Virtual Performance Reviews: A Success Guide

Conduct a successful Virtual Performance Review

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This year has looked different in so many ways. Our personal and professional lives have blended into one, as we conquer tasks for work and home, at home! Many things we used to do in the office are now happening online, and that includes conducting and receiving virtual performance reviews!

Performance Reviews are meant to be meaningful discussions around your performance, goals and growth. Remember that having these discussions virtually, may not allow for the connection you normally feel during a review. You can’t necessarily read body language in the same way you would during an in-person review meeting. Keep that in mind as well, as you zoom or chat virtually.

How to prepare:

First off, keep this year in perspective! Don’t forget to consider what a year it has been and everyone’s quick adjustment and disruption to at home work. So many of us are tackling a very distracted work environment at home. We may be getting interrupted by children, pets, spouses, roommates, noise outside the house, and a number of true distractions. Therefore, work may not have been completed at the pace it normally would. The lines of work and home have truly been blurred this year. And please also keep in mind the mental state of your teams. This has been a hard year for everyone. You may have employees who have been ill with covid, or lost or cared for sick family members and friends, had a partner lose a job, or any other number of crazy things that happened in 2020. Keep all of this in mind, as you think about what goals and achievements your teams have accomplished. What you set out to accomplish in January 2020, may look very different, than what was actually accomplished given the events of the year.

Let’s talk tips and tricks to make performance reviews work screen to screen:

  • Adjust your performance criteria and measurements for 2020. Think about measures other than sales and high returns. What about looking at how adaptable, resilient, committed and caring your teams have been during the pandemic, as a measure of their performance. Were they good at communicating and caring for other employees? Did they put in as much effort as they could given the crazy circumstances of 2020?
  • This year especially, it’s a good time to remember that feedback should be ongoing throughout the year, and we hope you have been extra on top of providing it and caring for your teams during these hard times. Don’t introduce or spring any new surprises or feedback on your employees during their review. If you do, this may break the trust you have with your employee. When the employee has a good sense of what feedback they can expect to hear during their review, it builds that trust while creating space for a more productive conversation.

How to prepare for your own virtual performance review:

  • If you are prepping for your own virtual review, make sure to prep ahead of time. Review your own performance over the review period, have questions prepared, build some talking points and make your case for why you have done well this year. Putting your wins together and compiling some highlights of the year, will always allow you to better communicate your thoughts during the review. Feel free to also discuss your challenges this year, whether it was transitioning to remote work with a family at home, or that you felt anxiety around the election and other political and social stresses of 2020. Sharing your struggles allows your manager the background and context they may need to look at the full you, as they evaluate your performance in this tumultuous year.
  • Make sure to ask your manager what you need to overcome any hurdles in 2021. Would a flexible schedule work better for you and your family until the kids are back in school? Do you need more technical support from home? Framing your request as a solution will benefit all involved and help your manager know how to help you. Lastly, remember this is still your time to shine and dress the part. Even though you and your manager may be sitting in your kitchen on your respective computers, make sure to act and look professional during your performance review. Let them know you take your job seriously.

Good luck managers and employees, as you engage in virtual reviews, 2020. If you need any help with this process or anything HR and people, please reach out to the Work Friendly team. And here’s to a brighter and easier 2021.

Want to more resources on navigating a virtual workplace? Check out our latest blog posts on how-to recruit during COVID and the easiest way to build a return to office plan.

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