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How Effective Performance Reviews for Remote Employees Help You Boost Retention

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Retaining employees is no easy feat in today’s fast-moving talent marketplace. As people value growth and flexibility more than ever, they’re constantly looking for new ways to advance their skills and careers.

Fortunately for employers like you, talent doesn’t have to move to a new company to take the next step professionally. When you give your employees the ability to rise within your organization, you help them upgrade their job titles, responsibilities, and compensation—while keeping them on your team.

Helping employees grow within your company requires understanding how they are performing in their current roles. But evaluating employee performance presents its own challenges, especially if your company is distributed. When your teams are spread across borders, you need to rethink the way you monitor and assess individual employees. The good news? There are approaches you can take to better evaluate how your people are performing at work, no matter where they are.

Read on to discover:

  • Why offering professional development is a key strategy for retaining top talent
  • How to run performance reviews for distributed talent so you can help them grow
  • Three other strategies to enable employee growth within your organization

Mentoring Employees for Growth: Why It Matters

It’s human nature to want to be noticed, cared for, and supported. But many employers fail to give employees the personal attention they need.

More than half of millennials (53%), who make up the largest generation in the United States workforce, say they’ve been disappointed by a lack of personal development training when starting a new job.

Shortcomings in individualized training and attention aren’t limited to when talent begins a new job. Only two in 10 employees say their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.

These stats coincide with employers’ feelings about employee training and development programs: Only fifteen percent of employers thought that personal training programs were a priority for keeping employees engaged.

Clearly, there’s a disconnect. While employees want individual care—whether through training when they start a new job or ongoing personalized development assistance—employers often fail to provide the support their people expect.

There’s good news, though: When you give employees what they need to progress within your organization, you stand out in a crowded field of employers—and not only retain your top performers but attract new ones, too.

That’s particularly true when it comes to millennials, who, again, make up the largest concentration of the U.S. workforce. Ninety-one percent of millennials say the potential for career advancement is an important consideration when choosing a new job.

There’s a good reason millennials prioritize career advancement. “Many millennial professionals entered the workforce during the height of the recession,” Robert Walters Director Sally Martin said. “As a result, they have found their careers slow to take off, remaining in less senior roles. Now that circumstances are improving, there is an emphasis on rapid progression among these professionals."

Career progression is closely tied to personal development. When you give your employees the care, support, and development training they need, you make them feel valued. You also set them up to advance their careers within your company, helping you boost your retention rate.

Your challenge? Finding ways to assess your distributed employees so you can give them the training and personal development opportunities they need.

How to Assess Performance When Your Teams Are Remote

When you and your people work together in one office, on one schedule, it might feel easier and more intuitive to track employee performance.

But it’s not that simple.

The truth is that evaluating employees on criteria like when they arrive at and leave work, or how they interact with colleagues in person, only tells you a fraction of the story. There are more accurate and revealing ways to assess how your employees are performing—whether they work across the hallway or across the world.

Here are three strategies you can implement to better evaluate your employees, even if they work remotely.

1. Implement Consistent Performance Review Solutions

When you oversee many employees spread across the world, it might seem easy to defer to individual managers for how they’d like to track, manage, and evaluate their talent. This can lead to an inconsistent, patchwork approach to conducting performance reviews.

That’s why it’s best to rely on one uniform approach to assessing your talent.

Start by turning to a global HR tech platform where you can oversee your entire workforce. Then, make sure all of your managers are conducting reviews at a similar cadence and recording notes, progress reports, and action items within that HR platform.

Note: HR software should make your life easier, but juggling multiple platforms adds complexity to your job. Find out how our Global Work Platform™ seamlessly integrates with HRIS platform Bob, so you can save time and boost accuracy while managing distributed teams.

2. Communicate Regularly

When it comes to checking in with your employees, more communication is better. Sixty percent of millennials say they would like to receive formal feedback every one to three months, but 38% say they only receive feedback once a year or less. Conduct regular meetings with your employees to let them know where they’re excelling, where they can improve, and how to chart their path ahead. You should also use these meetings to understand the challenges your employees are facing in their day-to-day roles or projects—especially because it’s harder to observe these obstacles firsthand when your teams are remote.

3. Diversify Your Performance Review Criteria

There are many ways to assess how your employees are doing at work, regardless of where they work. Get a well-rounded view of your talents’ performance by taking a holistic approach to employee evaluations. For example, gather data from multiple sources including self-assessments, peer assessments, project success metrics, timeline considerations, and more.

