Performance Review Best Practices For Remote Teams in 2024

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Gone are those days of traveling to the office and sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours to get your work done.

Most of the organizations in the world rely on remote work from home, and employees have now adapted adequately to this new normal of work culture.

Every organization strives to monitor its employee’s performance and implement performance reviews. To improve the productivity and implementation of a remote team, managers need to communicate with them effectively.

Managing a remote team is always challenging, but we can lead a remote team efficiently and bring out exceptional job performances with precise planning and communication. Here is a complete guide for remote team management in 2024. 

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Why performance review is important for remote teams?   

Effective management of remote teams is significant to achieving company goals.

Business owners and managers cannot afford to forget about performance reviews and their importance just because employees are working from the comfort of their homes.

The performance review of a remote team gives a clear overview of the job performances and helps identify the weak links of a remote team.

According to the performance review results, employers can effectively communicate better action plans for the team.

This ongoing performance management strategy will improve the performance of the remote team and increase employee engagement.   

Remote team management is not a cakewalk; performance management requires time and planning. In an office environment, managers can monitor the employees and their job performance in real-time.

However, when it comes to remote working, things are not that easy, and keeping a tab on what employees are working on and what they’re struggling with is a complicated task.

We have some out-of-the-box remote team management tips based on market research to improve the performance and efficiency of your team.

A performance review is the first step towards analyzing and enhancing the capability of a remote team. So without further ado, let’s check how to write a performance review for your remote team. 

Performance Review Best Practices For Remote Teams

Performance Review Best Practices For Remote Teams

A performance review is a formal assessment of an employee’s work in a given time frame.

A healthy performance review or performance appraisal will be crucial for the effective management of successful and unsuccessful employees working in a remote team.

Evaluating the performance of remote employees and writing a review based on the results need a well-planned strategy.

The parameters you used to assess the employees while working in an office will not evaluate remote employees. Here are the performance review best practices for remote teams.

1. Set defined goals and objectives  

Specific and clearly defined goals are an integral part of a performance review. A clear vision of the goals will help the remote employees improve their job performance, thereby contributing to the organization’s overall success.

The organization’s human resource team should effectively communicate with the employees to make sure they understand what is expected from them. The annual performance review is an excellent opportunity to share the company goals for the coming year.   

2. Regular feedback  

Regular and informal feedbacks are mandatory for a team working remotely. Consistent assessments of each employee will help them to understand where they stand and how to improve performance.

Do not just focus on employees who aren’t performing as well as others. Instead, effectively communicate the feedback to your top performers and appreciate them for their excellent work.

When employees observe the management pay attention and value what they do, they will strive to give their best performance. The human resource team has a significant role in improving employees’ job performance by providing regular feedback.   

3. Use A Template  

An effective performance review template will be the best way to deliver a positive and solution-focused message to your remote employees.

In addition, you can customize the template according to the organization’s performance management plans. We will discuss various performance review templates in the latter part of this article.   

4. Use Performance Management Software 

Performance management software provides an excellent convenience in determining the performance targets of the teams, monitoring these targets, and directing the employees.

By using this software, employees can follow their personal goals more efficiently, and their goals are short. In addition, you can contribute to the career development of employees by following them periodically. 

5. Keep the right tone   

Choose your words with care while writing the performance review. Setting the right tone is critical while interacting with your employees.

Constructive feedback will be better than discouraging your employee by using a negative technique for communication. A manager should be an active listener to understand the concerns of a remote employee.   

6. Focus on the areas for improvement  

Extra focus on the things that went wrong will be too much for a remote employee. Performance management requires balancing the strengths and weaknesses of each employee.

Show compassion and try to understand why some employees are not able to perform as per your expectation. Be an active listener and focus on areas of improvement.

If an employee your remote team isn’t delivering as you expect, spend time understanding the challenges they are facing. Improve the employee’s engagement by effectively communicating with them.   

7. Create an effective performance improvement plan

A performance improvement plan should be shared with the employee along with the performance review. Low performers in your remote team will get a chance to improve performance by following this action plan.

Effective employees will react positively to the action plan, and with the help of the human resources team, you can execute this plan.   

8. End the review on a positive note  

Every performance review should end with mutual understanding and respect. Employees should not feel confused about their future at the organization.

A performance review should be used as a tool to encourage an employee not to break them down.

Performance Review Examples  

Here are some of the best performance review examples for 2022 based on our market research. You can include these examples in your annual performance reviews.  

1. Good

This type of performance review can be used for the top performers in your remote team. This is how a brief good performance review will look like.    

“(Employee name) exceeds all expectations in his/her role as (role of the employee). He/She always has a positive approach to the tasks. He/She adapts easily to rapid transformations and is an active listener in the workplace. 

He/She works excellently under pressure by herself and with other team members. He/She is detail-oriented and accomplishes tasks promptly. He/She even seeks out extra duties when her schedule allows. A true example of an effective employee”  

2. Satisfactory

A performance review for employees delivering satisfactory work but there is room for improvement in their job performances. Here is an example;

“(Employee name) meets all the desired expectations in his/her role as (Employee role). He/She adapts excellently to client requirements and varying workloads. He/She maintains a sense of detail and a confident approach even under work pressure.

Excellent interpersonal skills are a plus point of (employee name). These skills, though, come at the cost of time management. And while (employee name) shows a talent for leadership, he/she doesn’t actively attempt leadership training or events.”  

3. Poor

When an employee delivers poor performance, use the performance review as a tool to communicate their weak traits and offer help to improve performance in the future. This is how a performance review for an unsuccessful employee will look like.  

