As it is performance review as a task needs a lot of thought and planning since it concerns the employee’s as well as the organization’s growth and future. And remote work performance review can be even more stressful! Why? In face-to-face reviews, it’s at least easy to gauge the employees’ reactions, responses, body language, and gestures which are somewhat difficult to do via video calls. Therefore, to help you make the remote work performance review stress-free and fair and, ensure that your employees get the most of the review process, here are some effective tips.
5 Best strategies to ensure a fair remote work performance review
1. Set clear performance review objectives
Set smart goals for the quarter together in advance so that you will have something to refer to while assessing the employees’ performance during the review. Ensure your employees have understood the goals clearly and are aware of what you expect from them. Setting goals help employees decide what they would like to focus on next and help you to track and measure your employee’s performance accurately.
It’s best if you conduct a one-to-one session with your team members, and foster an environment where he/she can openly discuss problems without any inhibitions. Note, if the goal was set before the pandemic, you might need to change what you base the assessment on! For instance, it may not be fair to assess a salesperson on the sales he/she made especially when one of the industries he/she was selling to got shut down and that industry happened to be a major chunk of his/her sales goal. Instead, you might want to focus more on his/her efforts, growth, learning, and adaptability.
2. Implement self-assessment + 360° feedback system
Encourage self-evaluation as it helps to understand how employees perceive their own performance while working from home. Self-assessments are also an opportunity for you to learn how you can motivate and incentivize your employees.
Most importantly, implement a 360°feedback system. Take feedback from not just his/her team members, but from everybody, he/she interacts and collaborates with on a daily basis. Create a culture where participating in an on-going performance review process is expected from everyone in the company. Incorporating self-evaluations as well as the 360° feedback system will provide an unbiased perspective of the employees’ performance.
3. Find out if the performance ratings given by the respective group lead or managers align with the feedbacks gathered
It’s critical to ensure that your employees are evaluated based on their performance, target achievement, and not their working schedules. Keep the lines of communication open. If the employees’ don’t agree with the ratings given by their group lead or reporting manager – you need to refer to the case and see if there is a match between the feedbacks received, his/her performance, and the given rating. And corrective action steps should be taken accordingly. Ensure the final ratings are fair, impartial, and most importantly – the employee who got that rating is happy with it!
It’s crucial to ensure that there is no scope for partiality, favoritism, or unfair ratings! To counter potential biases, establish transparency in terms of the broad performance objectives and how the performance is measured! Also, look for other sources for performance reviews. As mentioned earlier, request self-evaluations. And ask others how the employee you’re reviewing proactively communicates, connects, helps, collaborates, etc. One wrong move and the organization may lose its most skilled and best-performing employees.
4. Show compassion
Nobody was prepared for the pandemic! Each one of us is fighting our own battles. It’s important you recognize and acknowledge the extremely different circumstances your employees are working under today – juggling with their work and home duties.
Performance reviews are not meant for finding mistakes. But it is to celebrate the employees’ accomplishments over the year/quarter. And to guide them in case there is potential for improvement and further progress! Never forget to call out specific achievements. In other words, acknowledge and praise hard work, engagement, and solid collaboration. Also, offer constructive feedback and ask employees to share their own goals or plans for growth for the coming year/quarter.
In case there is a dip in the employees’ performance – find out the reason. And devise a development plan or growth chart to help them improve their performance. Inspire them to perform better!
5. Offer constructive feedback
Don’t wait for the performance reviews to provide feedback. If you can, you should provide feedback consistently then and there. Be it an appreciation or constructive feedback. And the feedback should flow in all directions – from managers to employees, from employees to leadership, and between colleagues.
Instead of criticizing, give constructive feedback. Help them to understand the areas they need to improve. And provide feedback in a way that makes employees feel trusted. In other words, your feedback should inspire them to work on their areas of improvement and give their best. Offering constructive feedback can go a long way in improving your employee morale. Remember employee morale is directly proportional to employee productivity and performance – and ultimately to the organization’s growth!
Remote work performance reviews can be stressful and overwhelming especially with all the things we are going through as a result of the pandemic. As leaders, the only thing you need to keep in mind while reviewing performance – is if the review process is fair, impartial, and directed towards employees’ as well as the organization’s growth!