Remote-Working Performance Management Tips

Remote-Working Performance Management Tips


How to manage remote staff and keep them engaged:

  • Establish clear, specific guidelines and work one-on-one to understand each team member’s challenges
  • Keep the lines of communication open and utilize technology that works best for each employee
  • Be highly intentional about putting communication as a top priority
  • Adjust the timing of previously scheduled meetings to accommodate the “rhythms” of home life and new routines
  • Be present, listen, help team members find their new routine
  • Be genuine and offer support and empathy
  • Get creative with team celebrations to maintain the team culture


How to evaluate performance remotely:

  • Communicate frequently with regularly scheduled check-ins that include performance and goal discussions
  • Engage in conversation and ask questions to assess remote working capabilities (adequate workspace, technology, caregiving responsibilities)
  • Make sure goals and objectives are clearly stated and understood
  • Make sure measurements are understood, building in milestones
  • Focus on outcomes not hours
  • Don’t ignore the importance of behavior
  • Use self-evaluations and comments from other business partners
  • Listen, plan, and follow-up
  • Create an environment of inclusion, trust, and accountability
  • Use technology to share goal document, comments, feedback, progress
  • Be flexible and creative to adjust to the new “norm” of working


How to make adjustments to goals “on the fly”:

  • Shift priorities and reestablish relevant goals
  • Track performance on goals previously set (don’t lose the performance already done)
  • Clearly state new goals and make sure new direction is understood
  • Update measurements and milestones to ensure alignment and accurate tracking of new goals
  • Date goals (when previous goals started and ended, when new goals started and ended)
  • Be realistic about what can be accomplished during this new “norm” of working
  • Newly adjusted goals still need to be SMART goals (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, time-bound)


How to deliver a performance review remotely:

  • Pay close attention to body language
    • What is your body language communicating
    • What is their body language telling you
  • Listen carefully
  • Be appropriately direct – clear, concise communication
  • Speak compassionately
  • Encourage engagement and solicit feedback when establishing new work plans
  • Virtually with cameras on instead of by phone – when technology permits
  • Conversation versus lecture


How to avoid performance appraisal errors:

Any performance rating method is subject to errors.  Knowing and understanding these errors will help you avoid them.

  • Cognitive Biases
    • An employee who is extremely competent in one area and is therefore rated high in all areas
    • An employee is rated low in all areas because their performance in one area is lower
    • When the appraiser’s values, beliefs, or prejudices distort ratings
  • Recency effect
    • Appraiser gives more weight to recent occurrences and discounts earlier performance during the appraisal period
  • Strictness
    • Some appraisers are reluctant to give high ratings because they have higher expectations than peers
  • Leniency effect
    • Appraisers who don’t want to give low scores even for poor performance
  • Central tendency
    • Appraiser rates all employees within a narrow range regardless of differences in actual performance
  • Contrast effect
    • Employee’s rating is based on how their performance compares to that of another employee instead of on objective performance standards



Resources used