performance review

The right way to do an employee performance review

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it – Peter Drucker

[otw_shortcode_dropcap label=”W” font=”Dancing Script” background_color_class=”otw-blue-background” size=”large” border=”border” border_color_class=”otw-silver-border” shadow=”shadow”][/otw_shortcode_dropcap]hy are annual performance reviews disliked by employees? For one, the annual review prevents employees from building rapport with management. Rapport cannot happen if important discussions occur once a year.
Annual performance reviews need to be more consistent and less one-sided. More importantly, employees should be getting feedback often so that they can make continual improvements throughout their career.
Lastly, the formality of performance reviews is somewhat outdated, especially with millennials joining the workforce. Revamp your employee performance review by creating regular dialogue with your employees and team.
Prior to doing an employee performance review, consider your employee’s demographic:

  • Educational background
  • Job function
  • Career experience
  • Employee communication style

Once you have a better understanding of your employee, you can customize your performance review strategy.


Avoid providing subjective feedback based on your personal opinion and be aware of biases in your employee’s performance review. Turn the performance review into dialogue to gain insight into your employee’s performance. Remember that some metrics can be internal to your employee’s quality of work, whereas other metrics may be affected by external factors that are beyond the employee’s control.
When giving a review, focus on the positive. In place of giving negative reviews, ask the employee if they think there are areas they can improve on and how they plan to improve. Once you have that information, you can create an agenda centered on goals rather than focusing on what the employee doesn’t do right.

Questions managers should ask employees during their performance review

  1. How can I help you perform well in your job?
    Your employee’s answer will help you gauge what management skills you can improve on to better serve your employee’s needs.
  2. What obstacles do you face that make your job difficult?
    Employee replies will provide insight on improving areas such as workflow, tools and resources for specific jobs and locating bottlenecks within your organization.
  3. Do you have the right tools for your job?
    After several reviews, you will have the information needed to implement or update tools that will help employees perform their job duties.
  4. What are your goals for growing within this organization?
    Your employee’s reply or lack of reply will show their level of engagement. Keep track of employee progress by holding regular one-on-ones.


Withholding critical information will prevent you from doing your best work. If you are lacking the tools to do your work, mention it to management. If you are behind on learning a new method or technology that was recently implemented at your job, ask management for extra training. Be proactive in your personal & professional growth.

Some questions to ask your manager during your employee review

  1. What areas can I improve on?
    You can dive deeper into improvement by asking which skills can you can work in terms of people skills and skills pertaining to the job itself.
  2. Which areas do I excel in?
    It’s good to know the good & bad for a full perspective on where you should focus your improvements. You don’t want to spend too much energy repairing something that isn’t pressing.
  3. Are there new skillsets I will need to adopt in the near future?
    Be ahead of the curve- with technology impacting the way people work, it’s crucial to know if you will be integrating new software or other skillsets into your everyday routine.
  4. How can I advance in the company?
    Understand which skills will make your more valuable to your company’s objective and help you grow in your career.
  5. How can I be more helpful to my team?
    If your coworker’s tasks are dependent on when you finish your work, you should ask questions about their workflow to determine a timeline that will not cause a bottleneck in anyone’s work.
  6. What goals or objectives will be set for the next review?
    Understanding your manager’s goals will help you both communicate more clearly and focus on what matters.

Key takeaways

  • Have regular ongoing performance reviews on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Performance reviews should be communicated in a dialogue fashion rather than a lecture. A dialogue will allow both parties to contribute to the review.
  • Open communication and building a rapport with each employee will make pave the way for a team-oriented work place.
  • Use a performance tool to enhance employee engagement and communication between employees, teams and management.



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