Questions To Ask And Never Ask : A Comprehensive Guide On Performance Reviews

A performance review is a process of evaluating an employee’s performance. Are you looking for some tips on how to do an employee’s performance review? This blog talks about the various methods employers can use to evaluate their employees and how they can help in employee development.


A performance review is a formal evaluation of an employee’s performance, typically conducted annually. It is a meeting that a boss or supervisor schedules to assess an employee’s progress and determine whether he is meeting the company’s objectives. It is an essential process that helps employees grow and improve. Also, it can help employees develop and enhance their skills, skills that are necessary for future success. Such meetings can also be an avenue for feedback and improvement. It should be constructive and honest and help employees identify areas they need to improve.

However, preparation for a performance review is essential to ensure that the assessment provides employees with insights to help them grow and achieve their goals. One can maximize its effectiveness by understanding what constitutes a good performance review, preparing for it, and knowing when to give feedback. A well-conducted performance review also gives employees a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and helps them to develop new skills and strategies for future success.

Managers need to prepare for performance review not only because it is an essential annual event but also because it can provide valuable feedback that can help them grow as a leader. It is an essential step in the management development process, and it helps managers identify and assess the progress of their employees. Moreover, a performance review is an equally important event in a manager’s career, and it’s crucial to be fully prepared for it.

What is the Purpose of Performance Review?

A performance review is a critical part of the development and career growth. There are a variety of goals that can be associated with a performance review. The following are a few examples: 

  • The goal of the review is to provide feedback that will help improve the performance of employees over a period of time.
  • Reviewing performance regularly helps create a positive workplace culture and ensures everyone is working towards the same common goals.
  • The review can also allow employees to receive recognition for their hard work.
  • A performance review aims to help employees achieve their goals, not just meet specific performance goals. 
  • Also, a performance review is an opportunity to reaffirm employees’ commitment to the organization and discuss future goals.
  • To help employees understand their expectations and highlight any changes or revisions needed to meet those standards.

8 Ways To Get Prepared for a Performance Review

Reviewing an employee’s performance is an integral part of a manager’s job. This review should ideally be a formal one. However, managers must be prepared for the review no matter how it’s done. There are a few ways to prepare for a performance review meeting which are discussed below:

Necessary Research

By doing your research, you can be sure that you are fully prepared for the meeting. Also, you must understand the expectations from the managers during the review process. Managers should know what questions to ask, how they should answer them, and when it is appropriate to offer additional comments or suggestions.

Managers can review an employee’s performance by gathering relevant data on their role, responsibilities, and recent work performance like objectives, results achieved, changes made to the job duties, and responsibilities.

Reviewing Companies Policies and Procedures

Don’t forget to review the company’s policies and procedures to ensure that you correctly follow the guidelines. After all, a performance review is an opportunity to make employees learn and grow – don’t let it go in vain. As per policies, feedback needs to be fair. Ensuring all employees receive the same level and depth of feedback is vital.

Reviewing company policies and procedures helps managers understand their company’s culture, values, and goals. It also ensures that the company’s performance review process is implemented correctly.

Upcoming Goals

Managers should list the goals they would like employees to achieve during the year and then make a timetable to help them reach those goals. Managers need to know the objectives to assess an employee’s performance better. They can use this information to determine whether the employee has met expectations and, if not, why. This information also helps managers identify areas of improvement required for the employee’s growth and development. By knowing future goals, managers can help employees set their future objectives.

Call to Action

Next, employers should identify any areas where employees need to improve upon and create a plan of action to address them. By doing so, employers will significantly help them improve their chances of receiving a positive performance review. This ultimately will allow them to stay motivated.

Stakeholders’ Role

Identify any stakeholders who will have an essential role in evaluating employees’ performance, and reach out to them to discuss their progress. Please include them in your review planning and keep them updated on any changes or updates to employees’ performance. By consulting with all relevant parties, managers can provide accurate feedback and help employees achieve their objectives.

