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Ask This, Not That: Performance Review Questions That Yield Actionable Answers

/ 7.11.16

7-11-16-Ask_This_Not_That_Performance_Review_Questions_That_Yield_Actionable_Answers.jpgA lot of companies are initiating performance review programs, but not all of them are getting the information they expect.


In part, the problem lies in how well-phrased the different questions are. Drafted poorly, questions asking employees to comment on their own performance can be leading, loaded, double-barreled, or just plain confusing.

Don’t let your performance management conversations be a waste of time. Ask your employees questions that will help you measure and boost employee performance.


This blog lists some of the most common performance review questions, then revises them to invite more comprehensive and actionable answers.


Overall Performance

Replace this:

How would you rate your performance this quarter/past six months/year?


With these: 

  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • Which goals did you meet? Which goals fell short?


Replace this:

What are your biggest strengths?


With these:

  • What personal strengths help you do your job effectively?
  • What makes you the best fit for your position?
  • What kind of work comes easiest to you?

Areas to Improve

Replace this:

What will you do differently next year?


With these:

  • What goals/deliverables were you least proud of? Why? How will you do those differently in the future?
  • What 2-3 things will you focus on in the next quarter/six months/year to help you grow and develop as an employee/leader?

Current Role

Replace this:

Are you happy with your job?


With these:

  • What motivates you to come to work every day?
  • What are your favorite tasks and responsibilities?
  • What do you like least about your current role? What (if anything) would you change?
  • How do you think your role helps the company succeed?

Work Environment/Tools/Resources

Replace this:

Do you have the optimal work environment, tools, and resources to perform your job?


With these:

  • What tools and resources do you use to do your job?
  • What tools/resources (if anything) could we provide/update to better assist you?
  • How does your current work environment help/hinder your productivity?
  • Is there anything I can do to make your job easier?

Future Outlook

Replace this:

What are your goals?


With these:

  • What are your most important goals for the next quarter/six months/year?
  • What do you want your next position at this company to be? How would your responsibilities change?
  • What professional growth opportunities would you like to explore in order to get there?

Manager Relationship

Replace this:

Do you feel comfortable expressing your concerns with me?


With these:

  • What (if any) concerns do you have when it come to giving me feedback? How can I alleviate those concerns?
  • What are two to three things could I do differently to better manage you?
  • What do I do that is most/least helpful for you when it comes to completing your work?


End each and every performance conversation with plans for follow-up.


Replace this:

Let’s have a great year!


With these:

  • Our next formal performance review will be on                 .
  • But we’ll meet up for our monthly/quarterly one-on-one meeting on                 .
  • In the meantime, I want you to focus on                 . Come prepared to our one-on-one ready to discuss                 .

It’s time to make your employee performance reviews efficient, effective, and actually worth your while. Out with the old leading, loaded, double-barreled, and just plain confusing performance review questions—and in with questions that actually help measure and boost performance.


Ready to hand over the administrative work of your annual reviews? Check out our feedback tool with customizable performance review questions and templates. Click below to learn more about Quantum Workplace’s One-on-Ones, or meet with a Qwirk to see if our tool can optimize performance reviews at your organization.


    Learn more about one-on-one meetings   Is Quantum Workplace Right for You? Meet with a Qwirk to Find Out!



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