7 Questions to Elevate Performance Reviews

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Performance reviews are pivotal moments for both managers and employees, offering an invaluable opportunity to reflect on past achievements, set future goals, and align expectations. Yet, conducting effective performance reviews goes beyond ticking boxes on a checklist. It’s about fostering meaningful dialogue that empowers employees and drives organisational success.

As a manager, navigating performance reviews can sometimes feel like traversing uncharted waters. To steer these discussions towards productivity and growth, consider incorporating these seven impactful questions into your repertoire:

  1. What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
    • Elaboration: Begin the conversation by asking the employee to reflect on specific achievements that they feel proud of. Encourage them to share details and outcomes that highlight their contributions and impact. Look for signs of enthusiasm, confidence, and passion as they discuss their accomplishments.
    • Example: “Can you share a recent project or task where you felt particularly successful? What specific actions did you take, and what were the outcomes? How did your contribution make a difference to the team or the organisation?”
  2. What are your goals for the next six months/year?
    • Elaboration: Explore the employee’s aspirations and ambitions for their future growth and development within the organisation. Encourage them to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals that align with both their personal career objectives and the company’s strategic priorities.
    • Example: “As we look ahead, what professional milestones or objectives would you like to achieve in the coming months or year? How do you envision these goals contributing to your career progression and the success of our team?”
  3. What have I done to help you do your job better? What have I done to hinder your job performance?
    • Elaboration: Foster open communication by inviting feedback on your managerial support and areas for improvement. Pay attention to any insights or concerns raised by the employee, and demonstrate a willingness to listen and address their needs.
    • Example: “I value your perspective on how I can better support you in your role. Have there been instances where my actions or decisions have positively impacted your work? Conversely, are there any areas where you feel I could provide better guidance or remove obstacles?”
  4. Do you have the resources and tools you need to perform your job?
    • Elaboration: Assess the employee’s access to the necessary resources, technology, training, and support systems required to fulfil their responsibilities effectively. Address any gaps or challenges identified, and collaborate on solutions to enhance their productivity and performance.
    • Example: “Are there any tools, training, or resources that you currently lack but believe would help you perform your job more efficiently? How can we work together to ensure you have everything you need to succeed?”
  5. Are there any other concerns you have going forward?
    • Elaboration: Create a safe space for the employee to express any additional concerns or challenges they may be facing. Listen attentively to their feedback and demonstrate empathy and understanding towards their perspectives.
    • Example: “Beyond what we’ve discussed so far, do you have any other concerns or obstacles that you’d like to address? Your feedback is valuable in helping us create a supportive work environment where everyone can thrive.”
  6. What do you want your next position at this company to be?
    • Elaboration: Explore the employee’s career aspirations and long-term goals within the organisation. Encourage them to articulate their desired career path and discuss potential opportunities for growth and advancement.
    • Example: “Looking ahead, what role or position would you ideally like to pursue within our company? How can we work together to support your professional development and help you achieve your career goals?”
  7. In which area(s) would you like to improve?
    • Elaboration: Encourage self-reflection by inviting the employee to identify areas for growth and development. Provide constructive feedback and guidance to help them overcome challenges and enhance their skills.
    • Example: “Reflecting on your performance and professional development, are there any specific areas where you feel you could improve? How can we collaborate to support your growth and progress in these areas?”

By integrating these questions into performance reviews, managers can transform these sessions from mere formalities into meaningful conversations that inspire growth and drive success. Remember, effective performance management is not just about evaluating past performance; it’s about cultivating a culture of collaboration, accountability, and continuous improvement. Together, let’s elevate performance reviews to empower employees and propel organisations towards excellence.

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