Every organisation has reviews. They are important for several reasons including gauging the productivity and well-being of employees. Whether it is performance reviews, salary adjustment meetings or a quarterly review, managers should always handle them in such a way that they are productive and motivational.
Before we get into the employee review questions managers should ask, let’s look at the structure of a performance review meeting. It should be:
- conversational, with input from both parties;
- scheduled such that both parties have ample time and notice to prepare for it;
- documented to remind both parties about resolutions made and what they spoke about;
- goal oriented, with clear and specific time-based objective, and;
- balanced to highlight both positives and negatives.
A review will typically require managers to ask questions. But if the questions are wrong, the review will leave the employee feeling like it was a waste of time. Or worse, leave them feeling confused and directionless. To combat that, try these 33 effective employee review questions.
How are you today?
Obvious but not often asked, this question will help break the ice before wading into more serious territory.
Is there anything you want to say before we start?
This review question often comes up at the end. But putting it at the start gives the employee a chance to say something they might not say after the review is done. Based on how the review goes, an employee might change their mind about asking that question.
What are the key success drivers in the company?
Do employees know what the success drivers in the company are? This is one way to find out and to reinforce them or explain why they are used if the employee is unaware.
Which of our organisational goals do you feel is more aligned with personal goals?
You will learn if the employee feels connected with the organisation and if not, why.
Is there something about your role you would change?
This is an important employee review question. The manager can learn the pain points of the employee and see how they can be fixed.
How do you like to receive feedback?
People are different, and while an email might work for one, a chat might be better for another.
Do you feel that your team is working well together?
You’re not looking for dirt on the employee’s team members, rather for ways that team efforts can be improved.
How are you coping with the corporate culture here?
People make culture but management plays a crucial role in directing it. This review question will help a manager assess if the corporate culture needs to be amended and if not, if the employee needs some tips and assistance learning to navigate it.
What can I do to make your job easier or more fun?
It can be great for motivation when employees have fun at work.
What are your ideal working conditions?
Sometimes it might be something as easy as moving someone’s seat away from a window.
What strengths do you have that you feel we are under-utilising?
This employee review question will help a manager understand what sort of responsibilities they need to give an employee.
Do you have everything you need to do your job?
If an employee could use new software in order to do their job well, this is the time for them to ask. If it’s not possible to make it happen right away, the manager should schedule a check in to relay the progress of the same.
Do you have any questions related to your future at the company?
Employees want to know that management cares about them and not just the company. This question will show that while helping management learn what they can do to help an employee achieve their long term goals.
What has been your most challenging part of the job so far?
This is a different way to ask “what are your weaknesses?” Nobody wants to talk negatively about themselves, this makes that conversation easier.
How have you been able to overcome that challenge?
If this is a business problem, a manager might learn that it is ongoing and take steps to solve it or learn what skills the employee used to sort it out.
Is there a part of your job you would do differently?
Sometimes employees have solutions but no forum to raise them. This review question gives them a chance to share.
What are your plans for next year?
Quarterly plans are great, but it is good to know what the employee wants to achieve later on.
What challenges do you foresee in trying to achieving those plans?
What could be standing in their way? Maybe they need to learn a new skill to achieve that next level of growth. Management can offer support.
What changes would you make in the company if you were able to?
Top management can be unaware of the day to day lives of lower level employees. A review question such as this allows them to have that insight.
What would you do differently if you were in my position?
This is a different way for a manager to ask “What can I do better?” A manager needs to be ready to get this sometimes not easy to hear feedback.
What would you like to accomplish this quarter?
What position in the company would you like to move to next?
Understanding what career path an employee would like to take is a great way to help motivate and mentor them towards their goal.
Where do you feel there is room for you to improve?
People with great self reflection will have no pause in answering this one. For others, it may be more difficult, however this review question encourages them to reflect.
Where do you feel there is room for us as a company to improve?
This is a good way to say ‘What can we improve?’ in a non judgmental way, that encourages an honest answer.
What accomplishments are you proud of this quarter?
This gives your employee a chance to share what they are most proud of, in a way that doesn’t come across as boasting.
What motivates you to get your job done?
Understanding people’s motivations can really help manage them better. Knowing what drives them is key to get the best performance.
Which part of your job is your favourite?
This, along with the next question, will help you frame what the employee is most passionate about, and shows you where their interests are best held.
What kind of work comes easiest to you?
Knowing what tasks are easiest, versus harder is a good way to frame their skill set and interests.
Were you given enough constructive feedback in the past quarter?
Giving and receiving regular feedback is a sign of a high performing team. You should be doing what you can to encourage this regularly.
Do you think there is any part of the company that could be more efficient?
This reflection on the overall business often gleans a very insightful answer from your employee review questions.
How do you feel about this (new change that was implemented in the company)?
If you are currently managing changes, it is always smart to ask the employees that are most affected, either negatively or positively, by these changes.
What type of rewards do you prefer when you do a good job?
What motivates one person may not encourage the next. Knowing what rewards they enjoy helps you as the manager.
Do you have any questions for me?
This is one of our favourite open ended employee review questions, which often gets some interesting insights.
Management should remember that the review process is in place to better the company. They should ensure that employees feel comfortable enough to give honest answers to their questions. By asking employee review questions that lead to dialogue, are non-judgmental and constructive, the review process can be enlightening for both managers and employees.