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Ask the Right Survey Questions: 20 Essential Performance Review Questions to Ask Employees


Performance reviews are essential to enhancing employee engagement and improving the overall performance of the business. These formal assessments allow everyone to understand their weaknesses and strengths. They are also important for setting goals and expectations.

Sadly, many companies use ill-designed performance review systems that fall short, with minimal to no impact at all. The problem usually stems from one issue: They don’t ask the right questions.

For your performance reviews to be effective, you need to ask specific and probing questions rather than generic, broad, and vague ones. When formulating performance review questions, consider your objectives on why you are conducting the assessment in the first place. You need to determine what you need or want to know. The needs of your company, department, and individual requirements may be different, so it is essential to clearly understand what you want to learn from a performance evaluation. This is the only way to pick the right questions and get the most helpful answers. 

Generally, you will want your performance review questions to: 

  • Open the lines of communication between management and employees, so you can obtain legitimate and honest feedback to find ways to help employees do much better in the future.
  • Encourage honest conversations and determine ways to enhance employee engagement and performance.

Be sure to personalize the performance review questions to suit your company’s unique requirements and the organization’s values. A solid performance review software system can also give you some ideas on what to ask. If you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of 20 essential performance review questions you can include in your employee review: 

  1. What are you hoping to accomplish over the next six months, quarter, and year?

Specifying goals for the upcoming months will help you set the direction of your group. It may also boost employee performance. Using the answers, you can determine what they think they are capable of, then come up with coaching opportunities to help them achieve those goals.

  1. Do you have any accomplishments since the last review cycle that you are particularly proud of?

Break the ice with this positive question that engages them and helps them to feel valued.

  1. How do you feel about your team? Are you working well together? If not, tell me about the problems.

Management must be aware of issues among co-workers and aim to correct them to maintain efficiency.

  1. Do you have access to the resources and tools you need for your job? Is there anything preventing you from getting them?

Management may often be unaware that an employee is unable to access the resources and tools they need to excel.

  1. Is there an area where you feel you need improvement? Can management help you with that?

Many employees want to do their best, but they do not know how. Management can help.

  1. What are your career goals?

Ask your employee to share at least three and have them explain the importance of each.

  1. Have you been interviewed for another job in the past two months? If yes, explain why.

This may indicate declining employee retention. It is a good way to learn what employees think about the work environment.

  1. Do you want to get more training from us?

You can also ask about areas where they may need extra help to learn why they are important for their career growth.

  1. How challenged are you on a daily basis in the workplace?

Ask them to rate it on a scale of one to 10, and have them explain why.

  1. How would you rate your work-life balance?

Work-life balance is critical to employee retention. You can ask them what they think are the most vital contributing factors.

  1. What’s your motivation to go above and beyond at work?

Know what drives your employees to exert more effort to find out how you can motivate them in the long run.

  1. Do you feel like you are growing professionally in this company?

Ask them to address the factors that are holding them back or making them move forward.

  1. Is the organization able to support your professional development?

Find out if you are able to support employees sufficiently. If they think you are lacking, they are likely to find another job.

  1. Are you likely to leave us if another company offered a higher salary?

If yes, your salaries may not be competitive or sufficient for them.

  1. Why did you join our organization?

Determine what drew them to your company. It may be helpful during future recruitment.

  1. If you were to resign tomorrow, what would the reason be?

Find out why some employees would leave and consider filling those gaps.

  1. What do you think are the organization’s biggest strengths, and what should be we focusing on more?

Finding out can help you invest more resources in the company’s strengths.

  1. Do you think the company has a bigger purpose than money? What do you think it is?

Younger employees want to work for an organization that can positively impact the community, if not the entire world.

  1. How transparent do you think our organization is when it comes to our performance?

Transparency is important in keeping your employees happy, so determine if there is room to improve the way you communicate with them.

  1. If you could compare the company to an animal, what animal would you compare it to, and why?

Certain animals have certain characteristics, such as nurturing or predatory. The answers to these questions can give you some insights into how employees perceive the organization. 

Conducting a performance review does not have to be challenging when you have the right tools. Check out AssessTEAM and our performance review software, which will support your assessment process to help you analyze and improve your team’s performance. It is an easy-to-use and reliable cloud-based productivity analysis and employee performance management software that is trusted by many businesses worldwide—and it’s time you tried it, too. Get in touch with AssessTEAM for a free demo or to arrange a free trial today.



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