Remote working is the new normal and when employees work remotely it’s more important than ever to provide them with effective feedback. Sometimes remote employees feel underappreciated and overlooked which damages their motivation to work hard. Many remote workers who are good performers either become disengaged or look for alternate opportunities because they do not get enough visibility. Also, the feeling of “out of sight, out of mind” among the remote employees leads to isolation and loneliness. To keep the virtual teams productive, as a manager, it’s important to stay connected with every team member, understand their needs and guide them the right way to help them align with the organizational goals. However, interactions are limited when teams work remotely and it’s often challenging for managers to provide effective feedback which clarifies expectations, builds confidence and encourages employees to perform better by learning from their mistakes.
Here are some effective ways of delivering a well structured feedback to your remote employees:
- Set Up Regular Feedback Sessions
Don’t wait for the year end performance review for remote employees and schedule regular feedback sessions. Present them with small and important advices on a regular basis instead of a huge chunk of information in a single session. The sooner you provide feedback about a task or project, the better they would work on it. This is also true in case of positive feedback. When you appreciate your employees immediately after their good work, they are likely to become more motivated and productive. Also, invite feedbacks from employees so that processes can be improved both ways.
- Focus on the Task
Your feedback must be focused on specific tasks and it should never mean any criticism for the individual. Talk about the skills and how the tasks can be performed in a better way. Criticizing the employees may demotivate them, making them defensive. It shouldn’t be about blaming, but must be aimed at finding better solutions together. A well structured feedback is the key to performance management for remote workers. Also, task based feedbacks are more appreciated by the employees and inspire them to improve their performance.
- Deliver in the Right Manner
In addition to what you say, how you say also plays a vital role in making feedbacks effective. Video calls are a great way of giving feedback remotely. It not only gives a personal touch, but also helps evaluate the reaction of the employee receiving the feedback. Also, nonverbal cues are important and communicating your message empathically becomes easier over video calls. Pay attention to your own mannerisms and voice tones and speak in a friendly way to make your feedback impactful.
- Schedule One-On-One Sessions for Negative Feedbacks
Pointing out mistakes or criticizing performed tasks publicly could hugely demotivate your employees. Avoid giving negative feedback to a specific employee during team meetings. Even in general while giving feedback virtually during team meets, ensure that everyone present in the meeting has played a role in the project under discussion. In case of negative feedbacks, giving them privately to the person makes them feel more comfortable to discuss in detail. Creating a culture of regular feedback is important as it gives your the right opportunity to deliver them in an effective manner.
- Provide Actionable Guidance
When you present an employee with a negative feedback, it’s important to give them actionable guidance along with it. When you point out a mistake, also help them understand how they can improve. Communicate your expectations clearly but also support your employees with suggestions and resources so they not only learn from failures but also find a way to perform better. Share your own experiences and help your employees apply them before the project fails. Having a problem solving approach is crucial to empower your employees. Hear them out and guide them the right way.
Feedbacks are all about staying connected, facilitating employee development and optimizing processes to achieve the desired results. And, when it comes to remote teams, a little extra effort is required to ensure the message is correctly communicated and not lost in translation. What techniques do you follow to provide feedback to your remote employees? Share your ideas in the comment section below.