How Do Leaders Handle Performance Management in a Remote Work Environment?


    How Do Leaders Handle Performance Management in a Remote Work Environment?

    Navigating performance management in a remote setting can be challenging, but with the right strategies from CEOs and Founders, it becomes manageable. From implementing output trackers to aligning weekly goals with team support, discover five expert examples of handling performance management in a remote work environment.

    • Implement Output Trackers for Autonomy
    • Set Clear Goals and Provide Feedback
    • Weekly Impact Updates Encourage Success
    • Use Phone Calls for Personalized Reviews
    • Empower with Flexible Review Schedules
    • Align Weekly Goals with Team Support

    Implement Output Trackers for Autonomy

    Trackers are very important in a remote work environment, but it's more about output trackers than time trackers. At Carepatron, we don't measure the exact time employees spend doing their day-to-day responsibilities. We give them full liberty over their schedule, with tools such as Google Sheets, Jira, and other task-list management apps to give everyone visibility over who is working on what and how it's progressing. This 'adult' treatment towards employees proves to be excellent at ensuring everyone's commitment to their tasks while still enjoying the benefits of working remotely. It also makes performance management and evaluation easier, as trackers serve as documentation on the quality and quantity of outputs an employee is making, as well as whether they're meeting their deadlines.

    Jamie Frew
    Jamie FrewCEO, Carepatron

    Set Clear Goals and Provide Feedback

    At Startup House, we believe in setting clear expectations and goals for our team members, regardless of where they are working from. One example of how we handle performance management in a remote work environment is by utilizing regular check-ins and feedback sessions to ensure everyone is on track and motivated. We also make use of project management tools to track progress and provide real-time feedback. By fostering open communication and a culture of accountability, we are able to maintain high performance levels even in a remote setting.

    Alex Stasiak
    Alex StasiakCEO & Founder, Startup House

    Weekly Impact Updates Encourage Success

    I've asked team members to send me an update on Friday afternoons, showing the impact they made that week. It is a great way to wrap up the week because employees get to showcase their successes, visually see what they've accomplished, and ask any outstanding questions. I am also able to track progress and offer kudos without micromanaging their work.

    Kelli Anderson
    Kelli AndersonCareer Coach, Texas General Insurance

    Use Phone Calls for Personalized Reviews

    When dealing with remote workers, it's nice to pick up the phone if you're not able to meet face-to-face for a performance review.

    Believe me, I love the convenience of email as much as everyone else, but if I haven't heard my employee's voice in months, I know it's beneficial to skip the copy and speak to them directly when it comes time for evaluation.

    For one thing, tone doesn't come across well in writing, so I may not be able to convey the full meaning of my words—critiques can land harder than expected.

    Secondly, workers may hesitate to ask all the questions they have, worried that it will lead to a never-ending email chain. But when we're communicating over the phone, there is more of a back-and-forth that allows for a natural give-and-take.

    Linn Atiyeh
    Linn AtiyehCEO, Bemana

    Empower with Flexible Review Schedules

    These days, most recruiters are working from home or on the road, especially in the executive sector. And these are seasoned professionals; constant surveillance would be a big mistake and waste management's energy.

    Still, check-ins are important, so I've developed a compromise by letting employees come up with a performance review schedule that works for them.

    They decide if it should be monthly or quarterly, and a few even opt for more frequent assessments. It's about fitting into their busy schedules and empowering them with autonomy.

    Travis Hann
    Travis HannPartner, Pender & Howe

    Align Weekly Goals with Team Support

    Sure, managing performance remotely hinges on clear expectations and trust. For example, we implemented a system where team members set weekly goals aligned with our broader targets. Every Monday, we'd have a virtual kick-off—not just to set our goals, but to encourage camaraderie.

    Mid-week, we'd touch base in one-on-ones. It's less about micromanaging, more about providing support. We’d discuss progress, barriers, and celebrate wins, however small.

    At the end of the week, we'd review achievements and learning points. It's crucial that the team knows where they stand at all times. It's feedback in real-time, not waiting for an annual review.

    Tools played a big role, too. Project management software for visibility, but also for accountability. Everyone could see how their work contributed to the big picture.

    In short, our approach was transparent, goal-oriented, and supportive. It's about empowering the team to own their performance, not just monitoring their output.

    Casey Jones
    Casey JonesFounder, Head of Marketing, CJ&CO