How to Conduct a GOOD Employee Performance Review

Employee performance reviews don't have to be hard. The GOOD meeting framework makes it easy. A better way to do performance reviews.

Noah Hayes
March 25, 2022

If you’ve struggled with performance reviews in the past, it’s no surprise. A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that about 90% of performance reviews are painful and don’t work. In a survey by Trinet, nearly a quarter of millennials preferred to call in sick and avoid the conversation.

So why are performance reviews so painful? It’s not the people, it’s the format. It’s the lack of preparedness and the lack of structure to guide the conversation.

Employee performance reviews are critical to ensuring your team is on track. Conducting performance reviews regularly helps managers understand how individuals are progressing and contributing to your organization. Without reviews, both companies and employees run the risk of losing their way and going off-track.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to improving reviews, there’s an amazing framework to guide your conversation--in this article we’ll review that framework. We’ve also put together a one-page template for you to use in your next meeting. Click here to download it.

The Framework

Good performance reviews start with a good conversation. The GOOD framework helps create structure around an otherwise awkward meeting. It encourages managers and employees to talk openly about what’s working and what can be improved.

When done correctly, the GOOD framework helps managers and employees have open conversations that encourage direct feedback and allow people to comfortably voice their opinions and experiences.

The framework is broken into 4 sections: Goals, Obstacles, Opportunities, Decisions.

1. Goals

Goals often start from the top and work their way down to each employee. If your employees don't have clearly defined goals, this is a great place to start. Questions to ask:

  • What long-term goals have we agreed to?
  • How have things gone since we last spoke?
  • What are our plans until next time?

2. Obstacles

Obstacles help you identify what’s in the way of your employees. Gives people a venue to voice their concerns and stay open to consider feedback for your organization. What processes can be improved? What workflows are inefficient and can be optimized? What was lacking during training? Questions to ask:

  • What’s standing in your way?
  • What have I noticed getting in your way?
  • What can I do to help? What can you do?

3. Opportunities

Discussing opportunities gives you and the employee space to discuss higher-level career goals. Understand where your team members want to go in their career and reflect on how their current role can fit into that dream. Questions to ask:

  • What are you proud of that people don’t know about?
  • Do you feel you’re growing toward where you want to be?
  • What could we do to make this your dream job?

4. Decisions

End the meeting with some concrete outcomes and decisions. If you haven’t identified any clear post-meeting actions, you probably haven’t dug enough into the obstacles and opportunities. Questions to ask:

  • What actions will you take after this meeting?
  • What actions will I take after this meeting?
  • What other big decisions did we make?

Next Steps

Great performance reviews start with a great framework. The GOOD framework is a starting point and is designed to be flexible. Download a copy of the template and give it a shot. If you have suggestions for improving the template or adding additional questions, email us

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