When was the last time one of your employees left a performance review pumped up and ready to move forward in their job? That's the way it should be Victoria Downing told those in the audience at her "Writing the Performance Review" seminar during last week's Remodeling Show. To get that kind of reaction, Downing, a consultant and president of the peer review company Remodelers Advantage, said reviews need to be part of the company culture and they need to be prepared for.

Downing outlined what it is that employees want to know regarding their performance such as how they can measure their contribution, what goals they can set, and how they can affect their income.

She discussed whether to do yearly, biannually, or quarterly reviews. But no matter which you choose, you need to put your time in before hand, a couple of hours per employee: do a 360 degree survey (in which colleagues are asked to rank each other's work); bring last year's review to the meeting as well as a job description, a summary of metrics/targets and achievements, and any notes regarding the employee's performance since his or her last review. Downing went on to outline how to conduct the review, rate and rank employee performance, and create a coaching and improvement plan.

Overall, she stressed the importance of creating a system that can make the process objective, something you can point to that's matter-of-fact for the employee so they have a sense of fairness.