How To Conduct Remote Employee Performance Reviews

"RE" has been a prefix for practically everything, owing to the Pandemic or the necessity of the ever-changing times. RE- ALIGN, DESIGN, SKILL, STRATEGIZE, and so on; REMOTE working, in reality, reshuffled the way and place of work.
Every fundamental facet of life obtained a virtual face. Whatever any organization or individual could do in terms of communication, collaboration, coordination; was accomplished via an e-window. A system and a good internet connection evolved as the immediate need to connect, work and coexist. Suddenly there was a mandate to learn how to be good with online tools, platforms, and screens; to make this Virtual world real!
Understanding people, conveying what organizations meant to, and preserving trust became challenging because of the magnified distance between people. Leaders encountered difficulties enabling, mentoring, counseling, and training individuals as the place and way of work changed with zero prep time. There were gaps for apparent reasons. It became critical for managers to understand the significance of having the right employee performance review system as this was one of the primary ways to identify, enable and achieve the desired goal. Not everything around us was going as per the plan, towards the defined goal; there were many factors to relate to and blame for, but what kept the boat sailing was the continuous connection, feedback, support, and realignment.
2022 is way different from 2018; Nothing today is binary. Every individual has a story, and they want us to hear, understand and consider. Organizations may wish to have consistent super performers, but not every past performer is running the same race under the same circumstances. Here are five People first/ people plus strategic combinations to help us achieve committed employees:
Tech & human: Technology is the ENABLER; none of us would have survived this Pandemic without technology, but as it is rightly said, ACCESS OF ANYTHING IS BAD. Many of us consider a process just as a mechanical process; we forget that we are dealing with humans working with and for us. It's necessary to BE THERE, LISTEN, UNDERSTAND, SUPPORT, and EMPATHIZE. Offer a little more of heart and hand with head.
Today & every day: Don't wait for THE DATE, Performance review date. As per a recent survey, 74% of employees said that they get a performance review once a year or less often. Managers should stay open to talking as many times as needed. It's wrong not to connect with members for the entire year and, on the review day, discuss their non-performance. Considering the current scenario when everything is unpredictable, not conducting regular assessments will be a disaster. 
Formal & informal: We would all agree to check with our team members about their health and family before asking about work. Time is such that we need little more care, concern, and consideration. Numbers will fall in place if the emotional equation is balanced. The performance review process should be handled sensitively by managers. They shouldn't just discuss the target and understand how the employee connects with the team and the organization.

Feedback & feedahead: We humans have an excellent memory and a terrible habit of connecting the past (what went wrong) to the present. Sometimes unintentionally, we end up emphasizing more on the past mistakes and opportunities missed. Yes, learning from mistakes is much needed, but more importantly, one must move on and focus on better things. Appreciate or see then depreciate!
You & Us: Sometimes, we, without realizing it, make the review discussion one-sided. We demonstrate that we are doing a favor by giving a good rating or giving another chance even when the performance isn't outstanding. We forget to mention how key each individual is to Org's success. When the responsibility is co-owned, the outcome is magical.
Many organizations invested very well in enabling the EPR strategy to sustain the remote working model, and very few recognized the need to keep it simple, open, and authentic. The first focus was on devising or getting a good tool, not on the impact of Pandemic or individual's situation, need, or capability.
Let's remember that not everybody is a SUPERHUMAN. By default, as managers, we compare our team members with ourselves or others without realizing that every individual is unique. The more we generalize the rules, the more we widen the gap. A+B will be equal to C whenever A & B remain constant. Who can promise that now? Organizations, managers, or markets? No one, right? We all need to align ourselves to new equations of the NEW model, be it remote or hybrid.
Staying unpretentious, instantaneous, authentic, and compassionate is the key! Be exceptionally unique in managing your human capital, as unique as each one of them is. 
Give your best to get their best!
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