Gabfocus Spotlight: How do you evaluate your storage employees?

November 30, 2023

self storage help video quote
3 min

Evaluating your employees is part of your job when you run a business.

Evaluations don't need to be a scary time for employees, though. Proper evaluations should help employees feel secure in their jobs, guide team members to become better, and improve your team's effectiveness overall.

Listen in as Tommy and Melissa talk with Sue Haviland of Haviland Storage Services to learn how they retain good team members!

Question: "How do you evaluate your storage employees?"

Check out the video clip below to hear their answers:


In this Gabfocus Session: Maximizing Your Team, Tommy and Melissa were joined by Sue Haviland (Haviland Storage Services) and Terry Campbell (Copper Storage Management). They discussed all things hiring and managing when it comes to self storage team members.

Check out the full Session to dive deeper! 

Don't want to watch the clip? Here's what Sue had to say:

We do annual reviews, and my reviews are not tied to raises.

They're given at separate times.

Also, by the time I go in to give somebody their performance review, if they have an area they've been slacking in, it's not a surprise to them.

If you wait until the annual review to tell somebody they're not doing something appropriately or well enough, then you're not doing your job.

So they should never be shocked at their reviews is my opinion.

But I think just a simple thing. Through my time clock system or my area manager, I know if somebody's got a punctuality problem. So you address things based on how you find them because sometimes the manager might love their storage consultant. They might not say they've come in 15 minutes late the last three days, and they don't say anything to us because they don't want them to get in trouble because they love them and they are a good worker.

But we go to do payroll, we see it. So you can address things timely. Numbers, numbers don't lie. So condition of the property, when you show up. It shouldn't matter, and I say this short of having hurricane weather, shouldn't matter when you go to your property, what it looks like.

It shouldn't matter.

If I'm coming, I have Josh coming to do photos, the owner is going to show up. It should always look great for our customers, not get cleaned for me coming. And so if I show up, people have laughed, they know over the years, I used to plant trash when I knew I was going to be back to back at properties. And if I saw things or I saw a cup out there, I've always put, "Hi, Sue was here 8/24."

And if I go back three days later and it's still out there, then I take a picture, I take it in, we go walk it. It's a good learning experience.

I hate knowing that it sat there for three days, but it's one of the most effective learning tools for maintenance on a property. And when I go out with my team and we go out and we walk properties, I always have my camera, we always take pictures, we talk about it and then I follow up with an email with the photos and this is what we talked about today. And here's the things.

The photos are a really good visual reminder as well. And when you are on your own property managers, I get it. I go to a property and I see, oh, wow, look at this, look at this. And they're like, what? Because they're focused on what they want to look at and show me.

When you drive by and see the same things every day, you might not notice that the paint is a little faded here or this has a dent in it or certain things like that. So being able to do those performance reviews, you have to have visited your properties, and you have to have spent time with your staff.

And again, pay attention, ultimately, [to] your numbers. And also, if you've got an area and you can't ever keep staff, why? Do you have a manager that chases out their storage consultants or their relief people all the time?

And why would that be happening?"

—Sue Haviland

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