Conducting Virtual Reviews:

Conducting virtual performance and development reviews can be challenging. Handling these virtually can mean fewer cues, diminished human connection, technology glitches, and a greater potential for misunderstandings. Fortunately, there are several ways to make these reviews positive and memorable experiences.

The first thing to do is make sure that everyone involved has access to the necessary documents well in advance. During the review, screen sharing and annotation tools can be used to create the feeling of sitting across a desk collaborating on a document.

Employees can often feel anxiety when participating in a review meeting. In order to make everyone feel more comfortable, add a little fun into it. Perhaps use a silly (but appropriate) filter to make the employee laugh and feel more at ease. 

It’s important to be present to recognize and act upon all possible cues. Both parties should mute all other notifications on their phone/tablet/laptop/etc. Environmental distractions should be limited as well. The review should be conducted in a quiet place so everyone can give all their focus.

Despite being virtual, attempt to create as human a connection as possible. This can be achieved by having the meeting screen in full screen mode. Looking directly at the camera and maintaining eye contact also strengthens the connection.

The documentation provided prior to the review will include meeting key points. However, creating a summary slide featuring what is most impressive and important is an excellent addition. The summary slide can also include key achievement, feedback from others, pictures, and more.

It can be unnerving for employees to see their employer making notes during a review. A great way to ease this anxiety and create transparency is to make note-taking visible. Two ways to do this is by using a whiteboard or a chat window to capture highlights, agreements, and next steps. This also ensures both parties are on the same page.

The time and energy invested in bridging the virtual gap will make performance and development reviews smoother, easier, and more beneficial. Everyone will come out of the meeting better prepared to take on whatever is ahead.


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