Effectively Leading Remote Workers – Part 3: Evaluation

The first week we talked about setting expectations with your remote workers.

Last time we talked about performing regular check-ins with your remote workers.

This week we are moving on to evaluating the work your remote workers are doing.

So, let’s say that at this point you have a clear understanding of the work that needs to get done. Let’s also say that you have┬ácommunicated your expectations with each of your remote employees and each of them is now perfectly clear on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.

What is the next thing to think about?

As a leader, the next part of the process is almost as important as the first part of the process – the whole setting expectations part.

The next part is to regularly evaluate the work that is getting done.

Each word there is important. Regular – Evaluate – Work – Done.

Regular – means on a regular and consistent basis.

Evaluate – means assessing what was produced against your expectation.

Work – meaning those items they are responsible for.

Done – meaning just what you think it means.

Busy leaders are always in motion working on the next thing. Sometimes it feels stifling to be evaluating and working on things that feel like they are already past.

We want to be focused on the future, right?

Well, the problem is that most work takes time. We may have set up an assignment with our remote workers that will take a month to complete. During that month we are checking in with our employee to see how things are coming along. At the end of that month we need to evaluate what was done against what we expected to get done.

Assuming we had worked as a team during the month, the final product shouldn’t be a big surprise. It still needs to be evaluated. The evaluation is not just for the final product, but also for the effort and work along the way.

How well did the final product match the initial goal?

Does anything need to be tweaked on this project?

Does anything need to be considered for future projects?

Feedback during the check-ins and at the final due date is critical for the person doing the work. Let them know how they did, what went right, what needs to be corrected, and any other information that will be helpful moving forward.

This face-to-face time is what will be required of leadership moving forward. You can’t lead over email or by using Slack. That just won’t work.

Review the work and then provide the feedback. Sometimes this will make your palms sweat, but that’s the job! ­čÖé

One thing I want to say about these three posts is that none of this is reserved solely for remote workers.


Setting expectations, performing check-ins, and evaluating the final product works for anyone under your supervision, not just remote workers.

Now it’s time to evaluate how you do things as compared to this model. How close are you to consistently performing these three steps? Do you do all of them, some of them, or none of them?

What can you improve upon?

For us to improve as leaders means we have to examine how we do things and make changes where appropriate.

It’s all apart of the growth process.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.
Published on July 14, 2017

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