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5 Tips for Successful Performance Reviews

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5 Tips for Successful Performance Reviews

If you want to peek into a successful business, look inside the minds of its people

By Brian Gottlieb June 15, 2022
conducting performance review
Photo courtesy BullRun | stock.adobe.com
This article first appeared in the May/June 2022 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Workplace culture and team members’ performance are significant points of differentiation for any organization. The better your people perform, the better the organization performs. Conducting performance reviews are one key to success. Employees should know where they stand at any given point.


Here are five tips for impactful reviews.

In a new series, home improvement industry leader Brian Gottlieb will share quick tips and must-knows for home improvement business owners. In this second episode of Mentoring Minute, Gottlieb talks performance reviews:

1. Begin Expectations with a Vision

To conduct a great performance review, you need a great team vision statement.

For example, if you’re in the business of bath remodeling or replacing windows, every department should have its own vision statement. Let’s take production as an example. Maybe your vision statement in the production department is to become a world-class organization committed to helping customers with new bathroom and window projects. We win by showing up on time, we win by working safely, and we win by taking great care of the customer.

A strong team vision statement can then be incorporated into your performance improvement plan.


2. Open with Self Reflection

A good performance improvement plan has multiple sections.

Ideally, the first one is self-reflection: How do you think you’re doing? How do you think you’ve been doing for the past six months? As a reviewer, you want to listen to how that person sees themselves versus how you see them. Then, compare their performance to your KPIs and the top 10 to 20% of your organization.

More From Brian Gottlieb: Cause Marketing: What Is It and Why Use It?

3. Compare Performance to the Vision

Next, I like to talk about how their individual performance stacks up with the vision statement.

We talk about working safely, showing up on time, and taking great care of the customer. Those are three areas you can review an employee on and hold them accountable to.

Additionally, I like to add areas for opportunity. In general, what should they be working on? And that really then boils down to actionable feedback.


4. Concluding with Actionable Feedback

I think the number one way performance reviews fall apart is the feedback isn’t actionable.

It’s, “You need to do a better job selling more stuff,” or, “You need to focus on quality.” Actionable feedback is what they can do the very next time they’re in front of a customer. It might be that you want them to read a book and report back to you two weeks from now.

The more actionable the feedback, the better the performance review.


5. Performance Improvement Plans?

Now, sometimes a performance review leads to what’s known as a Performance Improvement Plan. I prefer to call it a Targeted Mentorship Program or TMP.

Sometimes if an employee struggles to reach their goals, I like to put them under a very short and tight TMP. This would be asking the employee to do six specific items on the next six sales appointments and give me feedback.


In this business, it’s all about coaching people up. The better you can do as a coach and a mentor to people, the better of an organization you’re going to have. 


RELATED: Understanding the Heart of Every Business: KPIs

written by

Brian Gottlieb

Brian Gottlieb is the founder of Tundraland Home Improvements and current CEO of Renewal by Andersen of Greater Wisconsin. 

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