The takeaway: Monitoring the performance of your employees might seem harder when your teams are distributed, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilizing the right tactics gives you the ability to assess your distributed talent in a clear, unbiased way, so you can help them advance within your company.

Employee Growth and Development Ideas: Three Ways to Help Talent Thrive

Now that you’ve boosted your employee assessment strategies, you can better identify how to help employees rise within your company. Let’s break down three practices to help your employees continue on an upward trajectory.

Strategy 1: Training and Upskilling

Show employees you’re committed to their growth by providing them with plenty of training and upskilling opportunities. Get creative: there is no limit to the number of learning sessions you can offer, nor the size or scope of the opportunities.

Everyday learning opportunities can include lunch and learns with more senior colleagues or peers from other teams. Larger initiatives could mean annual conferences or industry events.

Stipends or reimbursements for books or courses also help employees pursue learning on their own, while mentorship programs give your people the ongoing support they need to continue growing.

Strategy 2: Secondments

When a promotion isn’t available, offer your talent the opportunity to develop skills based on other areas of your company’s capabilities. These opportunities are often just as helpful as a promotion when it comes to career progression.

To help high performers develop secondary skills, you can offer them opportunities like:

  • Leading key projects outside their regular scope
  • Short-term assignments working with another team
  • Learning new skills in order to train the rest of the team

Remember that you should always increase talent’s compensation when they take on more responsibility and leadership. The near-term cost of a salary bump is well worth the long-term value of not only retaining your talent but also helping them become more skilled and valuable members of your team.

Strategy 3: Promotions

There’s a reason why promotions are one of the time-tested ways to advance employees within a company. Promotions provide employees with a clear path forward along with the upgrade in pay, job title, and responsibilities they’ve proven they deserve.

If you’ve already developed a team of top performers, it’s in everybody’s best interest for you to promote your people. Failing to promote your employees makes it more likely that they’ll move to another company to pursue the growth opportunities you aren’t providing them.

With turnover costs eating up as much as 75% of an employee’s salary, and U.S. businesses losing approximately $1 trillion to turnover annually, it makes more financial sense for you to offer promotions now rather than enduring the high costs of attrition later.

Beyond Pay: How to Reward (and Retain) High Potential Talent

As beneficial as it is to promote talent, you might not always have the budget flexibility to give your people the salary increase they expect. Fortunately, there are other ways to increase your total compensation for top-performing employees, especially when you manage a distributed workforce. Here are three rewards you can offer to your global talent:

Equity Awards

When you offer your talent equity awards, you make them owner-operators of your company. Give your global workforce extra incentive to care about your company’s overall success—and stick around for the long haul—by offering equity awards. While it can be hard to navigate local labor laws, working with an employer of record (EOR) helps you compliantly administer awards wherever you oversee talent.

Flexible Workspaces

Talent increasingly wants control over when and where they do their jobs. Give them the opportunity to do just that by providing them access to flexible workspaces around the world. By making it easier for your people to book time in flexible office space, you give them what they need to do their best work—whether they want an alternative to your office or want to take their job to the other side of the world.

Supplemental Benefits

While 66% of employees say comprehensive benefits packages are a must-have, only 31% of employers plan to offer packages that help attract and retain talent. That gives you an opportunity to gain a leg up in an increasingly competitive global hiring market.

By offering the packages that talent wants—which usually include market-specific supplemental benefits—you stand out to candidates who have their pick of employers to chose from.

You also boost your ability to retain people: employees satisfied with their benefits packages are twice as likely to report being satisfied with their jobs and 70% more likely to remain loyal to their current employer.

Want to learn more about how you can meet talent’s changing expectations? Download our Future of Work: What Talent Wants guide:

Learn how to hire and retain top talent. Click to download our free guide.

Better Performance Reviews, Boosted Retention: Do It All With Velocity Global

Giving your distributed talent the close guidance, career development opportunities, and rewards they expect may not seem like a simple task. But it’s easier than you think—especially with the right partner.

Since 2014, Velocity Global has helped over 1,000 companies build and support their global workforces. We offer the integrative HR technology you need to accurately manage and track your teams, along with total rewards offerings that help keep your talent happy—and your teams intact.

Reach out today to learn how Velocity Global can help you develop and retain your global workforce.


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