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The Best Questions to Ask in Performance Reviews


Performance reviews are only helpful when done right. An efficient performance review system can help your organization gauge how the performance of individual employees translates into the organization’s productivity, and steps you can take to address any pain points. However, most organizations fail to get the bigger picture and treat employee performance reviews as a secondary exercise. They don’t have a proper review structure in place, which results in performance reviews being stressful for employees and managers alike, time-consuming, ineffective, and costly. 

Following an employee performance review template created years ago is not going to help your organization. Periodically revising the review structure and asking the relevant questions, however, will definitely help. Before we get started with the performance review questions, let’s look at some of the key elements of a good performance review. These will help you establish a better base for your review structure and improve the efficiency of the entire process. 

Elements Of A Good Performance Review 

Schedule Reviews Regularly 

Although some organizations have started conducting regular performance reviews, most organizations still practice annual or bi-annual performance reviews only for employee appraisals. It’s time organizations realize the value performance reviews bring to the table and how to harness the potential. 

Since the success of performance reviews is significantly dependent on the feedback loop, they must be held regularly. This will ensure that the feedback is being implemented and how incorporating them is impacting the operations. It is also helpful for the employees as it offers them a chance to grow and improve faster. 


It is recommended to keep performance reviews focused on achieving individual, team, and organizational goals. Developing employee performance review templates in sync with the organization’s growth strategy will introduce specific development plans for each job role in your company. These will not only help assess employee performance but also form an aggregate employee performance score for each job role. Having such a score at hand can significantly help your learning and development initiatives as well. 

Facilitate Two-Way Conversations

Communication is one of the key reasons for failure when it comes to performance reviews. Nobody likes being talked at, people prefer being talked to. Establishing two-way communication may look easy to implement but, requires active listening and patience. A performance review should be a discussion, not an interview. It is also important to take note of your performance review phrases and use more employee-friendly phrases and terms. For example, instead of “subordinates,” you can use the term “team.” The idea is to make your employees feel comfortable talking to you about their performance. 

Balanced feedback 

If your employees feel unimportant or inadequate because of their negative performance reviews, it may discourage them and deteriorate their performance even further. Similarly, providing only positive feedback may make your employees over-confident. Herein, the importance of balanced feedback simply cannot be stressed enough! 

Incentives Are Important 

You cannot expect organizational success to be the only driver of motivation for your employees. It is also important to offer them personal rewards tied to success. Performance-based incentives can be a phenomenal way to boost employee motivation and productivity. However, make sure that you create a tangible reward system that is periodically updated to match employee expectations. 

Now, let’s move on to the question bank for conducting a successful employee performance review. 

Performance Review Questions For Employees 

Performance-Based Questions

  • Which accomplishments are you thrilled about in this quarter?
  • Which goals or objectives did you meet this quarter? 
  • Which goals or objectives are incomplete? How do you plan on achieving them in this quarter? 
  • What is your primary motivation to complete your goals? 
  • What are your ideal working conditions? 
  • What do you hope to accomplish in the coming quarter? How do you plan to do it? 
  • What are the personal goals that you accomplished in this quarter or hope to accomplish in the coming quarter? 

Questions To Assess Strengths & Weaknesses

  • On a scale of 5, how would you rate your skillset for your specific job role? 
  • Which of your skills is most effective in accomplishing your goals? 
  • What makes you the best fit for this position? 
  • Which job role is the easiest to perform for you? 
  • Do you believe, you have a skill gap? If yes, how can we help to address it? 

Questions To Define Scope Of Improvement 

  • Which deliverables were left incomplete? Why could you not complete them? 
  • How do you plan to do things differently in the next quarter to avoid ‘XYZ’ gaps? 
  • Do you feel there’s room for improvement? If yes, how can we help? 

Questions Related To Employee’s Job Role

  • Which tasks do you enjoy doing the most? 
  • Which job responsibilities are most concerning for you? 
  • How do you think your job role aids in the company’s success? 
  • If you could change one aspect of your job role, what would it be? Why?
  • What do you like most about working with your team?

Goal Development For Next Quarter

  • Can you define the order of priority for all your goals in the next quarter? 
  • How are your goals for the next quarter different from the goals in this quarter? 
  • How will your goals help fulfill team goals? 
  • Have you defined your goals with a problem-solving perspective or a growth perspective? 

Questions Regarding The Company’s Work Culture 

  • Are you comfortable with the work environment in our organization? 
  • What are your thoughts on our corporate policies? 
  • Is there anything (policy, norm, regulation) that you’d like us to consider to better safeguard our employees? 
  • Do you think our organization is inclusive? 
  • In your opinion, what can be done to improve the work culture in our company? 

Performance Review Questions For Managers

Here are a few questions you can ask your managers in your performance review for comprehensive feedback. 

  • Is there room for growth for me individually and as a team? 
  • How can I better help our team achieve team goals? 
  • Am I meeting your expectations? 
  • According to you, what are my strengths and weaknesses? 
  • What changes do you foresee in the company in the next quarter? What can we do to better align with them? 
  • What can we do to improve our relationship? 

Asking the right questions can make or break your performance management strategy. Developing a comprehensive performance review structure will enable you to make the most of your resources. It is also essential to have a competent training and development process in place to complement your performance management plan. If you are ready to implement a robust performance management strategy backed with rich learning experiences, check out Auzmor Learn – an award-winning, intuitive, and easy-to-use LMS. Book a FREE demo to know more! 

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