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How to Conduct Performance Reviews with Remote Employees: Tips and Strategies

Junun Saleh

More and more businesses are using remote employees to save money on office space and related costs. They are also doing this to take advantage of a larger talent pool.

But while managing a remote team can be a great way to boost productivity, it also comes with challenges.

The most important thing when you have a remote team is to review their work regularly.

This blog post will discuss tips for conducting effective performance reviews with your remote employees.

What is a performance review?

“Conducting an effective, remote performance review is really about the continuous conversations, feedback, and recognition that occurred leading up to the actual performance review.” Andrea Lagan, COO, Betterworks.

A performance review is an evaluation of how someone does their job. Employers can use it to provide feedback, identify areas for improvement, and set goals.

A performance review can also be a valuable tool for evaluating remote employees. When done well, a performance review can help to improve job satisfaction and productivity.

When done poorly, it can create tension and conflict. The key to success is approaching the performance review process with a clear understanding of its purpose and goals.

Employers can also use performance reviews to identify training needs and create goals for the future.

When reviewing remote employees, it is essential to consider how well they can communicate and collaborate with team members. 

Performance reviews should be conducted regularly based on specific, measurable objectives.

Managers can ensure they get the most out of their employees by conducting a performance review.

Performance review is crucial.

A performance review is a crucial part of employee development. It provides employees with feedback on their progress and areas for improvement and allows managers to identify areas of employee strength and weakness.

Additionally, performance reviews can help to identify training and development needs. They also provide a forum for discussing employee goals and objectives.

While performance reviews have traditionally been conducted in person, the rise of remote work has necessitated the development of new methods for conducting reviews.

Leaders can conduct remote performance reviews via video conferencing, phone, or email.

Regardless of the format, performance reviews are essential to ensuring that employees meet their objectives and develop as professionals.

The challenges of conducting reviews with remote employees

Performance management for remote employees can be challenging for several reasons.

  1. Getting an accurate sense of an employee’s work can be difficult when you’re not in the same physical space.
  2. Building trust and rapport with someone can be hard when not seeing them regularly.
  3. Performance reviews require clear and direct communication, which can be harder to achieve when you’re not face-to-face.

You can make the performance management process easier for you and your remote employees.

  1. Set clear expectations about what you’ll be looking for in their work.
  2. Schedule regular check-ins so you can get in touch about their progress and give feedback in real time.
  3. Ensure to give specific, actionable feedback that will help them improve their performance going forward.

By taking these steps, you can create a performance management process that works well for you and your remote employees.

Clear objectives for each employee before the review begins.

Conducting employee performance reviews can be a tricky task. One of the most important things is to have clear objectives for each employee before the review begins.

  • What do you want to accomplish with the review? 
  • What areas do you need to address?
  • Do you want to improve communication, identify areas for growth, or provide feedback on recent projects?

By answering these questions, you’ll be able to focus on the most critical areas and avoid getting sidetracked. This will help ensure that the review is productive and informative for you and the employee.

Ask employees to complete a self-evaluation

Employers are looking for ways to improve remote performance reviews. One way to do this is to ask employees to complete a self-evaluation.

This can help managers to get a better sense of employee performance and identify areas that need improvement.

Additionally, self-evaluations can help employees to reflect on their work and identify areas for growth.

Employees can identify their strengths and weaknesses by taking the time to reflect on their work. They will also be capable of providing specific examples of their accomplishments and achievements. As a result, self-evaluations can provide valuable insights that employers would otherwise miss.

Asking employees to complete a self-evaluation is a simple way to improve remote performance reviews and help managers to manage performance evaluations better.

Review remote employees’ work product and progress against objectives

As a manager of remote workers, it’s essential to conduct regular performance reviews to ensure that employees are meeting objectives and producing high-quality work.

You can schedule regular check-ins via video conference or phone call.

During these check-ins, you can ask employees about their progress on specific projects and give them feedback on their work.

Another option is to request work samples regularly and provide written feedback. This can be done through an online collaboration platform or via email.

When reviewing remote employees’ work, give specific and constructive feedback to help them grow and develop in their roles. Regular reviewing their work ensures that your remote team is on track and meeting your expectations.

Whichever method you choose, it’s essential to be clear, concise, and objective in your feedback to help remote workers improve their performance.

