Conducting Employee Performance Reviews While Working Remotely

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, including how performance reviews are conducted. Even though you had been carrying them out before the virus, things will not be the same now that teams are facing difficult situations like being forced to find ways to work from home. How can you evaluate the performance of your employees at such a critical time since navigating the impact of the Coronavirus? Your performance reviews must be fair-minded and understanding of the difference in circumstances and measures of success for your employees.


Tips for Virtual Employee Performance Reviews


1) Think About Your Purpose

Remember the reason for the performance reviews. As COVID-19 continues impacting your business, you’re not really looking to remove poor performers or even make paycheck raises. Rather, you need to strengthen your company’s culture and reinforce values. Ensure that the company treats employees well in this situation. Think about what you want to achieve with all the evaluations because these reviews are one of the most important anchors of your corporate culture.


2) Assess the Evaluation

What are you basing your performance reviews on? Are you basing it on their sales before the health emergency? Are you looking at how efficiently they are performing now? Assess every part of your evaluation and make sure it’s still relevant. While the performance of your employees is the measure of success when compared to a goal, last year’s targets before the pandemic emerged may no longer be the best measure since the landscape has changed.


3) Be Compassionate and Understanding

Acknowledge that your team members are working under vastly different circumstances. With your employees working remotely, your approach to performance reviews calls for extra flexibility, understanding, and leniency. Some employees may be juggling client calls while trying to feed their toddlers or assist their children with homework. They may be managing projects while caring for sick or elderly parents. Be sure to acknowledge these circumstances in your evaluation.


4) Drop Formal Ratings for Now

Suspend numerical ratings in performance reviews—for now. Rating your team members can be difficult because a lot of people may not be able to give their 110% at the moment. Many schools have dropped student grades and are using a pass/fail system. Instead of using ratings, you can develop a flexible system that acknowledges the challenges people are enduring and highlights their successes. Carry out a narrative assessment, providing employees with helpful information that is specific about their strong points and areas of improvement.


5) Do Not Hammer Down on Poor Performers

Performance reviews are usually an opportunity for managers to pull out poor performers and demand improvement from them. Since the situation is now drastically different, do not beat up poor performers. Make conscious decisions about what battles are presently worth your energy. Do not just relentlessly chase non-performers. Try to find out the reason for their underperformance by asking about what is going on when their performance drops.


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