Episode 349: Performance review dissonance and being a remote manager


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. I am a senior engineer looking to make staff. Every week at my one on one I ask my manager what I can do to improve and always receive the answer “keep doing what you are doing”, but when I receive my performance review, I don’t receive top grade or promotion and there are listed areas of improvement. How should I feel about this and what should I do?

  2. I’m a software group manager for a medium sized applied research organization that deals with both software and integration onto hardware. I am fully remote while the rest of the company has returned to the office due to the integration work with hardware. I started managing just before the pandemic. What are some effective strategies to deal with this setup? What are some typical gaps or issues to look out for? How can I reassure team members that may be skeptical of this setup, as well as peers and my bosses? I do have full support from above as of now.

    My rough thoughts so far include: be candid about limitations of this setup, experiment and iterate quickly on communication and collaboration processes, solicit regular feedback, and use it as an opportunity to grow members of my team into seniors and tech leads by having them focus on mentoring juniors and managing integration with other teams.

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