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Kate Devyatkina

CEO at 100pcnt

September 8, 2019Performance Review

Performance Review Questions – HR Guide

Performance reviews, the main element of the whole performance management, help the HR department collect data about overall employee performance. A successful review cycle means an in-depth performance evaluation that will identify all the levels of performance of each employee, from the top performers to the underachievers. With it’s help, you'll find out who meets expectations in terms of job performance and who doesn't, and why. 

The data gathered from the employee performance review will have an impact on the key business decisions over the next decades and help your company define their next steps, notably who is to be promoted, put on professional development plans, fired, etc. This process usually starts with thinking about the performance review questions and phrases that you’ll ask to make sure you’re gathering the right data. In terms of human resources, it means thinking critically about the review’s objective, the structure of your performance review template for an employee, and the questions that you’ll ask the participants.
Before starting a review cycle, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the main objective?
- Who should participate?
- What should be measured?
- What kind of questions should I ask?

These questions will act as a basis for performance review templates for your organization.

  • Objective of a performance review

    Actually, there are two common objectives for performance reviews. You may include one or both. It is recommended to do both if you only hold one annual performance review. 
    Evaluation. The objective is to assess and check the employee’s performance over a certain timeline to make further key business decisions. Usually, such decisions are made toward an employee’s promotion, raise, and their overall status within the organization, which usually happen twice a year.

    Performance Review Questions – HR Guide - 1 - Photo

    Development. The objective is to start up a feedback process and provide employees with constructive feedback on a regular basis. This is made to highlight an improvement strategy. At the end of the review, an employee has received 360-degree feedback based on 360 review questions and already has an action plan. They get to know what their weak points are and what they need to work on. Also, they know what steps they need to take to become successful. All these reviews are made for the employee’s benefit, and are usually held 2 or 4 times a year. 

  • Performance review participants

    Who should participate in this kind of cycle and which forms are to be created depends on you objective. If you create a 360-degree review you’ll require all these points.

    Employee. An employee reflects on the way they’ve performed, performs a self-assessment, and depicts what they want to accomplish in their career (employee self-evaluation form).

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    Peer. Colleagues or teammates highlight weaknesses and strengths for a performance review for a certain timeline (peer review template).

    Manager.
    Direct reports show how their chief is performing both for the direct report’s career and the whole business (manager evaluation form).

  • Measurement

    Before writing out employee review questions or a performance review form, select the broader category of employee qualities and skills that you actually want to measure. These are aspects that can be measured:
    Culture. How well does an employee reflect the values of the company?

    Leadership. How well does an employee motivate people and manage them?

    Project Management. How does an employee approach completing their task, and do they demonstrate strong time management skills during this process?

    Communication Skills. How well does an employee communicate with teammates?

    Career Development. What can be done by an employee to improve working relationships, productivity, and the organization?

    Problem Solving. How does an employee approach challenges? Do they employ creative ideas when solving problems?

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    Performance evaluation templates

    It’s totally normal to have two different review styles and objectives in your employee review. For some review periods, you may want to collect information that will help the company (evaluation) and the employee (development). You are on the right track if you think critically about the review structure and know for sure what information should be gathered. Examples of performance reviews will help you choose the most appropriate type for your company.

  • Templates of Performance Review Questions ‍

    Development-Focused Reviews. Made to give employees feedback so that they can continually improve during the year.

    Quarterly. A quick and simple way to provide feedback on your teammates every several months. Employee review templates questions:
    - What are this employee’s strengths?
    - Is there something this employee should improve?


    Lookback Outlook. Great for a review at the end of the year.
    - How did this employee perform this year?
    - What are their goals for the coming year?
    - What should this employee do differently next year?

    Performance Review Questions – HR Guide - 4 - Photo

    Stop, Start, Continue. A simple framework for simple feedback. Best for organizations that hold performance reviews frequently. Performance evaluation templates question:
    - What are the things this employee should stop, start, and continue doing?

    Performance Potential Behavior. An option to look at the 3 critical dimensions of performance.
    - Did they achieve their goals?
    - What areas can this employee’s can be best applied to?
    - What will be their growth in the next 3 or 6 months?‍

  • Comprehensive Reviews

    Created to provide developmental feedback and evaluate employees’ performance.

    Self. Performance reviews quality of work made by an employee about themselves.
    - What achievements are you proud of the most?
    - How well do you manage and prioritize your workload?
    - What should you do differently next year?
    - How well do you communicate and listen to others?
    - Provide one company value example that was brought to life by you, and how.

    Peer. Sample performance review comments by employees. For employees to evaluate the performance of their co-workers.
    - Does this employee communicate effectively with others?
    - Does this employee find creative solutions? Are they reactive or proactive?
    - How would you rate the quality of this employee’s work?
    - How well does this employee meet and set deadlines?
    - What would you say if you had to give this employee advice to make them more effective?

    Direct Report. Employee evaluations questions for a manager.
    - What’s a domain where you’ve seen this employee improve and excel?
    - How well does this employee manage, prioritize their workload, and communicate with others?
    - Provide one company value example that was brought to life by this employee.

    Manager. For a person to evaluate a manager's performance.
    - Is your manager action-oriented? How well do they drive results?
    - Should they evolve their management skills?
    - Does your manager influence your work and make it better?
    - How does your manager support your personal and professional growth?
    - Does your manager communicate well? How does your manager accept feedback?

    HR. Questions to ask human resources.
    - What do you see are my strengths and weaknesses?
    - What are the traits and skills I need to improve?
    - Does my performance meet your expectations?

    Performance Review Questions – HR Guide - 5 - Photo

    The deeper you make your employee review questions, the more chances you have to get really meaningful answers. Come to the evaluation with a list of discussion topics. Dive deeper into a particular subject. Look for opportunities to follow up on an interesting comment. By asking the above questions, you will get a better understanding of the way you can get the best out of your employees and understand their motivations.

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