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10 Effective end-of-year performance review questions...

by , 23 October 2014
The end of year is fast approaching, and for most companies this means employee performance reviews. And it's not always easy making sure you're asking employees the right questions to make sure you get the most information during this one-on-one time.

So what's the best way to get the most accurate information from your employees? By asking the right questions, of course.

"But what are the right questions?" I hear you ask... That's easy.

Keep reading below for 10 of the most effective questions you can ask your employee during the performance review...
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Show that poor performer the door without landing yourself at the CCMA
Joe's always making costly mistakes, missing deadlines, delaying processes, aggravating clients – all of which costs you time and money to fix. He's constantly busy, but doesn't meet any of his targets. And he always has a long list of excuses that go hand-in-hand with each mishap.
But here's the bottom line: He just can't do the job!
If you're like most managers, the next logical step is to get rid of him and get someone who can do the job. But watch out, that could cost you BIG. You may as well give him a blank cheque! Don't let this happen to you...

10 Effective end-of-year performance review questions
Ask employees these useful questions at review time...
1. Give an example of an instance where you used (specific skill)
Tailor this question to address a skills gap you've noticed. E.g. negotiation skills, assertiveness, time management, etc. The answer will tell you if an employee has actively worked on improving the skill.
2. Give an example of a situation you'd handle differently if it happened agian 
This helps the employee reflect on situations he feels he didn't handle as effectively as he could have. You can set his mind at ease by reassuring him he did everything he could in that instance. Or you can prepare for a similar situation in the future by giving him the necessary training or advice.
3. What do you feel you've achieved since the last review? 
This'll help your employee reflect on what he did well and feel proud about what he's achieved. Praise him for accomplishments.
4. What do you feel hasn't gone well since your last review? 
Why do you think it didn't go well? What can be changed to prevent this? Your employee can tell you about situations he feels should be improved and why. Discuss what he can change to do his job better. E.g. a system change or/an updated process.
5. What would help you do your job better?
This question is similar to the one above. But it's rephrased to include situations that would work better if changed.
Keep reading below for the other five questions...

10 Effective end-of-year performance review questions continued...
6. How can our team work better to achieve goals?
This'll help you understand the team dynamics better. You'll know who works well together and if there are any problems amongst your team members.
7. Who has helped you achieve your goals?
This'll help you identify potential leaders in your team so you can structure a personal development plan to advance their careers. You'll also know if the current team leaders are seen to be helpful by others.
8. What did you learn from training courses you attended or experiences you've had? How have you applied what you learnt?
This'll help you decide if the training courses and developmental experiences you planned for employees are effective.
9. Which training courses or experiences do you feel you can benefit from in the future? How will they help the business?
By asking which skills would help your employee do his job better, he must identify areas of improvement for himself. It's better if it comes from the employee rather because if he identifies training needs, he'll be more open to learning from them.
10. How can I help you achieve more? What would you like me to do differently? 
This helps you learn what you're doing right or wrong, and how you can improve. 
Remember: Don't get defensive about any negative feedback. Thank team members for their input and use the information to improve.
Ask these essential questions bi-annually or quarterly so you get a feel of how you can help employees achieve their goals and improve their performance.
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