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Performance Review Question Template

What is a performance review?

Usually an annual rite (although some companies do them twice a year or more), a performance review is a time to give and get feedback to ensure everyone at the company is doing their part and furthering their professional development.
Managers meet with their employees for a formal one-on-one sit-down to discuss how the employee is faring at the company and what they can do to continue thriving and contributing to the company’s goals. Typically, managers will review the employee’s strengths and successes to highlight what they’d like to see more of, but they will also discuss potential areas for growth and where the employee needs to focus their efforts.
If there are serious issues with an employee’s performance, this is the time to raise them. It shouldn’t just be a list of grievances, however — it’s important to come up with the next steps for the employee so they know what they need to do to succeed. Demoralizing a worker is the opposite intended effect of a review.
In fact, regardless of whether a performance review will be positive or negative, the employee and employer should use this meeting to set goals for the next year (or however long it is until the next review). That helps define a clear route to success for everyone involved.
It’s also a good time for employees to raise any concerns that could impede their progress. This way, the manager is aware of any factors that could be affecting a worker’s performance — illness, problems with a teammate, dissatisfaction with a project — so they can better support them in their role.

Performance review questions to ask

There are various performance reviews you can implement within your organization. These include:
  • 360-degree performance review
  • Team performance review
  • Project-based performance review
  • Mid-year performance review
  • Annual performance review
  • Performance review for leaders
We will discuss the types of performance review questions to consider when using each of these types of assessments.

360-degree performance review questions

A 360-degree performance review is when feedback for an employee is solicited from various colleagues: Managers, direct reports, and coworkers from different levels all provide their thoughts on the employee. The employee feedback questions should focus on how they’re performing in every aspect of their role in the company (hence the name).

Team performance review questions

During a team performance review, manager gives feedback to an entire team, and then they discuss how to move forward together to achieve more success based on this evaluation.
These team performance review questions should focus on determining each member’s skills and contributions as well as how they’ve been working together as a unit.

Project-based performance review questions

In a project-based performance review, employees are evaluated based on their work on one specific project. It’s not about how they’ve been doing overall but how they succeeded on this one task. As such, the employee review questions should be centered around how they completed the project and their thoughts on the process and final result.

Mid-year performance review questions

A mid-year performance review is an evaluation process that typically occurs halfway through the annual work cycle. This review is an opportunity for employers and employees to assess progress towards goals, objectives, and performance expectations set at the beginning of the year.
It serves as a checkpoint for giving and receiving feedback, discussing achievements and challenges, and making any necessary adjustments to performance goals or development plans.

Annual performance review questions

An annual performance review or performance appraisal is the standard review most employees undergo. They meet with their manager once a year, receive feedback, discuss the feedback, and set goals and next steps. Annual performance review questions should look back on the past year as well as look forward to the next.

Performance review questions for leaders

When conducting performance reviews for leaders, the focus of the questions must shift to reflect the unique responsibilities and impact of leadership roles. Unlike reviews for other staff members, which might concentrate on individual tasks and skills, leader evaluations should delve into their ability to inspire, guide, and develop their teams.
These evaluations are typically conducted by a higher-level manager or executive within the organization, such as a direct supervisor, department head, or member of the senior leadership team. In some cases, especially in larger organizations, a Human Resources (HR) representative may also be part of the process to ensure consistency and adherence to company policies.
Performance review questions for leaders should assess how effectively they communicate vision, manage and mentor their teams, foster a positive and productive work environment, and contribute to strategic planning and decision-making.
The review should also consider their ability to drive organizational change, manage resources efficiently, and uphold and propagate company values. This tailored approach recognizes the broader influence and higher-level responsibilities of leadership positions, ensuring that their evaluations are both relevant and impactful.

Tips for effective performance reviews

1. Develop a performance review process
2. Communicate the performance review process to employees
3. Keep records of conversations
4. Stay present during any difficult reviews
5. Plan follow-ups to address any major concerns

How HR can help managers with performance reviews

  • Coach employers on how to run meetings.
  • Ensure employers are aware of any potential legal issues.
  • Provide training on giving constructive feedback.
  • Help managers set goals with employees.
  • Ask for feedback on how the performance review process itself went.

Performance reviews are for everyone’s benefit. It’s essential to ensure the company is running smoothly, employees are happy and motivated, and paths to promotion and higher compensation are communicated.

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