Performance Reviews

How to get the most out of performance evaluations?

By on December 19, 2017

Performance evaluations have long been an important part of many companies’ work environment. You get to efficiently determine how the success of employee contributions will be assessed. Good managers, however, take this opportunity to ask well crafted questions to get a better understanding of the employee’s goals, required outcomes or outputs. These questions are aimed at uncovering deep insights and foster a healthy communication between these managers and their teams.

Basically, the questions are designed to assess the 4 most important aspects of an employee:

  • Performance Goals
  • Strengths And Weaknesses
  • Training And Development
  • Reward and Recognition

4 most important aspects focused during employees performance evaluation process

Questions good managers ask during performance evaluations

1. What were the biggest challenges you faced this period?

This is one of the most important question you could ask your employee. It helps you to identify areas where the employee is facing problems and subsequently take steps to ensure corrective measures are being implemented.

2. Which responsibilities are you most comfortable with?

Ask your employees which work seems easy to carry out. Are they particularly good at performing it? Employees are able to carry out these activities rather effortlessly or with minimum efforts. The intent behind this question is to help your employees identify their strengths and open possibilities from there. Their responsibilities can be modified, if needed, to better leverage their strengths and enthusiasm.

3. What were your achievements since the last review period?

Let’s face it. Performance evaluations, at times, do feel like interrogation. This perception needs to change. When you ask the employee about his achievements, you are effectively breaking the ice. Such positive questions are better able to engage employees and make them feel valued. After all, recognition is one of the most powerful performance enhancer in the workplace. Make sure that you ask specifically about their achievements for that review period as some may talk about past achievements. You want to keep the discussion focused. If they do not have any achievements, it is, in a way, something to worry about.

4. What do you plan to achieve during the next review period?

Setting goals for the next review period is as important for the employee as it is for the entire team. You can determine their capabilities by assessing their targets. Some tend to set safe goals when they should ideally set intellectually challenging goals. If needed, guide them and help them align these goals with their team’s overall goals. Upon achievement of those, apart from individual sense of achievement, they will have actively contributed towards their team’s progress as well.

Beginner's guide to objectives & key results

5. Do you have any suggestions to perform your job in a different manner?

“We have always done it in this manner” is one of the most effective ways of killing creativity within the organisations. Do not be afraid to ask this question. Your employees may have ideas that can help to perform some tasks more efficiently and also reduce the time and efforts involved. If so, it is definitely worth considering if you can implement that idea throughout the team.

6. What have you learnt in this period that can help your career in the future?

It is likely that employees are planning their future career prospects. It could be their aim to grow within the company or look for better opportunities elsewhere. You can work together with them to explore how they can continue to grow that helps both their career as well as the company.

7. On a professional front, how well do you relate with your team?

Are they comfortable with their team members? Employees spend almost 8-9 hours with the same set of individuals every single day. It is necessary that they work in a collaborative environment. If they do not get along well with each other, there is going to be a significant decrease in their performance levels and subsequently, productivity. If that’s the case, either help them to foster better relationships or consider changing teams, if that is a feasible option. Here is an exercise to find out how you are perceived at work. Employees could take it to better understand their work relationships.

8. What energizes you?

Don’t make the performance evaluation everything about work. Try and gauge what energizes the individual to give his or her best to the organisation. Find out what they enjoy in their spare time. Are there any restrictions that prevent them from finding this time? Identify what reinvigorates them and help them adopt these activities in their schedule. It will help them to reduce their stress as well as increase engagement.

You too could ask these questions in your performance evaluations. It will definitely help develop a better understanding of employee goals, behaviour and motivating factors. Apart from these, what other questions do you ask?

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