Employee Performance Review Questions

Employee performance reviews are essential for helping employees develop their skill sets, stay motivated and improve in their roles. An effective performance review recognizes a team member’s positive contributions, identifies areas for improvement and provides constructive feedback and strategies to help them become more successful.

Here are several useful tips and a few employee performance review questions to ensure your reviews meet your objectives.

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What is a performance review?

A performance review, also called an employee evaluation or a performance appraisal, is a process an employer uses to document, share and discuss employees’ achievements, areas of opportunity and plans to help them meet expectations in the future. Performance reviews are usually administered by an employee’s manager quarterly or annually.

Tips for effective employee reviews

When administered properly, performance reviews are effective in boosting employee engagement and encouraging employees to perform better.

Here are a few tips to help strengthen your employee review process:

  • Plan ahead
    Successful employee performance reviews require thorough planning. Make notes of each employee’s performance throughout the year and highlight events such as goals they’ve met, important projects they completed, skill development efforts and additional responsibilities they’ve managed.It’s also essential you set aside plenty of time to prepare your feedback and administer the review.
  • Make it a two-way conversation
    Give each employee your undivided attention when reviewing their performance, and ensure they have an opportunity to ask questions, share their achievements and discuss their own ideas for improvement.
  • Make it a year-round effort
    While you may only hold formal review sessions quarterly or annually, the review process should be an ongoing endeavor. Make an effort to address an employee’s development when issues arise rather than waiting until their next review, and strive to maintain an open line of communication with each employee about their performance.


Additionally, for reviews to be successful, it’s critical you ask the right questions. The more information you retrieve from an employee performance review, the better positioned you will be in helping your team gain access to the training and skill-building efforts necessary to excel in their roles and perform their responsibilities more efficiently.

Here are five of the best employee performance review questions.

1. What was your most significant work accomplishment since your last review and why?

By asking this question, you provide the employee an opportunity to highlight a favorite achievement, share how they’ve provided value to the company and discuss how they’ve leveraged critical skills.

An example of a strong response is a detailed description of a specific accomplishment, including the skills the employee used to achieve success, the outcome and why it’s important to the organization. An employee’s response should demonstrate how they’ve gone beyond the duties assigned within their job description.

2. What do you plan to accomplish this year?

This question will help you understand what the employee finds most important and provides insight into their career development goals, as well as how you can help them excel.

An example of a strong answer is a detailed list of realistic goals, including strategies for how the employee will meet each objective. The more closely aligned their goals are to the company vision, the better.

3. Are there areas where you feel you could improve?

This question helps reveal how perceptive the employee is in identifying their strengths and weaknesses.

An example of a strong answer is one that includes one or more areas where the employee feels they could further develop their skills to become more efficient and effective in their role. The employee should also define an action plan for improving, and be able to tie their areas of opportunity to specific company objectives.

4. What are the organization’s primary drivers of success?

It is important to determine whether the employee understands your organization’s priorities and key objectives. This question helps reveal the extent of their awareness about the impact their work has on company outcomes.

An example of a strong answer is one where the employee shares your organization’s top goals and can identify how their efforts help the company in meeting each objective. If an employee can’t recall primary drivers of success, this could indicate you need to have a conversation about how their duties impact the organization as well as how you evaluate their performance.

5. Do you have everything you need to perform your job effectively?

This question gives the employee an opportunity to share how you can help them become more productive by providing additional tools or resources.

An example of a strong answer is one that demonstrates the employee understands each of their job duties as well as how the company can ensure they’re equipped for success.

Employee performance reviews are essential for ongoing career development as well as boosting workforce engagement and productivity. By using these tips and examples, you can ensure your review process effectively improves employee performance and helps employees establish a deeper connection with the company and their purpose within the organization.

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