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Nonprofit Management
September 21, 2022
Working on a team requires more than just hard work, morale amongst co-workers, and willingness to work with others. The most important yet often ignored that attributes to ...
Read MoreAboutHow to Improve Communication Strategies with Your Team
Nonprofit Management
May 20, 2022
Here at UST, we aim to create content designed to educate 501(c)(3) nonprofit leaders and strengthen the nonprofit sector. As part of our on-going commitment to serve nonpro...
Read MoreAboutOn-Demand Webinars: HR Strategies and Risk Management Tactics
Nonprofit Management
March 04, 2022
In the latest rendition of UST Live, we were joined by thought leaders from across the U.S. with expertise in nonprofit advocacy.
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] UST Live: Advocacy & Legislative Support for Nonprofits
Nonprofit Management
February 10, 2022
The grantmaking process is often exclusive and expensive, making it accessible to those select nonprofits with the right expertise and networks, which can be costly for orga...
Read MoreAboutFour Ways to Create an Equitable Grantmaking Process
Nonprofit Management
January 27, 2022
Today's increasingly virtual landscape—along with the workforce's evolving strategic priorities—has not only changed how we work, but i...
Read MoreAboutEmployee Engagement and Nonprofit Brand Strategies
Nonprofit Management
January 24, 2022
Members are a vital key to success when sustaining and growing your association and retaining those members ensures a long-term survival of your nonprofit organization.
Read MoreAboutFive Best Practices to Improve Nonprofit Member Retention
Nonprofit Management
December 09, 2021
Nonprofit managers are relied upon to not only lead productive teams, hold employees accountable, and manage processes but are also expected to engage and motivate employees...
Read MoreAbout2021 Nonprofit Leadership Toolkit
Nonprofit Management
November 19, 2021
Whether you’re aspiring to be an executive leader, get promoted into a director’s position, or even launch your own nonprofit—rarely there are clearly defined pat...
Read MoreAboutHow to Grow into a Nonprofit Leader
Nonprofit Management
October 28, 2021
A strong leadership team is vital to the success of any nonprofit organization—without it you risk reduced productivity, delayed decisions, and low morale.
Read MoreAbout2021 Employer Guide: Nonprofit Leadership Development

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15 Tips for Conducting Effective Virtual Performance Reviews

As long as companies are doing business, employee performance and productivity conversations will not go away—regardless of where employees are physically working from. Work has changed dramatically in the last year and so has the performance review. Many nonprofits are still overseeing a remote workforce which means they’ve had to conduct performance reviews remotely as well—one of the more challenging meetings to conduct virtually.

Employees already tend to be nervous when the time comes for evaluation but with a thoughtful approach and the right structure, leaders can make the processes productive (and comfortable). While you may be able to comment on goal achievements, with limited in-person interactions properly evaluating your staff can be challenging and becomes even tougher when you’re delivering feedback while dealing with technical issues, screaming kids, or barking dogs. You want to make sure employees feel at ease by reminding them that it is a two-way conversation simply meant to help recognize accomplishments, identify strengths and weaknesses and to establish future goals. It’s also important to remember that employees have been under extreme and unusual circumstances since the global pandemic presented itself nearly a year ago. By taking into consideration the elements over which your employees had no control and making scoring adjustments, leaders can show both fairness and appreciation for their efforts and dedication to the organization.

Consider these tips when conducting a remote performance review to help make the process more efficient and effective—even in a virtual environment:

