Giving a Remote Performance Review: Six Things to Know

Categories: Global Teams

Here is a question more and more managers have to ponder these days – how can you deliver an effective remote performance review?

Performance reviews can be awkward and stressful for both the reviewer and the reviewee under the most ideal and comfortable of circumstances. In the modern, remote environment – where reviews get delivered over virtual meetings – awkwardness and stress can be compounded. So how can managers best deliver a remote performance review that helps the employee (and the company) grow in this new digital working world

Here are some tips for giving an effective remote performance review, from the experts at Aperian Global:

For a remote performance review, put even more in writing than you usually would.

In a virtual environment, it’s vital to be even more descriptive and detailed than usual. Write a thorough review with clear examples to inform and educate the reviewee about performance aspects, both positive and negative. Strive to make it so crystal-clear to understand; ideally, they should be able to absorb the review without even needing to have a discussion. 

Think about making the review available before your meeting.

You may want to consider making the review available for the employee even before your scheduled time to talk. That will allow employees time to digest all information presented (both highlights and areas for improvement). Then, the employee will be better prepared to talk about specific challenges they face and to offer solutions and action items for issues they need to work on. 

Utilize video and pay attention to non-verbal communication.

Try to make the review as close to in-person as possible by using video and picking up on non-verbal communication – the same way you would in a face-to-face meeting. Look for verbal cues and attitude shifts to pick up on how an employee is feeling, and pay special attention to active listening so you can engage in a productive, two-way conversation with the employee. Additionally, use screen-sharing tools to make sure you and the reviewee are looking at the same things simultaneously.

Identify clear next steps.

Come out of the review with some concrete things to work on. Identify specific actions or behaviors to focus on and expected changes to boost productivity going forward. Make sure to prioritize not only past behavior but the elements needed to keep moving forward. 

Utilize GlobeSmart insights.

Looking for insight on why things are working – or aren’t working – between a manager and an employee? Use the statistically-validated GlobeSmart Profile to compare work styles. Try filling out your GlobeSmart Profile and have the reviewee fill theirs out as well before the review; as a manager, you’ll be able to view helpful, dynamic advice sections on “Leading People” and “Giving Feedback.” With the insights gained from your Profiles, you’ll have a better understanding of how to communicate and how to stay in alignment.

Consider outside factors. 

Finally: make sure you consider other “out-of-sight” factors that might come into play – and make sure to be empathetic, no matter what the substance of the review might be. With the virtual nature of our relationships, we often are unable to get a first-hand glimpse into how hard a person is working – or the outside stressors that may affect job performance.

In remote work, you’re not able to share in and celebrate successes or address outside challenges as you would be in a physical office setting. So, take that into account as you open up the dialogue. Try starting conversations with open-ended questions, and give more room to the recipient to share those challenges and progresses from their own perspective. It may bring about a more productive conversation. 


Interested in reading more about management strategies in remote work?