9 Essential Questions to Ask During Performance Review – Tips for Management

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9 Essential Questions to Ask During Performance Review – Tips for Management

Posted on December 20, 2018 by Danny Leffel

When you search for performance review questions online, you’ll mostly find employees getting coached on the right questions to ask their bosses, but it’s equally important for management to have a list of their own questions for employees. A conversation shouldn’t be a one-way street, and performance reviews are a valuable way for management to gauge employee morale and learn what’s working properly in the company. Below, we’ve listed a few essential questions to ask during a performance review to help you have a beneficial meeting.

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1. How Do You Feel You’ve Performed Since Your Last Review?

Give your employees the chance to tell you what they’ve accomplished and how they’ve grown since their last review. Understand that they might be nervous to brag about how they’ve done, so try to read between the lines and prompt them to tell you more. It’ll be worth the effort, since they may mention things that you were unaware of that should be factored into their performance rating. Ask them about any struggles they’ve faced and how they overcame them. A balanced picture will help you accurately evaluate your employees.

2. Do You Have Any Feedback for the Management?

Even though your employees are the ones being formally reviewed, you should ask if there’s anything they’d like to tell the management. Make sure that you’ve fostered an environment where they feel comfortable expressing honest feedback. What they say won’t do you any good unless it’s the truth. If they can’t come up with anything on the spot, give them the opportunity to take a few days to think and come back to you with any concerns or comments.

3. Are You Having Any Issues With Co-Workers?

You may not get the chance to meet individually with each employee very often, so it’s important to take advantage of the time that you have. Since the management is often a step removed, co-worker relationships and “office” politics may not be something that you’re too familiar with. The dynamic is usually harmless, but it’s necessary to ask.

An employee may be uncomfortable bringing up a problem with a co-worker on their own, but if you ask, they might tell you. Make sure you allay any concerns they may have over retaliation and let them know that what they say will be kept in confidence.

4. What Are Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals?

Companies generally provide goals for their employees, but workers should have their own goals, too. As the management, you should know what they are so you can better help your employees achieve them. One may have their sights set on becoming a supervisor, while another would like to cross-train on a different section of the store or restaurant — but you would never know those things without asking them. Goal-setting is most effective when both parties are consulted and working together. Once you know their goals, make a point to discuss them during their next review.

5. Would You Change Anything About Your Scheduling?

Shift workers might find it difficult to get in touch with co-workers when they need someone to cover them, and it can be hard to keep track of the changing schedules. Take this feedback into account and try to find ways to improve the system. One fix you might want to consider is using an online app like Crew. When each employee is connected by their smartphone, team scheduling and communication gets a lot easier. Managers can even send messages directly to all of their employees with only a few clicks, making Crew an invaluable communication tool.

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6. Can You Think of Ways We Can Be More Efficient?

Your employees are the ones carrying out the processes you’ve established. This is your chance to get an idea of how effective they’ve been. Don’t get defensive if they say something needs some work. There’s always room for improvement, and the company will be better off when it’s running as smoothly as possible. Accepting your workers’ input will likely boost employee engagement, too, as they see that their opinions are useful to the company.

7. Do You Have Ideas for Increasing Customer Satisfaction?

Your employees are the ones interacting with customers on a daily basis, so they would know better than anyone what makes them happy. Because increasing customer satisfaction is an important goal, it’s worth hearing everyone’s ideas for how to do so. Your employees can also give you valuable feedback about customers’ habits that may not be captured by metrics, such as how they respond to certain deals and promotions.

8. Do You Need Any More Training?

Some employees may be reluctant to ask for training in areas where they need help, but it can be easier for them to accept if you bring it up first. Training opportunities can also apply to employees who would like to cross-train for a different role. When everyone is trained properly, the company runs more efficiently.

9. Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

Employees may come in with a few questions in mind, but you need to open up the floor for them to be asked. If they can’t think of any at the moment, let them know they can come to you with them after the meeting. On the other hand, if you’re unable to answer a question that they have, be sure to find out the answer as soon as possible and follow up with them. This is a great opportunity to both build trust with your employees and check in with them after the review to see how they’re doing.

Performance reviews are a stressful time for employees, so be mindful of that when you’re talking with them. If they’re not as responsive as you would like, it may be a sign that management needs to focus on building a rapport with employees between review periods. Once that has been established, the above performance review questions will be a practical way of assessing your employees, customers, and overall business.

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