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Article

10 minutes

60+ Performance Review Questions for Your Next Evaluation

HR & workforce management

Author

Lorelei Trisca

Published

July 22, 2024

Last Update

July 23, 2024

Table of Contents

What kinds of questions should you include in your performance reviews?

Questions for assessing overall job performance

Questions for assessing employee strengths

Questions for identifying areas of improvement

Competency-based questions

Employee weaknesses questions

Current and future career outlook questions

Mid-year review questions

Questions to ask employees during performance review conversations

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Key takeaways
  1. An effective performance review sets the foundation for growth and development within your organization. It realigns expectations, recognizes achievements and strengths, and promotes a growth mindset.
  2. It is essential to design questions carefully to ensure your managers share constructive and unbiased feedback.
  3. Encourage your managers to share relevant insights to identify your workers’ strengths and areas for improvement.
  4. Deel Engage’s automated workflows can help you implement a modern performance management system in record time.

By asking the right questions in performance appraisals, you will identify your workers’ strengths and areas for improvement, fostering a culture of continuous development and open communication.

We curated 60+ qualitative and quantitative performance review questions. Select the most relevant ones to gather comprehensive and actionable feedback. Use the input to turn your employees into peak performers and make your performance management cycles more impactful.

What kinds of questions should you include in your performance reviews?

A well-rounded performance review would contain a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions.

Collecting qualitative data gives a more comprehensive assessment of an employee’s performance. It helps identify specific behaviors or skills that may contribute to a particular area of success or difficulty.

Alternatively, closed-scaled questions provide respondents with a fixed set of options to choose their answers, making reviewers faster to complete. Quantitative feedback is also easier to summarize.

The kinds of questions you should include in a performance review are:

  • Goal-oriented questions: Focus on employee goals and accomplishments
  • Skill development questions: Identify skill gaps and professional development needs
  • Job satisfaction and engagement questions: Explore employee satisfaction and engagement with their role and the company
  • Feedback and improvement questions: Gather feedback on performance and areas for improvement

“You just need to equip your managers with effective questions that remove the personal element and get to the heart of what high performance looks like. Here are my personal favorites:

  1. Is my direct report ultimately freeing up my time or making my job harder?
  2. If I were to open the role today, knowing what I know now about my direct report’s performance and ability, would I hire them again?
  3. What would happen if my direct report turned in their resignation today? Would I panic or be relieved?” Melanie Naranjo, VP of People at Ethena.

We also recommend collecting feedback from multiple sources with:

  1. Self-review questions: A self-evaluation is a crucial element in any performance review, as it helps employees reflect and promotes individual accountability and responsibility
  2. Questions for downward feedback (manager-employee): Downward feedback is probably what most people associate with performance reviews—feedback from managers to employees is relevant since it is a foundation for promotions and salary negotiations.
  3. (When relevant) Questions for upward feedback: Upward feedback refers to feedback shared by direct reports on their managers/supervisors
  4. Peer feedback questions: Colleagues often have more accurate insight into each other’s daily work performance, communication, and collaboration skills than managers
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Questions for assessing overall job performance

These questions help managers assess employees’ contributions and identify areas for growth. By focusing on specific goals and achievements, managers can provide constructive feedback and support employees in improving their performance.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how has the employee contributed to reaching the current company goals?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how well does the employee support and contribute to the team’s overall performance?
  3. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee manage their time and prioritize their work?
  4. On a scale of 1-5, how well does the employee adapt to changing priorities and business goals?
  5. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee handle constructive feedback?

Qualitative questions

  1. How has the employee contributed to the company’s goals?
  2. How has the employee supported and contributed to the team’s overall performance?
  3. What sets this employee apart from others within the organization?
  4. How would you estimate the employee’s time management skills and their impact on overall performance?
  5. How does this employee handle constructive feedback?
  6. How effective is the employee at developing new skills?

Questions for assessing employee strengths

Highlighting strengths boosts employees’ confidence and morale. These questions encourage managers to recognize and leverage employees’ skills, fostering a positive and empowering work environment.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how well does the employee contribute positively to the company culture?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee excel at their projects?

Qualitative questions

  1. Can you provide an example of when the employee contributed positively to the company culture?
  2. What type of projects does the employee excel at?
  3. What does the employee enjoy most about their work?
  4. What tasks come easiest to the employee?
  5. What skills make the employee a valuable team member?

Questions for identifying areas of improvement

These questions constructively frame areas for improvement. By focusing on strengths and future goals, managers can encourage employees to view feedback as an opportunity for growth rather than criticism.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the employee’s focus on improving their skills in the coming months?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how committed is the employee to making changes to improve their performance next year?

Qualitative questions

  1. Considering the employee’s role, strengths, and the team’s most important goals, what should they focus on the most in the coming months?
  2. What should the employee commit to doing differently next year?
  3. How can you help the employee reach their goals?

Goal-oriented questions

Goal-oriented questions ensure employees understand the importance of their contributions and help align their efforts with organizational priorities, driving overall performance.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how well has the employee met deadlines?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee align their goals with the organization’s objectives?

Qualitative questions

  1. How effectively does the employee align their goals with the organization’s objectives?
  2. How can the employee better align their goals with team objectives?

Competency-based questions

Focusing on competencies encourages employees to continuously develop and apply skills effectively, contributing to personal growth and organizational success.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the employee’s demonstration of their core competencies in their role?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how well does the employee have the right skillset to perform at their best?
  3. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee manage their time and prioritize their work?
  4. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively has the employee communicated with internal and external stakeholders?

