Top 9 Performance Review Questions

Performance reviews can feel like talking to a school teacher about your report card. Most of us aren’t big on it. We might even feel a bit anxious or uncomfortable about doing it. But once it’s done, it can give the employee and the employer great insights and make everyone’s direction a lot more clear.

The upside for employees

When employees learn about how they’re doing at work and are given helpful tips on how to move forward, they feel as though their success and development matters to the organization. It gives them a sense that their work is seen and noticed. But most importantly, it gives employees a chance to share their thoughts about work so it stops the silence and helps everyone to work better together. In an article written by Harvard Business School professor Leslie A. Perlow called, When Silence Spells Trouble at Work, she states that after interviews with senior executives and employees in many small and large organizations, studies found that silence at work can cause anger and resentment and, “…if unexpressed, contaminate every interaction, shut down creativity, and undermine productivity.”

If done right, performance reviews give employees a clear understanding of their past and present performance at work. They also explain what to aim for and how they’re going to get there. So, the employee leaves the interview with a sense that they’re getting somewhere and they know what to do.

The bonus for employers

When employers connect with employees regularly and check in on how they’re doing, they get a clearer picture of the past and current state, and the strengths, challenges, and future direction of both the work and the employees.

In a Harvard Business Review article entitled, “Let’s Not Kill Performance Evaluations Yet,” written by Lori Goler, Janelle Gale, and Adam Grant, they explain that performance reviews can help organizations make fair and open decisions about their way forward, and help to develop employees.

The top nine questions for the best reviews

Here are the top nine performance review questions to ask employees during their next performance review. These questions can help you gather the most valuable information, resulting in a win-win for everyone.

  1. What are some of your proudest achievements this past year?
  2. Where do you think you work best?
  3. Do you think that there are any areas where you can do better?
  4. What are your goals for the coming year?
  5. Is there anything you would like to do more of, in your current position?
  6. Are you comfortable with our work culture? Do you think it needs improvement and if so, where?
  7. How do you feel about your team?
  8. Are there any tools or training that you think will help you to get your job done better?
  9. Do you feel that managers are helping you to develop and succeed?

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