Discuss areas of improvement and provide specific feedback

The key is to focus on specific areas of improvement and avoid general comments.

For example, rather than saying “you need to be more organized,” try. “I noticed that you did not submit the XYZ project on time. What can we do to help you stay on track in the future?”

You could help your remote employees improve their performance by being specific and offering potential solutions. The feedback to your remote employees should be honest but also constructive.

Conducting performance reviews with remote employees can be a challenge, but it’s important to take the time to monitor their progress and provide feedback.

Document the review process and results.

As part of any performance review, it’s important to document both the review process and the results.

This ensures the process is objective and any performance issues are addressed constructively.

Performance review questions should be based on objective criteria. They should also be relevant to the job role and achievable within the review period’s timeframe.

If an employee is not meeting these criteria, it’s essential to identify why. This could be due to a lack of skills or knowledge or simply poor performance. Once the cause of the problem has been identified, employers can take steps to improve performance.

This might involve additional training or coaching or setting more precise goals and expectations.

Performance review questions are typically divided into four categories:

  1. Past performance.

Employers can ask about what the employee has done in the past and how well they have performed.

  1. Future performance.

Ask about what the employee plans to do in the future and how employers can improve their performance.

  1. Training and development needs.

Ask about the employee’s training and development needs and how employers can meet these needs.

  1. And general comments

Ask for general comments about the employee’s performance.

The review process should be conducted carefully and thoughtfully to help the employee improve their performance.

When documenting the review results, it is essential to be clear and concise and avoid derogatory comments about the employee’s performance.

Taking these steps can help ensure that employees are meeting their full potential.

Other tips and strategies for conducting effective reviews with remote employees

Conducting performance reviews with remote employees can present some unique challenges. However, some tips and strategies can help to make the process more effective.

  1. First, it is crucial to set clear expectations for the manager and the remote employee. The manager should provide specific feedback about what they are looking for in the review and give a chance to the remote employee to prepare.
  2. Additionally, it is crucial to be mindful of time zones when scheduling the review. Conducting the review over video conference can also be helpful to ensure that both parties can see and hear each other.
  3. Finally, following up after the review is important to discuss any action items or goals you set.

By following these tips, conducting performance reviews with remote employees can be a more effective and positive experience for all involved.

Setting aside time for regular performance reviews is essential to managing a remote team. This will help you identify areas where your employees need improvement and keep track of their progress and successes.

Celebrate successes, and offer help and guidance when needed

A demanding work environment challenges employees to improve their performance continually. This environment can be created by setting high expectations and offering help and guidance when needed.

When employees feel demanding, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and committed to meeting the challenges. Demanding workplaces lead to better employee performance, which benefits the company.

Therefore, companies must celebrate successes and provide demanding challenges for their employees.

Remain objective and constructive at all times

It’s important to remain objective and constructive when working remotely. This can be challenging since getting caught up in emotion is easy when you’re not face-to-face with someone.

However, maintaining a professional attitude is essential for remote workers. One way to do this is to keep your communications clear and concise. Avoid making assumptions about someone’s understanding or intent, and be sure to state your objectives clearly.

Another way to remain objective is to stay focused on the task. When you’re remote, it’s easy to get distracted by things that are going on in your personal life. However, it’s important to remember that you’re at work and must focus on your job.

One way to stay objective is to keep a written record of your thoughts and ideas. You should always track the progress and see where you need to make changes.

It’s also essential to be honest with yourself and your team. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to speak up and suggest a different approach.

Finally, remember that remote work is an ongoing process. You might need to adjust your strategies, but as long as you remain objective and constructive, you’ll be able to succeed.

Follow up with employees after the review.

Asking for continuous feedback is one way to have endless conversations with your employees. Reviewing performance can sometimes identify productivity gaps.

Addressing these issues on time is crucial for maintaining optimal work standards. After the review, it is essential that you have continuous conversations with your employees.

This will allow you are preventing any potential problems early and prevent them from becoming more significant. Furthermore, continuous conversations will help to build trust and respect between you and your employees. Ultimately, this will lead to a more efficient and productive workplace.


Performance reviews for remote employees can be challenging, but with the right tools and strategies in place, they can be just as effective as in-person reviews.

By conducting regular reviews, you will ensure that your remote team is always aware of their progress and take the steps they need to take to continue meeting or exceeding expectations.

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