Qualitative questions

  1. How has the employee demonstrated their core competencies in their role?
  2. Does the employee have the right skillset to perform at their best?
  3. What competencies does the employee need to develop further to excel in their position?
  4. Consider a situation where an employee had to take on additional responsibilities or learn new skills to meet a challenge. How did they adapt? And what was the result?
Complimentary resources

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Employee weaknesses questions

Addressing weaknesses candidly helps employees identify and tackle challenges head-on. Encouraging self-reflection and proactive strategies for improvement can lead to meaningful personal and professional development.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how proactive is the employee in addressing their weaknesses?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how do the employee’s development areas impact their current work?

Qualitative questions

  1. What impact do you believe the employee’s development areas have on their current work?
  2. What are some possible areas the employee can improve?
  3. What can the employee do differently in the future to avoid repeating mistakes?
  4. How can the employee turn their weaknesses into strengths?

Current and future career outlook questions

Understanding employees’ potential career development is crucial for retention and engagement. These questions help managers align individual goals with organizational needs, fostering a sense of purpose and commitment.

Rating questions

  1. On a scale of 1-5, how ready is the employee for a promotion?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how aligned are the employee’s personal goals with the company’s objectives?

Qualitative questions

  1. How do you see this employee’s future in the company?
  2. Is the employee ready for a promotion?
  3. What does the employee need to work on to advance in their career?
  4. How aligned are the employee’s career goals with the company’s objectives?
  5. What support or resources does the employee need to achieve their career aspirations?
  6. What professional growth opportunities would you offer the employee?
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Mid-year review questions

Mid-year evaluations are crucial for checking progress, addressing challenges, and recalibrating goals for the rest of the year. These reviews ensure that employees align with their managers and can proactively address any potential issues.

Progress on goals

  1. How well has the employee progressed towards their goals set at the beginning of the year?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how would you rate the employee’s progress towards their annual goals?

Adapting to changes

  1. How has the employee adapted to any changes in priorities or business goals since the last evaluation?
  2. Can you provide an example of how the employee effectively managed a shift in priorities?

Time management and productivity

  1. How would you assess the employee’s time management skills and their impact on overall productivity?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how effectively does the employee manage their time and meet deadlines?

Strengths and contributions

  1. What specific strengths has the employee demonstrated in their role so far this year?
  2. How has the employee positively contributed to the team’s success?

Areas for improvement

  1. What areas does the employee need to improve for the remainder of the year?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how proactive is the employee in addressing their development areas?

Feedback and development

  1. How effectively does the employee utilize feedback to improve their performance?
  2. Can you provide an example of how the employee applied feedback to achieve better results?

Recalibrating goals

  1. Based on the progress and challenges so far, how should you adjust the employee’s goals for the rest of the year?
  2. On a scale of 1-5, how confident are you that the employee will achieve their recalibrated goals by year-end?

By asking these questions during mid-year evaluations, managers can ensure they effectively support their employees’ development, proactively address any challenges, and align efforts with organizational objectives.

Questions to ask employees during performance review conversations

These questions are appropriate for discussions between managers and employees after the managerial performance appraisal. They help the manager gain more context into employee performance.

Note: You can also ask these questions during self-evaluations to give the manager additional context when evaluating the employee.

Questions on the manager-employee relationship

  • Do you feel comfortable giving me feedback? If not, how can I alleviate your concerns?

Motivation: This question encourages open communication and helps managers understand any barriers to receiving honest feedback, fostering a more trusting relationship.

  • What’s your preferred way of receiving feedback/getting acknowledged for your work?

Motivation: Understanding preferred feedback methods helps managers tailor their approach, making recognition more meaningful and improving employee morale.

Questions on job satisfaction and engagement

  • Are you satisfied with your current role? Do you feel motivated at work?

Motivation: This question assesses job satisfaction and identifies any issues tied to daily tasks.

  • What do you like the least about the job responsibilities in your current role?

Motivation: Identifying disliked tasks can help managers make adjustments to improve job satisfaction.

  • What would you change in your current position?

Motivation: This question pinpoints areas of employee enablement and potential new career paths.

  • What aspects of your job do you find most engaging and fulfilling?

Motivation: Understanding what engages employees helps managers emphasize those elements, boosting the employee’s motivation and performance.

  • What changes could improve your job satisfaction?

Motivation: Identifying changes that enhance job satisfaction can lead to a more motivated and productive workforce.

Current and future career outlook questions

  • What would you want your next position in this company to be?
  • How would your responsibilities change?

Motivation: Checking desired career paths helps managers support and train employees for future roles. Additionally, understanding how employees envision their evolving responsibilities helps align their development with organizational needs.

  • What are your personal and professional goals?

Motivation: This question clarifies individual aspirations beyond promotions, including learning new skills or gaining mentorship.

  • What would you like to achieve next year? How about five years from now?

Motivation: Long-term career planning helps align employee ambitions with company growth, ensuring mutual benefit.

  • What do you hope to accomplish during the coming evaluation period [e.g., quarter, half year, year]?

Motivation: Setting short-term goals keeps employees focused and motivated, providing clear milestones for success.

Free template

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Use this 70-20-10 employee development template to strategically plan and track your employees' progress, ensuring their continuous improvement and success.

Manage performance with Deel Engage, the all-in-one talent management suite

A sound performance management system combines the right processes with the right software to boost employee performance and achieve business objectives.

Deel Engage’s automated workflows can help you implement a modern performance management system in record time:

  • Use Deel Engage’s performance management software to set performance goals and collect insights into an employee’s performance
  • Make your promotions unbiased and transparent by creating a meaningful pathway for career progression with our effective career management software
  • Identify existing skills gaps with the skills matrix functionality and develop an effective L&D program to strengthen your workforce
  • Create targeted training programs and assign them to your employees

Get in touch with our experts to learn more about Deel Engage and how to use it for seamless performance management.

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