Conducting an SRDS Virtually

Young woman talking to colleague on laptop

Due to current circumstances and with the majority of staff based at home, face-to-face SRDS meetings are not currently possible and meetings will need to be held virtually. To support you in making the SRDS conversation as effective as possible in a virtual environment, we’ve put together our top tips for reviewers when conducting an SRDS virtually.

The People Development team are supporting reviewers to develop their skills in SRDS Conversations. To access learning and live sessions for this, please visit our Skills for Reviewers Online Training page.


Consider the reviewee's circumstances

For many staff, the outbreak of coronavirus has changed ways of working, working patterns and priorities. For this reason, this year's SRDS should be conducted with a flexible approach to both the meeting and the way in which objectives are set.


Pay attention to the environment you will be in for the virtual meeting. Choose somewhere free from distractions and noise to allow you to focus on the SRDS conversation. Where possible reviewers should block 15 minutes before and after the actual SRDS conversation to ensure that their environment and technology set up is optimal.


Ensure you are familiar with the technology you will be using. IT Services recommend using Google Meet for virtual meetings, and more information, help and support can be found on IT Services' Google Meet web page.

Leading a Virtual Meeting

Brush up on your skills leading virtual meetings with the "Leading Virtual Meetings" course on LinkedIn Learning.

Active Listening

Remember that whilst the environment may be different, the skills required to make the SRDS meeting effective and productive are the same. Make sure that you are actively listening, asking questions and allowing space for the reviewee to feed into the conversation before providing feedback and establishing any objectives.

Objective Setting

Reviewers should take into account the exceptional circumstances currently facing the University and be realistic about the objectives that are set for the future. Considering development needs for reviewees, you may want to consider what is available online and virtually to support their learning. Please visit our Digital Learning and Development pages here to find out more about what is on offer at the University.


An important part of the SRDS conversation is the wellbeing of the reviewee, especially given the current circumstances and with the majority of staff based at home. Guidance on how to initiate a dialogue around wellbeing in the SRDS conversation can be found on our SRDS for Reviewers guidance page. Further details on wellbeing support can be accessed on the Wellbeing web pages.