The Best Questions to Ask in a Performance Review

questions to ask in a performance review

Performance reviews are important for employees and managers alike, but their strength depends in large part on the effectiveness of the questions being asked.  Ideally, human resource professionals would like to glean as much information as they can from the least number of questions possible. You not only want to find out how each employee is performing in your role, but you’d also like to know how your company is serving its talent. Thinking of revamping your performance review structure? Read on for some of our HR experts’ favorite topics to touch on during the process.


Best Performance Review Questions to Ask Employees


In employee performance reviews, many human resource professionals want to know about several key topics, including:


  • company culture,
  • work-life balance,
  • employee satisfaction,
  • met and unmet needs,
  • personal competency,
  • management effectiveness,
  • and the employee’s future at the company.


When having your employees complete their own performance reviews, getting enough information out of each individual is tricky. In constructing your reviews, it’s important to make your list of questions short enough to keep the employee’s attention. We’ve compiled the following list of example questions, designed to get to the core of what HR professionals want and need to know about their employees. Consider which questions you’d benefit most from your employees answering, and don’t be afraid to tailor each list of questions to specific departments or even individual employees!


Company Culture

  • Do you personally feel aligned with the company’s mission statement? / Do you feel that your work aligns with the company’s mission statement?
  • Does the company adequately recognize your value and contributions to your teams/projects?
  • Do you receive recognition or positive feedback for your ideas and the work you complete?
  • Do your manager(s) care about your work product, ideas, and contributions?
  • Do your manager(s) encourage your professional development?
  • Do you get along with your coworkers?
    Do you get along with your manager(s)?



Work-Life Balance

  • Do you have time to complete all the tasks assigned to you effectively?
  • Are you happy with the balance of in-person, hybrid, and remote work you do?
  • Does your current work schedule allow you to meet the needs of yourself and your family?
  • Do you feel comfortable scheduling doctor’s visits and other necessary personal appointments during the work week?


Employee Satisfaction

  • If a position opened and your friend was looking for a similar role, would you recommend our company to your friend?
  • What is your favorite thing about your current role?
    What is your least favorite thing about your current role?
  • Are you professionally fulfilled at the company / in your current role?


Met and Unmet Needs

  • Would you be interested in additional training and education for your current role, or for future roles at the company? If so, what training or education are you interested in?
  • Is there anything that you need, but don’t currently have, that would make completing your assignments / projects easier?
  • Do you feel that you are set up for success in your current role?
  • Do you have opportunities to learn and grow at work?


Personal Competency Reflection

  • What goals did you accomplish during this year / quarter / 6-month period?
  • What aspects / functions of your current role do you perform the best in?
  • What aspects / functions of your current role would you like to improve upon?
  • What are you most proud of at work?
  • How did you contribute to X goal / initiative within your department / within the company?


Management Effectiveness

  • Do you feel comfortable bringing new ideas to your manager(s)?
  • Do your manager(s) value your input, suggestions, and ideas?
  • Do your manager(s) help you achieve your goals at work, or hold you back?
  • Do your manager(s) set clear expectations for you and your projects?
  • How can [manager name] help you / your team / your department succeed?
  • Do your manager(s) give you adequate feedback so that you know what you’re doing well and what you can improve upon?
  • Do you / does your team / does your department get along well with [manager name]?


Future Facing Questions

  • What are your goals and priorities for the upcoming year / quarter / 6-month period?
  • What are your goals and priorities for your remaining time in your current role?
  • What are your goals and priorities for your future at the company?
  • Are you happy in your current department, or would you like to explore other business areas / facets of the company?
  • Do you have a five-year plan for your professional development? If so, what does it look like?
  • Are you interested in promotions or management roles within your department / within the company?


Best Performance Review Questions to Ask Managers


The manager’s perspective on employee performance is crucial, and at times, can be more objective that a personal review. Knowing what questions to ask in order to form a complete picture of the employee’s contributions within their current role, their potential for development and growth, and their fit within the company can be tough, and it may feel even tougher to pull detailed descriptions from busy managers. Choosing a few key questions from the below list, however, will give you a great start:


  • How do clients feel about / enjoy working with [employee name]?
  • How do other employees feel about / enjoy working with [employee name]?
  • What functions / aspects of [employee name]’s current role does [employee name] succeed in?
  • What functions / aspects of [employee name]’s current role does [employee name] need to improve upon?
  • Would you recommend [employee name] for a promotion if one was available within your department?
  • In what ways does [employee name] meaningfully contribute to your department’s / your team’s / the company’s work?
  • If given the opportunity, would [employee name] benefit from any additional training or education? If so, which types of training or education do you think would be beneficial?
  • Does [employee name] contribute positively to the company’s culture?
  • How do you provide encouragement, feedback, and support to [employee name]?


Considering Restructuring your Performance Reviews for Optimum Effectiveness?


Even the most seasoned human resources team can use a hand from time to time. At Benely, we’re experts in all things human resources. Performance reviews and beyond, our signature HR audit will help you identify the effectiveness of your current HR department. Ready to simplify your HR work and reach your employees successfully? Contact Benely or request a demo.