Powerful Virtual Performance Reviews

Performance reviews are a perfect opportunity to make an investment in your company’s most valuable asset: your people. Whether virtual or co-located, your team members will benefit from a well defined and valued performance process. Here are tips to making your virtual performance reviews a success through purpose and presence.


A performance review is not just a report card that measures the team member’s score or worth. It’s also how to find ways to make him worth more to the company, the team, and to himself. The first key to making the performance review a success is the intent of both the leader and the team member. You both must agree on the purpose of the review:

Performance reviews are an opportunity for you both to…

  • give and receive feedback about the team member’s goal achievements;
  • learn and understand more about what your team member needs to continue to add value;
  • make course corrections and develop future goals.


Of course an in person performance review is best, but often in this global business world an anywhere leader / manager is not able to fly to meet with each of her anywhere worker team members. So how can she provide a powerful and meaningful performance review, virtually?

Include Video. Many organizations still use voice only when meeting virtually. Or, they use web cast services that only shares voice and desktop presentations. Try to include video when doing a highly personal connection like performance reviews. Webcams are often included in laptops these days, and even if not, external ones are very affordable. Invest in a webcam for each of your team members and yourself.

Use Prereads. Give your team member time to prepare beforehand. Many organizations use standard forms for their annual and semi-annual performance reviews. Of course you as a leader will have additional notes as well. Share your additional information (well prepared) with your team member. Allow him time to review and make notes and capture his questions for discussion.

Don’t wait. If you only have a performance discussion once or twice a year – shame on you. Your team is your most valuable asset. It is important to have performance conversations often, especially with virtual / anywhere workers. Your co-located workers benefit from casual informal feedback in the office, the virtual workers do not have this benefit. I would recommend having a less formal review monthly. This helps your team members by providing them feedback and course correction guidance when it is needed, not after the fact.

Learn to use the tools. Don’t make the first time you do a virtual meeting (especially with video) a performance review. Learn to use the tools and become comfortable with them. Your focus must be on the team member, not on how to use the tool. If you get frustrated with the tool because it doesn’t work, you may let that influence the tone and outcome of the review

Building a trusting relationship from the start is the foundation of any team whether virtual or co-located. This approach to virtual performance reviews is one way to contribute to that relationship.

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to our conversation.