4 tips to improve performance management for remote workers
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4 tips to improve performance management for remote workers

Managing remote workers is not an easy game. Sometimes I'm beaten. How is it for you?

Still, struggling to build transparent and trustful relationships with your crew? Or do they bring insufficient results? Let's look at what can fix the broken approach to managing remote workers. 

After all, we’re here to maintain a thriving workplace. It’s more than just tracking hours. So let’s go.

Set clear expectations

While managers expect fair results, remote employees wait for their bosses to convey clear expectations. Just like in sailing, a captain and crew rely on each other. So it’d be better to start performance management improvement by setting crystal clear communication.

Even sought-after talent needs guidance and definite scope. If remote employees don’t understand exactly what is expected from them and how to do it, it’s a road to nowhere.  

Shead the light on remote work performance measures and don’t forget to mention helpful hits:

  • Yearly, monthly and weekly goals
  • Hours spent on task
  • Time of team availability
  • Tools and resources
  • Guidelines for support

Increase trust 

Any performance system risks working backward. Instead of solving problems, managers can focus on rehashing past actions. Then they see employees leaving. Indeed, uncaring and uninspiring leaders prompt every third talent to quit

Therefore, if you want to build a healthy performance management strategy, it’s better to start creating positive employee-manager relationships. 

Here you’ll bump into two things: building trust and engagement. 

Without them, remote workers feel disconnected from overall goals. And you can simply guess that they’ll be indifferent toward improving their own performance.

Don’t lose hope. Try to start by fostering trust in virtual meetings. 

We suggest setting regular 1:1 meetings and daily check-ins. In doing so, you’ll turn up employees’ voices and help them feel more valued. And after a while, trust will serve as fuel to their performance. But that’s not all…

Boost employee engagement

Engagement also predefines the performance of your remote colleagues. Do your employees realize their impact on organizational goals? For sure, it’s better that they do. 

If you want to ensure it, try to link individual contributions with the company's mission and vision at the next meeting. 

Check out this example:

[Individual goal] “You should layout 2 websites this quarter” 

[Team goal] “...to support a company’s rebranding plan…” 

[Company’s goal] “...as a result, our brand could reach new markets and expand the usage of quality services. Yeah, sure we’ll double the revenue.” 

You can start to improve remote work productivity with this easy formula. And let’s move to another tip.

Monitor performance

Regular monitoring of remote work performance ensures everyone stays on track. You can lead a yearly performance appraisal for remote employees. However, In comparison to regular performance management efforts, it is a rather rigid and backward-looking practice. 

You can consider several methods for performance management in remote working:

  • Employee surveys (self-evaluations)

It is a wise practice to ask remote employees to give feedback themselves. They may have insights into their strengths and weaknesses that you don't know about. And they'll be more likely to give accurate information (if they're not pressured by the boss in front of them).

  • 360-degree feedback 

People who work closely with your remote employees will likely have extensive insight into how well they perform. So this type of feedback usually involves several (or dozens of) people internal and external from colleagues, direct reports, managers' managers, etc. 

  • Competency assessments 

To conduct a competency assessment, managers compare employees’ capabilities against job requirements. Such lists typically include only skills and tasks that are critical to success in the position, not every activity.

  • Peer-to-peer feedback

Usually, peer appraisal is hard to interpret objectively. However, it’s suitable for identifying and resolving conflicts between peers and teams. 

The more sources you employ, the more complete your vision will be. Also, make sure that the survey questions address attitude and motivation rather than just skills. 

The nice thing about raw feedback is that it supports not only performance evaluation or compensation decisions. You can also draw career development for your remote employee to retain them.

If you don’t have dedicated software to gather feedback, you can use online survey platforms like SurveySparrow or Survey Anyplace. There you’re able to create surveys, analyze results, and share them with others in your organization. 

Discuss performance 

Frequent performance discussions are an excellent way to keep remote employees engaged. These conversations should happen at least once a month but can be more frequent if there are concerns. 

Although managers can’t call all the remote meetings productive, you can learn how to make the most of them.

In general, a 1:1 session is a perfect time to discuss both the positive and negative aspects of their performance. After such a dialogue you determine what changes should be made. But don’t focus only on KPIs. 

Talent retention also matters. After all, it’s based on inspiration and career opportunities within your organization.

To wrap up

When you have employees working remotely, you have to be more intentional about their development, because it's harder to see how they're doing. You need to set clear expectations and monitor remote work performance frequently so that everyone knows what they're supposed to be doing and where they stand on their goals. 

This can be difficult to have daily meetings with your team members to track remote work productivity. But there are ways around this challenge! Setting performance management for remote workers teaches us as managers to reflect on what incentivizes people to outperform and be inspired by work. 


Concentrate on team performance instead of recruitment hustle

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