How to Tell a Remote Worker They’re Not Doing a Good Job

Giving feedback to your workers is an important part of running a business.

Praising workers for a job well done is easy, but sometimes you’ll need to have a serious conversation with a worker who is simply not doing a good job.

There could be several reasons why your employee is not meeting your expectations. Sometimes, it’s all about miscommunication or poor organization. Other times, managers have a problem with micromanagement.

Occasionally, your worker is simply not the right fit for your company.

The good news is that the majority of these problems can easily be solved if you know how to handle them.

If you approach your employees the right way, you may be able to avoid having to fire them. This will not only allow your employee to keep their job – it will also help you minimize your expenses by improving your retention.

Here’s how to tell a remote worker they’re not doing a good job – without being rude.

1. Consider Your Reasons

Before you talk to your remote worker, make sure you know what’s the message you’re trying to convey. If you don’t know exactly what the problem is, then your worker won’t know how to improve.

They will just feel anxious about possibly losing their job.

Here are some things to consider before you talk to your employee:

  • Get rid of all your frustration and anger. At this point, your goal is to help your employee improve, not to make them feel inadequate.
  • Make sure your worker understands that your feedback should benefit them and the company – talk to them in private and try to make them as comfortable as possible.
  • Think about specific occasions when your remote worker did not meet expectations – be ready to answer all their questions and think about what kind of steps they could take to improve.

2. Address Issues on Time

Studies have shown that it takes about 8 months for a new hire to reach their full productivity.

During the onboarding process, your employees are adjusting to their position in the company, so it’s very important to regularly give them meaningful feedback. If you fail to do so, they will probably assume that they’re doing everything right.

That’s why it’s important to address every issue early on.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should micromanage and criticize every little thing. In fact, your feedback should include positive comments as well as ideas on how to improve performance.

remote worker feedback

3. Be Specific

The most important thing when giving constructive criticism is to be specific.

Otherwise, your employee will feel inadequate without realizing what’s really the problem.

Directly tell your employees which areas they need to work on. If they try to argue with you, give them specific examples of when and how they made mistakes.

However, don’t just use this opportunity to vent all your frustrations. Remember – at this point your goal is to help them improve, not to give them reasons why you may fire them in the future.

4. Focus on Future Tasks

Another problem when waiting too long to talk to employees is that managers end up feeling frustrated and dissatisfied with the work done on previous projects.

Keep in mind that your employees cannot improve if they’re not aware of the problem.

After you give them constructive feedback, try to focus on future tasks. There is no use constantly think about what they did wrong, so try focusing on helping them rather than dwelling on their past mistakes.

5. Ask Them How You Can Help

Remote employees must put in extra effort to communicate with their co-workers, and sometimes poor performance is caused by miscommunication.

Ask your employees how you can help them improve, if they clearly understand all that is expected of them or if they have problems using the necessary tools.

If your worker has trouble organizing their time and meeting deadlines, you may want to consider using a time-tracking tool. Although these types of tools aren’t the best choice for everyone, your employee might feel more motivated knowing they’re supervised.

onboarding period for remote workers

6. Acknowledge Their Efforts

If you really want to motivate your remote worker, you need to let them know that you actually believe that they can improve.

Unless they feel like a valuable part of the company, they may get the impression that all of their efforts go unnoticed and that you’re just giving them a warning before they get fired.

Include positive remarks in your feedback – don’t just focus on the negative sides.

7. Keep an Eye on Their Progress

Giving feedback is only the first step in creating a better working relationship.

After you have a conversation with your remote employee and clearly outline all the issues, you should talk to them about how they plan to improve. You should also set a clear deadline when they need to get back to you about their progress.

For example, they can check back in two weeks and you can go over the work they did and see if they have made any improvements. You should also offer solutions to any problems they weren’t able to solve.

If they have made improvements, acknowledge their efforts. However, if your employee still fails to meet your expectations, this may be a more serious problem.

Unfortunately, sometimes the working relationship just doesn’t work out.

Since high turnover results in additional expenses, it’s best to keep the workers you already have. But if your worker is not doing their best even after you’ve repeatedly tried to help them improve, it’s time to let them go.

Sometimes people accept jobs only to later find that they are not really suited for the position. Sometimes they have things in their private life that are too distracting. Not everyone is suited for remote work, and your employee might give better results working from an office.

The good thing is that there are plenty of people who enjoy and handle well the flexibility that remote work has to offer, and you can find many high-quality workers right here at Jobrack. If you need to hire a new or a replacement worker, we have thousands of Developers, Designers, Project Managers, Virtual Assistants, and many other remote workers available for a great value. Click here to find out more.