  1. Provide feedback beforehand – this allows the employee time to review and process your remarks so they can ask more thoughtful questions during your call.
  2. Connect via video Chat – for these kinds of conversations video is the only way to go. It not only provides the opportunity to personally engage but can also provide further insight into an employee’s reactions.
  3. Be kind and show compassion – bear in mind the vastly different and varying circumstances your employees are operating under and provide a little more compassion, flexibility, and leniency.
  4. Allow for small talk – many people are still craving social interaction so before diving into the performance review itself start off by talking about anything that’s unrelated to work.
  5. Set the tone – performance reviews can be uncomfortable enough when done in-person and maybe even more so virtually. Be open and pay close attention to body language—both yours and theirs.
  6. Use screen sharing
  7. Gather a variety of data - working remote with decreased visibility into everything that might be going on, direct input through self-evaluation and peer feedback can help round out review conversations.
  8. Don’t forget to mention COVID – recognizing your employees’ ability to adapt and overcome obstacles caused by the pandemic are worth mention—they not only had to establish home offices, navigate virtual meetings, and adjust their processes but they also had to overcome the isolation of remote work while finding work-life balance.
  9. Listen carefully and with intent – make sure you pause to give them time to respond or ask questions without interjection and pay special attention to the words they chose to use
  10. Speak compassionately – when discussing areas for improvement keep in mind that everyone is human and susceptible to hurt egos. Offer helpful advice, thoughtful recommendations, and constructive criticism.
  11. Solicit feedback – a great performance review should be a two-way conversation. If you’re dealing with an employee who is uncomfortable being honest ask open-ended questions that encourage a response.
  12. Provide details for any high or low ratings – it’s important for employees to know what they are doing well and the areas where they can improve, and specifics are critical to their success.
  13. Establish attainable goals – employees still need to know they can grow within an organization, even during a pandemic. Create specific goals for career development and provide specific details on how to achieve them.
  14. End on an upbeat note – ending on a positive note is imperative to boosting employee self-esteem, performance, and engagement. Make sure you take the opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for your employees.
  15. Follow up in writing – as soon as possible after the conclusion of your meeting, forward documentation of the call to your employee. A lot can get lost in translation so ensure everyone is on the same page especially when sensitive topics like low scores or salary were involved.

Going forward it can be helpful to implement stronger tracking systems such as utilizing online project management tools like Monday.com or Microsoft Teams and scheduling regular check-in meetings to discuss workload, accomplishments, and frustrations.

Performance reviews give employees the feedback they need to improve job performance while also enabling them to work with their managers on career development plans. When done properly, virtual reviews can be highly beneficial to both the employee and the organization—increasing productivity and engagement.

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Nonprofit Finance
April 23, 2021
According to the 2021 Benchmarks Report, the average nonprofit donor contributed an average of $167 in 2020—this per-donor metric was slightly lower than 2019.
Read MoreAboutOnline Fundraising Best Practices for the New Year (and Beyond)
Nonprofit Finance
December 18, 2019
Understanding the concept of the “business model” for your nonprofit has become a more integral component to maintaining organization sustainability within the nonprofit sec...
Read MoreAboutThe Importance of Understanding Your Nonprofit's Cash Flow
Nonprofit Finance
November 14, 2019
Last year, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2018-08, which clarifies the accounting guidelines for contributions re...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] Accounting for Nonprofit Grants and Contributions
Nonprofit Finance
October 29, 2019
Giving in the U.S. in 2020 will be different in many ways than previously—mainly because of campaigns, economic conditions, and tax law implications. Don'...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] Trends and Forecasts for Charitable Giving
Nonprofit Finance
October 08, 2019
What is an executive director? An executive director is “responsible for overseeing the administration, the program and the strategic plan of a nonprofit organization. Other...
Read MoreAboutHow an Executive Director Becomes a Financial Leader
Nonprofit Finance
September 27, 2019
Thousands of nonprofits have registered with their states in order to legally solicit donations... do you know what state requirements extend to your organization?Presented ...
Read MoreAbout[Webinar Recording] Fundraising Registration 101
Nonprofit Finance
May 10, 2019
Are you familiar with the Accounting Standards Update (ASU) 2016-14 issued by FASB? It’s a standard created to offer solutions to simplify and improve how a nonprofit organi...
Read MoreAbout​​​​​​​Lessons Learned from Implementing ASU 2016-14 – Functional Expenses
Nonprofit Finance
May 01, 2019
Did you know that certain nonprofits can legally opt out of paying state unemployment taxes? Do you understand who is benefiting from this tax exemption law? In this article...
Read MoreAbout​​​​​​​The True Story of Nonprofits and Taxes
Nonprofit Finance
November 08, 2018
With holidays on the horizon, this is the time for holiday shopping, family gatherings and ringing in the New Year. With so much on our plates, time can get away from us&...
Read MoreAboutExercise Your Nonprofit’s Tax Exemption for 2019
Nonprofit Finance
August 01, 2018
UST releases 2018 UI toolkit to help nonprofit organizations better understand unemployment insurance options and claims management best practices. UST, a program dedicated ...
Read MoreAboutNonprofit Toolkit Offers the Top Guides for Managing Unemployment

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