Do You Recognize the 3 Parts to a Great 90 Day Performance Review?

90 Performance ReviewWhere is the strangest place you ever received your performance review? What about the bathroom? While I admit that never happened to me, or anyone else I know, it did happen to “Don,” but more on that in a minute.

First though, let me tell you about one of my superstars…Heather.


A few days ago, I met with Heather to do her 90 day performance review. As you can see by her smile, she passed with flying colors. Here are the 3 parts to a great 90 day performance review:

  1. The 90 Day Review is the Really the 13th Review
  2. Identify specific contributions
  3. Review the goals and KPIs


The 90 Day Review is the Really the 13th Review

A performance review is a process, not an event.  If the first time you sit down with someone to review their performance is at the 90 day mark, then congratulations, you just wasted the first 90 days.

The best way to avoid this trap is to set up a weekly one-on-one. I schedule one for each one of my reports and block out 30 minutes for each one. If your goal as a leader is to make your people better, then this is the time to really connect. To really connect with someone, take some time beforehand so you know what ground to cover during the one-on-one.

If you do weekly one-on-ones, the 90 day performance review becomes your 13th review because you’ve already done 12 others.


Identify Specific Contributions

During the review, point out three to five specific contributions she makes to the team. The more specific your examples, the more meaningful the feedback becomes. Take time to relay messages you’ve heard from the other team members so she gets a feel for the breadth of her impact.

If you need to bring up some opportunities for improvement, 90 days is a good time to get them on the table. I like to couch those conversations by telling her two things she’s doing well, then the one opportunity for improvement, and finally one more thing she is doing well.


Review the Goals and KPIs

This is also the key time to solidify the goals she set, as well as her Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This way, you both know what the definition of success looks like and how to get there.

Now, back to the guy in the bathroom…

According to Rodd Wagner [Twitter link] in 12: The Elements of Great Management [link], “Don” received his performance review later than the company deadline. His boss, in an apparent attempt to make up time, decided to provide great feedback to Don in the men’s room.

Don later wrote, “I happened to be entering the men’s bathroom at the same time as my boss. Standing side-by-side at adjacent urinals, he remarked that he hadn’t had a chance to go over my review with me, but now was as good as time as any. All this was bad enough, and a bit humiliating since we were not alone in there.”

Not surprisingly, Don doesn’t work for that company any more.

Hopefully, though, by treating your people right, you will get your best ones to stay.


Question: How do you go about your 90 day performance reviews?


4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

style Pipe Heater

Frozen Pipes4 Tips to Beat Frozen Pipes

Cold bites. And, nothing bites worse than frozen pipes. So, if you’re sick of trying to torch your pipes to get them flowing, I’ve got some ideas for you.

The first time frozen pipes hit me was when I was young and dumb. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t trying to be dumb, but sometimes stupid happens.

My wife and I were in our first home in the Salt Lake area and we left during the Christmas break to visit her family in the Midwest. We were gone for a little over a week. As luck would have it, Salt Lake hit a cold snap while we were gone, and as dumb would have it, I wasn’t prepared.

When we got home, I found the sure sign of disaster…peeling paint and water stained sheetrock. In other words – a burst pipe. After a few choice words about my own mental incapacity, I plowed right in to fixing it. I hated every minute of it.

So, here are my 4 tips to beat frozen pipes:

  1. Regular Use
  2. Let the Water Run
  3. Insulate
  4. Pipe Heater
  5. Regular Use

Running water has a harder time freezing than stationary water. (I know, that’s a real shocker, huh?) However, flowing water can still freeze if the temperature drops too low—just like with a flowing river. Regular use will also tell you when an ice block is forming, because water flow will be restricted or cut off.

  1. Let the Water Run

If you’re vacationing and are smarter than I am, you should be concerned about pipes at home freezing. You can simply leave one or two faucets on to a slow drip. You’ll pay more for your water bill, but unlike me, you’ll save a lot more on the repair bill. Pipes freeze because the pressure between the freezing water and the faucet grows too great. A slow drip solves the problem by relieving the pressure. Thus, even if a pipe freezes, the ice will have room to expand and won’t break the pipe.

  1. Insulate

Most homes in the colder regions are designed so that water pipes are kept inside the insulation of the home to keep them from freezing. But, if your home has poor insulation like mine, you may add a layer of insulation just for the pipe. Local hardware stores carry this kind of insulation and they are easy to install. These strips typically come in long sections that can be cut to fit the pipes. Older homes that already have insulated pipes can be updated with newer, more effective insulation.

  1. Pipe Heater

Pipe warmers wrap around a pipe and use electricity.. so the water is never cold enough to freeze. Pipe warmers are excellent for keeping exposed pipes from freezing in areas that are very cold for long periods of time. In extreme cold temperatures where other preventative measures fail, a pipe warmer will ensure the water never freezes. Pipe warmers are also ideal for industrial situations where large volumes of mission-critical liquid are at risk of freezing. The initial investment of purchasing a pipe warmer is minuscule compared to the savings and efficiency that comes from keeping an operation running in all weather conditions.

Question: How do you keep your pipes from freezing? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Ice Dam Removal


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