As a manager or HR professional, part of growing and fostering a fruitful workforce is checking in with your team on a regular basis through employee reviews. This gives both parties the opportunity to provide feedback, address any concerns, and create new goals for the coming period. 

However, the employee review questions that managers ask during this process can make a big difference between a performance review that wastes everyone’s time, or one that refreshes and re-invigorates both parties for the year ahead. 


Why are performance reviews important?

Performance review time may not be your employees’ favorite, though the evidence shows that they can be quite impactful to the success of the business. 

In fact, a study done by Deloitte shows that businesses that conduct effective reviews are 30% more likely to meet their financial goals, and three times more likely to successfully manage change in their organization. 

Performance reviews can help managers accurately assess the performance of their direct reports and ensure they’re on track to meeting their goals. In turn, this can improve employee engagement on the job, and keep workers accountable for their goals and actions. 

When done right, employers can gain useful insights from their employees about the health of their operations and any ideas for improvements. In turn, employers can use this information to help employees reach their career goals and support the overall objectives of the business. 


Good vs. bad performance review questions

A performance review is only as good as the employee review questions that are asked by managers. So, it’s important to understand the difference between good employee review questions and bad ones in order to gain actionable feedback and insights from this process. 

Some of the main factors that make for poor annual review questions include being too vague or ambiguous, asking leading or loaded questions, and being inconsistent with the questions you ask. 

In practice, bad performance review questions may look like: 

On the other hand, managers can create strong employee review questions by asking clear and open-ended questions, being objective, and tying the questions to specific behaviors or outcomes that are relevant to the employee and the organization. 

Here are some examples of quality performance review questions: 


Questions to Use in Your Next Performance review

To get the most out of your performance reviews, consider asking some of the following annual review questions. 

Questions about employee development


Questions about team collaboration


Questions about employee strengths


Questions about employee weaknesses


Questions about organizational goals


Questions about company management



Knowing how to craft good annual review questions can help both you and your employees get the most out of their performance reviews. When done correctly, these questions can encourage employees to reflect on their past performance, and help them set their sights on new growth and development within the organization.