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How to have Performance Reviews for employees working remotely in 2020

Post by
Karthick Sundar
How to have Performance Reviews for employees working remotely in 2020

Employee Reviews. The annual process of evaluating your team's efforts and performance to decide who gets a raise and mark out the poor performers has a whole new definition. It might be the most sought out evaluation of the year after all. While scientists are busy examining the work of the virus, managers and HR teams in offices struggle with analyzing employees' work without a standard template that'd fit all.

​​This article aims to draw light on why it is critical to measure employees' progress correctly now more than ever and simplify the process by stating a few suggestions/tips.


​​Working from home became the new trend of the town, but so did the fear of uncertainty, the challenge of battling lack of knowledge about virtually connecting applications, and the constant battle of balancing a work-home life while staying at home.

​​The struggle to survive through a pandemic is real and harsh but worsens when a supportive team doesn't surround one. It's the year of pushing your limits and revamping the judgment criteria for varying out assessments of the human workforce effectively.

​​Inculcating a few simple guidelines shall result in a more stable and content workforce amidst the pandemic. It will help channel and optimize productivity and contribute to the mental well-being of the essential resource, humans.


​​1. Reflect on your purpose

​​Start by introspecting and later move onto retrospecting. Working from our home's comfort in our PJ's has dampened our will to work with no creative outlet. Now that most of the set targets before the COVID outbreak are no longer valid, start with questions like: 

  • ​​'Are you looking at their widget sales before the health emergency? Or measured how well they're performing now? 
  • ​​Have you rewarded the projection of teamwork and collaboration?
  • ​​Have you noticed their ability to balance work-life and personal life while learning and adapting to virtual meeting settings and the new software to communicate with teams?" 

​​Once you're clear about your purpose of reviewing, move on to the pointers listed to avoid the pandemic getting the better of your business.


​​2. Summon Compassion 

​​Moving from a management culture where leaders are steps away from an employee's desk to a scenario where leadership isn't physically present has delayed work and efficiency. It is imperative to establish regular check-ins to ensure that employees are motivated and driven. Strive hard to create a culture so strong that even those not directly affected by the health emergency feel comfortable enough to speak to their bosses without hesitation if they cannot operate at their best. These are challenging times, and uncertainty of any kind induces anxiety. Unaware about the home situations, you're merely banking upon the deliverables provided, and a little extra leniency towards those with toddlers or aging parents wouldn't hurt.


​​3. Gathering Data

​​Let performance be a measure of success against a goal. As the Covid-19 crisis trudges on, it's time to strengthen your team. Work on upskilling and focus on enhancing the existing workforce. With a decline in the economy and revenue generation, doing away with ratings can be a good morale booster. With the team working remotely, it's going to be a hassle to gather data like before. Therefore mechanizing new methods of data collection should be a priority on the to-do list.


​​4. Balancing between star performers and strugglers 

​​Creating a more comfortable and caring outlook is crucial, but striking a healthy competition enables a productive environment. While you're effusive with star performers, you cannot overlook struggling employees, who can benefit with a little guidance that can up their efficiency. The employees who are making efforts to go the extra mile by working hard, showing commitment, and offering help to others, must be appreciated and retained to ensure a better future for your company.


​​5. Introduce a new tone

​​For the next few months, the tradition of work from home is here to stay and demands a set of principles to be followed. Altering the annual process of performance reviewing to a quarterly or half-yearly basis will have a dual benefit. It will provide you a better understanding and enable you to give real feedback and give employees time to work on their shortcomings and present a better version of outcomes. Pivoting towards a people-focused environment is an opportunity that organizations can build around agility and resilience while doing away with competitiveness and efficiency at any cost. 


​​6. Fundamentals to follow 

​​The approach consists of returning to the essentials. The traditional but most effective way to do and not to do can be a big help in these difficult times. Write down a list to ensure the optional use of one of the vital elements in your organizational culture, "Performance Review."



  • ​​Bring more flexibility, leniency, empathy, and Compassion to your assessments.
  • ​​Recognize and value employees who are committed and hardworking. It is essential to their morale and your organization's ability to hold them back.
  • ​​Use the video as part of your conversation. That makes it more personal and more human.



  • ​​Play hardball with your poor performers. Give them a limited grace period to get used to working remotely and turn the tide.
  • ​​Search for additional information. Ask co-workers and reports about the extent to which other employees communicate, collaborate, and assist.
  • ​​Return to the status quo. Think about how to do performance reviews more effectively. In this context, you can optimally carry out the semi-annual or quarterly evaluations.