reviews, set aside time for your employee to ask questions. You might even want to come prepared with a few questions that prompt feedback. It can be especially important to set aside this time for your remote employees, as they may not have as many opportunities to express their opinions as office-based workers. 

However, don't limit the opportunity to give feedback to performance reviews alone. As you work to establish continuous check-ins, you should remember that regular feedback is most effective when it involves the active participation of both managers and their employees. Encouraging your employees to come to you with questions or concerns at any time not only establishes a culture of trust but can also help improve performance by giving you the chance to clarify expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

Use Performance Management Software to Standardize Your Performance Review Process

Technological advancements like Teamble have made it easier than ever to manage successful remote performance review. With our user-friendly platform that integrates seamlessly with Slack and Microsoft Teams, you will be able to create an engaging, responsive system of continuous feedback that makes performance management simple and efficient.

Our platform enables you to overcome the management challenges that can accompany remote work by allowing you to easily set and view goals, provide feedback in real time, and document interactions with your team.

If you are interested in seeing how Teamble can help transform your performance management system, give us a try for free or submit questions through our Help feature.