Aware of Expectations

Employers should also be aware of any expectations their employees have for the meeting and make sure they can meet them. Being well-prepared will put you in a strong position regarding future reviews.

Prepare presentations

Employers can prepare presentations in providing performance reviews vary, depending on the manager’s management style. Some employers prepare brief presentations that assess an employee’s role, responsibilities, and recent work performance. Other employers may prefer more comprehensive reviews that include discussing goals and objectives. Regardless of the presentation style, managers must remember to be respectful and attentive to employees during performance review meetings.

Clear communication is essential when communicating complex information, so be sure to break down important terms and concepts into smaller and more understandable parts.

Employees Involvement

Employees can play a role in getting their performance reviews by participating in the process. Also, employees can participate in the review by providing input on their duties and responsibilities and recent work performance.

5 Tips For Managers Before Giving a Performance Review

To ensure that your performance review meeting goes as smoothly as possible, have a few critical things in mind.

  1. First and foremost, managers need to prepare essential questions to ask employees.
  2. Secondly, feedback formatting is vital to make sure that the feedback is specific, actionable, and timely.
  3. Moreover, make sure you leave with a positive impression. No matter how employees have performed, always try to give your best reaction.
  4. Moreover, managers and HR teams should document the discussion during the performance review and communicate the same to the employees after the review.
  5. Finally, always be professional. The way you conduct yourself during the review process – both before and after the meeting – will significantly impact the way you conduct the meeting. Maintaining a positive attitude, being well-mannered, and respecting your employee are all essential qualities to possess throughout the process.

Things to Ask in a Performance Review Meeting

Performance reviews are a critical part of any employee’s career, and it is vital to be prepared for the meeting. This means doing your research and preparing some key questions you want to ask during the meeting with the employees. Here are a few questions managers can prepare to ask: 

  1. How have you been performing since I last saw you?
  2. What goals did you set for yourself this year, and how well did you achieve them?
  3. Did anything unusual happen during your work that affected its quality or speed? If so, please describe it.
  4. Have any changes in the organization or project environment impacted your ability to do your job effectively? If so, please tell me about them.
  5. Have you had to learn new or more complex procedures or techniques in the past year? Could you tell me how you went about understanding them and whether they were effective?
  6. What are the three things or pieces of work you are most proud of during the past 12 months that demonstrate your abilities as an employee? Please describe each one in as much detail as possible.
  7. What are the three things or pieces of work you could have done better during the past 12 months? Tell me more about them.
  8. How well did you work with others in the department or project during the past year? Was there anything you were unable to accomplish because of conflict with coworkers? If so, please describe.
  9. Do you have any suggestions for ways I can help you improve your effectiveness as an employee?

What Never to Ask for in a Performance Review Meeting?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this, as the best way to prepare for a performance review meeting depends on the company and the individual’s role in it. However, some key things not to ask for during a session include the following things:

  1. Questions related to personal life – Employers should not ask employees questions unrelated to the employee’s performance. Questions unrelated to the employee’s performance can be distracting and uncomfortable for both parties. Additionally, these questions could influence the employee’s response in a review meeting. Employers should focus on specific areas of concern within the employee’s performance rather than asking general questions.
  2. Criticism of workmates or superiors is inappropriate in front of peers, subordinates, or managers without justification and prior discussion. Employees should avoid spreading rumors or negative gossip about colleagues in any way.
  3. Unsolicited advice – Do not offer unsolicited advice or critiques of coworkers’ personal lives, health, finances, or appearance unless you have the appropriate level of trust unless you are explicitly asked to do so.


A performance evaluation aims to provide an overview of an employee’s work performance and help identify any areas that need improvement.

By considering the above-provided information, you can help your employee grow and develop in their role while also maintaining high standards. However, it’s important to note that performance reviews shouldn’t be a means of punishment but rather identify and correct potential issues.

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