How to Conduct an Efficient Online Performance Review during COVID-19 814

Evaluating employee performance is a key responsibility of HR upon which the functioning of the entire organisation rests.

But if it was already a challenging affair, to begin with, the work from home culture has made it even more difficult. Since it is not possible to have a one-on-one conversation with the employees anymore, the performance reviews need to be conducted online now.

By doing so, an employer gets an idea about the measures that need to be taken to improve employees’ performances and resolve the challenges faced by them. Online performance reviews also help in clarifying manager’s expectations from the employees. But how do you conduct an effective online performance review? Let’s find out.

Conducting an efficient performance review during COVID-19

While conducting performance reviews in today’s scenario, employers need to understand that the people working in their organisation are not necessarily operating at the best of their capabilities. These are incredibly tough times and there can be an impact on the performances.

While conducting performance reviews in today’s scenario, employers need to understand that the people working in their organisation are not necessarily operating at the best of their capabilities.

This doesn’t mean one can give up on performance reviews. According to a popular survey, 72% of employees feel corrective feedback can help improve their performance significantly.

So, here is how you can conduct an efficient online performance review in today’s times:

1. Focus On Strengthening Your Team Members

The primary goal of the performance review should be to strengthen employees in their job roles. The employer must remember that this is not a review under ordinary circumstances. So, the goal should be to help employees identify their strengths and ways to enhance them.

Employers can instil confidence in their employees by beginning the review with an appreciation for managing to work from home despite all the challenges.

If an employee has performed well in their field, the manager needs to address that so that the employee feels valued. A few words of encouragement go a long way.

Did you know, 25% of employees leave organisations due to lack of recognition?

If the employees are confident about what they are doing in their field, it will reflect in their performance and the overall productivity of the company will go up.

2. Brief the Employee about the Review Process Beforehand

Virtual reviews cannot be treated the same as in-cabin ones. Especially for the employee who’s nervous about what’s going to happen next, a Zoom call can be more unnerving.

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This can be avoided when you brief the employee beforehand about the review process and discuss the parameters on which the review will be conducted, who would participate in it, how things would be different this year, and so on. When a person has an idea and knows what to expect during the call, they are mentally prepared for the same and are much more comfortable.

3. Reassurance Matters

In these highly unstable times, people are quite anxious about their job security. In many cases, there is a single bread earner in the family and ever since the pandemic, there has been news about multiple layoffs across industries. Quite naturally, employees are apprehensive about the scenario.

You can address this concern in the performance review meeting tactfully by talking about the future plans of the organisation, telling your employees how things will work out in the upcoming months, discuss their work’s impact on the organisation, and so on.

4. Ensure the conversation flows both ways

Performance reviews are not just about evaluating an employee’s past work records. The conversation must flow both ways and an employee must also get a chance to express their concerns.

As an employer or a manager, you must ensure that the employee feels comfortable enough to voice their opinions. Not everyone is as outspoken as others and during these tough times, some might be having issues that they are too afraid to talk about. It is up to you to create a space for employees where they feel heard and valued.

The conversation must flow both ways and an employee must also get a chance to express their concerns. Click To Tweet

You can also ask employees to drop their feedback anonymously after the review meetings are over. There are many tools available for this purpose such as Poll Everywhere, Vevox, Free Suggestion Box, etc. Once you have received feedback from your employees, you can analyse them and make appropriate changes to company policies.

5. Encourage employees to introspect

Review calls should also focus on helping employees identify their own weaknesses. The manager can ask employees to reveal the shortcomings that they think they have and how they plan on overcoming them. A self-evaluation form can also be given to every employee before their performance review so that no time is wasted during the session.

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6. Be empathetic while addressing the underperformance issue

Empathy is a key prerequisite in today’s times. In case an employee’s performance is not up to the mark, be understanding and ask them about the reason for the same.

You can also ask them if they are facing any problems with the resources and if they need help regarding the same. You can also offer them certain flexibility in working hours if that is possible.

Ask them about their schedule and if they want to change their working hours. For instance, an employee might have little kids who need their attention in the daytime. In this case, they can request their working hours to be 12:00 pm to 8 or 9 pm instead of the usual 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Such acts of empathy nurture confident and loyal employees in the long run.

7. Set goals for the next review

You can set goals for the next review so that the employees know the targets that need to be achieved during the stipulated time. If there are any particular areas where improvements need to be made, they should be listed for the employee before wrapping up the session.

Also, try scheduling reviews quarterly. Doing so will allow you to know more about your employees’ working patterns and challenges. It also leads to better coordination and makes it easier to set goals and take corrective measures. When employers conduct reviews once a year, it can be a little difficult for them to keep track of things. Also, there are some employees who might not be able to voice their concerns until they are asked about them.

And now, it’s your turn! What strategies do you follow to make your online performance reviews effective?

If you have any interesting thoughts regarding how to help employees improve their performances, leave us a comment or get in touch with us- we would love to hear from you!


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