Welcome to the eighty-eighth issue of CEE News!
As the year begins to wind down, many organizations are preparing to conduct year-end performance reviews with their teams. For managers of remote teams, in particular, ensuring that these meetings are both constructive and empathetic can prove difficult. If you’re a manager with a fully or hybrid remote team, keep these strategies in mind to ensure that you’re leading a human-centric discussion.
Help them come prepared.
It is important for you, as the manager, to prepare your key messages and detailed feedback on when team members have performed well and areas where they can grow. Sending these key points ahead of the meeting will give your employees time to absorb them, and allotting time for full conversations and follow-ups will help them see that you recognize their value.
Regardless of your company’s policies or practices, conducting an annual performance review between two digital black boxes is a non-starter. Build a sense of connectedness by keeping cameras on. Start by checking in with your remote employees and asking how they are. Be completely present in the conversation by actively listening and paying careful attention to facial expressions. Provide a safe environment for your team member to share, and ask open-ended questions that allow them to raise concerns and build confidence.
Fairness should rule the day.
Make sure you schedule each of your employees in a fair manner. Don’t be tempted to prioritize your top performers, give them all sorts of time, and then give lower performers short shrift. Everybody should be treated fairly and equitably. In fact, your lower performers may need more time. Consistency and uniformity of process will avoid future conflict among your teams.
Tee up next year.
End-of-year reviews should not just sum up the past twelve months, but should also prepare employees for the year ahead. With that in mind, lead performance reviews with clear expectations and guidelines for discussing performance improvements, career advancement and employee satisfaction. Even if performance goals are met, identifying areas of potential growth will offer your team members a new challenge to meet or exceed.
Regardless of whether your employees are on-site or remote, as a leader, you should be practicing regular six- to eight-week check-ins with them all. Stay in touch with how they are doing both personally and professionally, how they are progressing toward their goals, and what resources they need. So, when mid-year or year-end reviews come around, your meeting will simply be part of an ongoing conversation that leave your team members proud and inspired.
Sheri Nasim | President & CEO