How to make the most of a remote performance review

Since the begin of the pandemic, some of my govt teaching shoppers have interviewed, landed new jobs, and onboarded—all with out ever assembly their hiring supervisor in particular person. Learnings from these remote occasions can inform how to maximize one other company staple—the performance review—which in lots of firms has gone digital as effectively, at the very least for the time being.

Whilst you would possibly anticipate that receiving suggestions is an inherent half of the job, COVID-19 is shaking up many conventional processes. A current survey revealed that 67% of the staff surveyed hadn’t acquired any constructive suggestions from their supervisor in the final 30 days, and almost 50% stated they’d fewer skilled improvement alternatives whereas working from dwelling.

Chances are you’ll want or anticipate your supervisor to suggest a profession improvement path, however right this moment’s realities require taking a extra energetic strategy to managing your profession. Since constructive suggestions is vital to your development and will be a stepping stone to skilled improvement, the value of not taking motion is excessive. To place your self in management of your profession, you’ll want to find out how to “handle up.” Leveraging your digital performance review is a good place to begin.


A key level that I share with these whom I coach is that most of the fundamentals about performance opinions nonetheless apply, even once they’re performed by a digital platform somewhat than in the identical room. It’s additionally vital that you just lay some groundwork in speaking along with your supervisor earlier than the precise review. Listed here are some methods you should use to set your self up for fulfillment:

Deal with your digital performance review as greater than a one-off occasion.

As an alternative of serious about your review as solely an annual or semiannual occasion, use it as a springboard to begin constructing and strengthening a relationship along with your supervisor year-round. With out the day-to-day interactions that include being in the identical workplace, you’ve got to be extra intentional about setting the stage on your review, particularly in case your boss doesn’t do it. As govt coach Alisa Cohn explains, “A performance review is a dialog, not a take a look at.” The remaining of the techniques under gives you some particular instruments to do that.

Begin with common conversations.

In some instances, working remotely can rob us of the alternative to get to know our profession influencers personally, as a result of we don’t have the alternative to sit throughout from them at lunch and have impromptu conversations. In the weeks and months earlier than your digital review date, arrange common digital conferences along with your supervisor and request that they’ve their video turned on. Begin these conferences with small discuss. Ask about their household and the way they’re doing working from dwelling. Use these classes to replace your supervisor on what you’ve been engaged on and ask for normal suggestions. Creating this sort of relationship forward of time will assist your supervisor know you higher and perceive your wants and priorities, greasing the wheels on your precise review.

Make clear your targets up entrance.

Months earlier than the date of your digital review, arrange a further “preview” Zoom assembly along with your supervisor to discuss your targets for the 12 months, in addition to the steps you propose to take to obtain them. In the event you want help or sources to obtain these targets—significantly acknowledging that you could be lack sure sources whereas working from dwelling—now could be the time to ask for them and clarify why these are precious to your group and the group as a complete.

Ask for a career-development dialog prematurely.

Additionally earlier than your digital review, ask your supervisor for a dialog about your profession. In the event you’re unsure what you need to do subsequent, then earlier than having this dialog it’s best to search recommendation from a trusted coworker, a colleague a rung or two forward of you, or from somebody in a perform that you really want to study extra about. When you’ve gained readability, discuss to your supervisor about the expertise you want to get to the subsequent step and what initiatives you will get concerned in to develop them. By doing this in lots of time earlier than your review, you’ll find a way to present concrete examples of your efforts towards profession improvement.

Presentation counts.

While you’re on a video name along with your supervisor, even when it’s your performance review, you might be tempted to go informal—particularly if you happen to’re on pleasant phrases along with your boss. Don’t do it! Gown professionally (from the waist down, in addition to the waist up). Be certain your house is quiet, effectively lit, and free from interruptions and system alerts. Look immediately into the digicam and smile, utilizing open physique language to talk openness and positivity.


Ask for a copy of your review earlier than your digital assembly.

Performance opinions create heightened emotion for each worker and supervisor. Ask your boss to allow you to learn your review earlier than your assembly to permit you to course of some of your feelings forward of time. This superior studying may also permit you to put together your questions on the suggestions calmly and thoughtfully.

Keep in mind, a performance review is a dialogue not solely about your previous and present performance however about your longer-term targets as effectively. It’s additionally a possibility to strengthen your relationship along with your supervisor. Speaking to your boss about your targets requires braveness and inside readability. In the event you’re keen to make your profession development a precedence, your supervisor seemingly will too.