How to support effective remote performance management with 1:1s

Although the world has changed, the importance of continuous performance management hasn’t. To keep your company moving, your overall strategy and team goals need to be set and communicated, and performance progress still needs to be measured.

With millions working from home for a while now and for the foreseeable future, performance still needs to be monitored, discussed, and measured. In fact, it might be even more pressing to focus on performance management now given that the unusual circumstances the world has found itself in have affected businesses and employees in various ways.

So where should you start with remote performance management?

The key to successfully doing performance management in your company is to implement a continuous feedback loop. That means that annual performance reviews are far from enough. There are multiple benefits to adopting real-time feedback which encourages continuous communication exchange.

In general, continuous performance management is the sum of several touch-points throughout the year. One of these essential touch-points is having regular 1:1 conversations.

During these conversations, managers and their team members can connect on a personal level, stay aligned on a business level, and decide on priorities now that remote work has changed team dynamics. It’s the glue that holds the entire Performance Management Process together.

Last week we discussed how Pulse Surveys give you critical insights into employee well-being, productivity, and engagement during the current COVID-19 situation.

This week we will zoom in on the importance of 1:1 conversations in a working environment that has gone from synchronized work in an office to a-synchronized remote work.

In this first article, we will focus on the following (jump ahead):

- How to collaborate and connect while working remotely

- Why 1:1 conversations are essential for remote success

- How Impraise supports 1:1s

- 1:1 remote agenda suggestions

How to collaborate and connect while working remotely

Impraise has drastically transformed its ways of working over the past month, pretty much like the rest of the world. Beyond their own expectations, most companies showed some amazing resilience and agility. It turns out that people can work separately on projects and don’t necessarily need to be in the same room, office, building, or even country.

It goes without saying that regardless of how you work, it is essential to connect, align, and log actions through conversations. In the "pre-COVID normal", managers used to have many synonyms for 1:1 conversations to discuss the day-to-day with team members: ‘grab a coffee’, ‘go for a walk’, ‘have lunch’, ‘sit in the sun and talk’. Roadblocks were discussed, ideas shared, and decisions agreed upon.

Now that we are all working remotely, we need to discover a new way to stay connected while staying home. The best way to assure teammates collaborate and connect while remote is by checking in regularly with virtual 1:1s.

Why 1:1 conversations are essential for remote success

At Impraise, after having worked remotely for 6 weeks now, we have learned that a (bi-)weekly 1:1 is crucial to create alignment and cultivate a healthy employee/manager relationship. Besides, having 1:1s ensures there’ll be no surprises during the more formal performance reviews.

These recurring moments are ideal to:

How Impraise supports 1:1s

1:1s on our platform is a dedicated space to collaborate on agendas, follow up on topics, and track conversations for effective meetings. Both manager and direct-report can leave notes, which will identify smoke signals early and save precious time in bringing everybody up to speed. Keep in mind that these 1:1s don’t need to be overly formal or long.

But they do need to occur regularly to make sure your meaningful dialogue moves forward and stays up-to-date. Our teams use the 1:1 Relationships in a (bi)weekly cadence. We have seen that regular 1:1 conversations lead to higher engagement and productivity. For a more extensive step-by-step description, please read our ‘how to set up your 1:1s in Impraise’ help article here.

1:1 Agenda suggestions

We encourage managers and employees to refrain from freewheeling their way through these 1:1s — or worse yet — neglect them altogether. To start, it’s best to work with a set agenda to make sure you’re not missing anything and to allow time to prepare. By having all your topics and notes in one clear overview just a click away, you can track progress over time and easily follow up on recurring topics.

Here are some of our agenda suggestions:

We have focused on the (bi)weekly remote focused 1:1 conversation, but there are other kinds too. Read more about:

Curious how you can automate the process of doing 1:1s by collaborating on agendas, following up on topics, and tracking conversations for more productive 1:1 meetings with Impraise? Learn all about it here.

Next in our Series

The next post in our series on Remote Work & COVID-19 Response will focus on the skills and competencies needed to effectively work and manage remotely.

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