“At times, (employee name) can be very efficient at his/her job as (Role) when he/she is occupied in his/her work. Unfortunately, (Employee’s name) is frequently on leaves, and this grievously affects the productive days of his/her work calendar.

During the next quarter, we would like (employee name) to focus on his/her attendance. We believe if he/she can get this issue sorted out, he/she can improve the job performance in the next quarter. ” 

4. Combination  

(Employee name) meets most of the organization’s expectations in his/her role as (Role) but drops well short of some of the important targets. He/She is an active listener, manages his/her time efficiently, and is always reliable about the quality of his/her work.

(Employee name) needs to work on displaying professionalism on all occasions and, though she works great by herself, would benefit considerably from extra team-building skills.  

5. Team

This is a performance review for the entire team. it will help you to get a performance overview of an entire team.

In a world where team performance is becoming extremely significant this type of performance review will be relevant. An annual performance review of a remote team can give a clear idea about the employee’s performance.  

Performance Review Templates  

Performance review templates can save a lot of time and effort for employers. There is a myriad of performance review templates available to match any management style.

Here are some of the most common performance review templates used by organizations around the globe.

  1. Quarterly performance review template  
  2. Mid-year performance review template  
  3. Annual Performance review template  
  4. Self-assessment performance review template  
  5. Team performance review template  

Powerful Performance Review Phrases 

The phrases used in a performance review are very critical in their overall effectiveness. Using the correct phrases will make the performance review more constructive and motivating.

We have curated a list of the most powerful performance review phrases.   

1. Creativity

Powerful Performance Review Phrases 
  • Initiates and executes creative ideas such as [example]  
  • Seeks creative alternatives such as [examples] that drove [results]  
  • Continuously suggests new ideas in meetings and on projects.
  • Applies creative thinking to implement a vision for the company.

2. Communication 

  • Effectively communicates with colleagues, supervisors, clients, and customers.  
  • Enforces company culture, policies and values without creating negative reactions  
  • Excels in facilitating group discussions.  

3. Attendance and Punctuality  

  • Exceeds expectations in arriving on time for work, including meetings and conferences.  
  • Has good attendance and doesn’t violate the standard attendance policy .
  • Effectively puts plans into action.  
  • Continuously produces more than expected.
  • Quality of work .
  • Displays an ability to learn rapidly and adapt quickly to changing situations.  
  • Positively contributes to the overall performance of the company through consistent and high-quality work.
  • Shows strong time-management and organizational skills.  

4. Interpersonal Skills  

  • Is an effective team player as demonstrated by their willingness to help out and contribute as required.  
  • Recognizes the needs of others and reaches out to lend a helping hand.
  • Builds on mutual dependence and understanding.

Self-review and It’s importance  

A self-evaluation is a powerful tool and it will help remote employees to speculate on their goals, responsibilities, and overall performance.

When an employee has an explicit understanding of their importance in the workplace they will eventually perform better. Encouraging your employees to perform self-evaluations will have a positive impact on remote working teams.

Common Mistakes in Performance Reviews

1. Inadequate Review Frequency

Problem: Many organizations stick to an outdated annual review cycle which can lead to memory fade, recency bias, and delayed feedback.

Solution: To eliminate the problems caused by inadequate review frequency you should conduct reviews more frequently, such as bi-annually or seasonally.

Supplement with regular 1:1 meetings and encourage peer-to-peer feedback so you can correct these errors timely.

2. Overemphasis on Performance Appraisal

Problem: Tying the review process with performance appraisals can create issues since your employees may conceal problems and focus only on their achievements.

Solution: To eliminate these issues, you need to separate processes for growth-focused reviews (e.g., 360-degree reviews) and those tied to performance and compensation evaluation.

3. Avoidance of Critical Feedback

Problem: People tend to shy away from tough conversations which may cause incomplete performance reviews. This may lead to missed opportunities for professional growth.

Solution: To overcome this, you need to cultivate a safe space for honest critical feedback by creating psychological safety in the workplace.

4. Overemphasis on Weaknesses

Problem: Teams frequently focus on weaknesses instead of motivating their direct reports by recognizing the strengths which may limit organizational value.

Solution: You need to highlight both strengths and weaknesses during reviews by acknowledging the importance of using colleagues’ strong suits.

Closing Words

Effective management of remote teams has become more crucial than ever and it requires the mastery of performance reviews for remote employees.

As organizations transition to the new normal of remote work, the need to evaluate and enhance the performance of distributed teams has taken center stage.

In this guide, we have walked you through virtual employee performance reviews and emphasized the significance of clear goal-setting and regular feedback.

Remote evaluation requires a strategic approach that goes beyond traditional in-office methods. You need to implement a shift in focus towards understanding the unique challenges faced by remote employees.

These best practices, work-from-home performance review examples, and templates offer a blueprint for conducting virtual employee performance reviews.

The inclusion of phrases for home performance evaluations tailored to various aspects of performance ensures that your feedback is specific and impactful.

With the right strategies and tools, organizations can significantly improve their remote team’s performance and achieve sustainable success.

In your journey of managing remote teams, you need software to support you! Teamflect, the best performance management software tailored for Microsoft Teams can transform your approach to performance reviews.

To enhance your remote team’s productivity, and embrace the future of work, try Teamflect for free today!

Written by Emily Helen Arnold

Emily Helen Arnold is a content writer at Teamflect. She is obsessed with organizational behavior studies and loves writing/thinking about how a carefully designed people strategy can transform a company.

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