Team member reviews are an important part of the performance management process. They offer an opportunity to reflect on each team member’s progress over time, identify opportunities for improvement, and set goals for the future.
However, performance reviews can often differ between in-office and remote team members, as those in the office are more visible. As more companies embrace hybrid workforces, it’s important to consider how to keep a consistent performance review process for your team.
Set clear, measurable goals
Make sure every team member has clear, measurable goals. This allows for more objective performance reviews, whether the employee is in-office or remote.
Goals should be set during employee onboarding and revisited during regular one-on-ones. Reset and discuss new goals on a monthly or quarterly basis to ensure they align with organizational objectives and each team member’s development plan. Managers and their team members should discuss progress toward these goals on a regular basis and managers should help their team members overcome blockers and obstacles toward attaining them. Then when it’s time for performance reviews, there shouldn’t be any surprises for team members as they should already know where they stand.
Offer continuous feedback
Performance management is not a one-a-year, or once-a-quarter, event - it needs to be done continuously. But it can be easy to overlook team members’ contributions and achievements when you don’t see them in the office.
Enable and encourage your managers to provide team members with continuous feedback and recognition, whether the team member is in the office or working remotely. They should be meeting for regular one-on-ones, which may occur more frequently for team members working remotely. A performance management system can allow managers to track feedback during each interaction and as recognition and coaching are needed, so this information can be quickly accessed for performance reviews. This can help reduce or eliminate recency bias, in which managers only recall feedback that has occurred in recent weeks or months.
Consider different types of performance management reviews
In addition to direct manager reviews, consider adding self-assessments, Pulse reviews, or 360 reviews into your mix. These different types of performance management reviews could provide a more well-rounded view of each team member’s performance, allowing for more consistency. This can be particularly useful for remote employees, who may otherwise see their achievements overlooked.
For example, a team member may work more closely with a colleague than they do with their manager. Asking that colleague to chime in on the performance review process could surface feedback and recognition that the manager have inadvertently excluded in the review. Similarly, a self-assessment gets team members more involved in their own performance management, allowing them to highlight the achievements they’re most proud of, and identify the areas in which they’d like to improve.
Track key metrics related to your review process
Despite your best efforts, your performance management review process could still be skewing to allow for more favorable reviews and outcomes for in-office team members.
Track internal promotion rate, time to promotion, raise percentage, and anything else you tie to performance reviews. Then look at the difference between in-office and remote team members to see if there are differences.
Also include questions on your employee engagement surveys around those same things. See how remote employees feel about their opportunities for development and advancement, their compensation, and the overall review process. Compare that with in-office team members to see where you might need to make changes.
Train managers to execute effective performance management reviews
The performance management review process isn’t always intuitive for managers, and can get trickier if managers are leading hybrid teams for the first time. Take the time to go over how to do it right.
Make sure they are familiar with the challenges involved with doing performance management for a distributed team. This will help ensure they can make a concerted effort to create a more consistent process for in-office and remote team members.
You might also provide unconscious bias training, compensation training, and technology training, depending on your organization's needs and which areas your managers are involved.
Final thoughts on keeping a consistent performance management review process
Hybrid teams are becoming more common by the day, and it’s important to recognize that remote employees may not receive the same treatment as their in-office counterparts. Look at each of your People Ops processes to see where you might need to make adjustments, including your performance management review process.