In our current work environment, many employees have made the switch to remote work. During the initial phases of the COVID outbreak, many organizations were forced to shut down, leading to many employees performing homebound work. Things still haven’t shifted back to their original setting, and it looks the remote worker trend will continue.
Some companies may find it challenging to manage and assess the performance of a remote employee. It’s true that this can prove to be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible. It’s important not to neglect this important part of the management experience.
An employee working on a remote basis doesn’t mean their performance shouldn’t be monitored and assessed. Most companies can hardly afford this type of neglect when it comes to the structure of their organization. Let’s take a look at why it’s so important to continue to gauge a remote employee’s performance.
Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Remote Worker’s Performance
Working on a remote basis should never mean employee reviews should be canceled for this demographic. There are two major reasons for continuing the trend of monitoring performance for remote workers.
The most obvious reason is to continue to prove their efficiency for corporate. Having a disconnect from the rest of the office can sometimes be detrimental for some employees. Continuing routine performance management ensures that business can continue as usual.
Additionally, when an employee who works remotely is assessed and receives positive feedback, this can give them a higher feeling of inclusion. It’s important not to lose them as an integral part of the team. Continuing to assess their performance and update them on a job well done can have a huge impact on their future performance.
Continuing performance management will also provide remote employees with an environment they want to be part of. The culture of a company is what draws employees in the first place, and it’s important not to let remote work jeopardize this.
It’s important to understand why a continuing PMS is important with remote workers. Now, let’s examine the best way to prepare for a review.
Preparing for a Performance Review with Remote Workers
Performance management is a continuous process with no real ending. An efficient performance management system will provide real-time feedback, continuous monitoring, and a chance for occasional one-on-one engagement with remote employees.
The key to efficiently performing a review for remote workers is to not focus as much on individual output. Instead, focus on the skills they need to efficiently complete the remote work.
It’s important to remain compassionate about the situation. Remember, some employees thrive on being in an office or team environment, so it’s important to let employees know you haven’t forgotten about them. This is why ensuring they have the tools they need to accomplish what’s required on a daily basis is important.
One of the most crucial elements in preparing for a performance review of a remote worker is to formulate the questions on the review properly. Focusing on manually crafting the review itself and the events leading up to the review can make a huge difference. Consider following these points during the time leading up to the assessment:
Start With Why
Let employees know why you are doing the review. It’s important to make them understand it’s not a punishment, and there’s no negative reasoning behind it.
Move to How
Help employees understand how this assessment will benefit them in the long run. Explain what the steps are and how this will improve their overall work experience moving forward.
Explain the Process
Let all of your remote employees know who will be interviewing them. Give them some insight regarding the process so they know what to expect and can prepare.
Including a self-assessment can be a great way to receive employee insight. This can help you gauge how things can be improved based on how employees see their own performance.
Provide some framework on the assessment regarding their feedback. Inform your employees you want to hear from them after the assessment regarding their daily activities, how things can be improved, and what they thought about the review process.
Communicate the timeline of everything to the employees and the leadership team. Let them know a week before the assessments will take place.
Let everyone know what will happen after the review. Explain the process of how the data is broken down and what changes will be made as a result of the assessments.
Tracking Their Progress
Once the reviews are complete, the performance reports can be read, allowing you to uncover vital information about your remote workers. Give yourself enough time to process the data collected from the assessments.
You will uncover strengths, areas of improvement, and how efficiently remote workers are managing their time. Use the following steps to efficiently navigate the process after you’re done reading the reports.
- Schedule a meeting with each team leader in charge of your remote workers. Inform the team leaders they should meet with each remote worker individually. Scheduling a half-hour video chat should provide enough time to discuss their report.
- Let them know to praise remote workers for a job well done. Urge them to be constructive about areas that need improvement, and provide a roadmap for how these challenges can be overcome.
- Team leaders should set goals with each remote worker for the next quarter. These goals can be used to gauge the progress when it’s time for the next set of assessments.
- It’s important to outline your expectations of them before asking what their goals are. This gives them a chance to analyze where they want to be as far as efficiency in their daily activities.
Conducting performance reviews for hundreds of remote workers can be incredibly overwhelming. However, by making some minor changes to the process and switching your focus areas, you can gain some important insight into the performance of your workers. This is a great time to use remote team leaders to communicate with each worker one-on-one.
Incorporating all of these elements will help you maintain a higher quality of work for your homebound employees. Additionally, this also helps keep them incorporated into the culture and progress of your company. Download the ebook, “The Skeptics Guide to Performance Management” and get started on improving your performance management process.