The questions asked during a performance review can decide how the next year/quarter is going to pan out. Here are some takeaways on what to ask during a performance review discussion.

  • Ratings and ranks may be slowly going out of trend. Promotions, bonuses, and hikes are not the only incentives for an employee. Career development, learning of new skills, and aligning personal goals with the business’ are all considered rewards.
  • Instead of asking employees how they rate themselves for that year, managers are encouraged to discuss with employees what tasks they did and did not do well that year.
  • Managers should also know if the employees are aware of the goals of the company for the coming year/quarter and enlighten them on the same.
  • As an employee, you should regularly up-skill your skill-sets to match performance expectations. Use reviews to get clarity on what skills will be needed to do your job competently.
  • Employees must use the review process to develop an understanding of the business goals for the upcoming year will help employees align their goals accordingly.

 Performance reviews are not mundane human resource requirements anymore. They play a vital role in focusing on short term objectives and paving way for long term business goals as well as the employee’s career development.

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Performance review is the process to measure an employee’s work and resulting outcomes based on his/her job responsibilities. The idea behind this process is to identify employee strengths and weaknesses, provide constructive feedback for growth, and facilitate better working relationships.

When done right, performance review can help employees align their individual goals and performances with the company’s overall objectives and priorities. It also helps the employees understand what is expected of them from the management. A performance review discussion helps with career development while ensuring the employees get rewarded for their performance (monetary and non-monetary rewards).

Dr. John Sullivan, a leading global HR thought-leader says, “performance management metrics aren’t just historical, but they are also forward-looking projections so that managers can know who has a positive trajectory.”

Performance Reviews in the Past

According to a study published in the Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 90% of HR heads said their existing performance management tools do not yield accurate results. Also, 95% of managers are not happy with the current review systems.

While Indian organizations have always conducted performance reviews of their human capital, it is only recently that the topic has taken a center stage in almost all HR forums and business panels.

As global organizations have started investing more in qualitative and quantitative performance review processes, their Indian counterparts have also started embracing the change.

For the last decade, Indian organizations have leaned towards development-centered performance review processes. Some of the changes to look out for are:

Performance Review Standards

Changes To Look Out For

Tailor-made performance review processes Businesses are designing their performance review processes to suit individual employees. There will be no single performance review questionnaire that will act as a reference now.
Continuous feedback Managers are encouraged to provide continuous feedback to employees and not restrict this just to the performance discussion during the review process. This helps employees course correct and make necessary changes in their approach and efforts throughout the performance period.
Elimination of ranks and ratings A lot of companies are eliminating the traditional ‘ranks and ratings’ reviews.

Rewards are not the only goal


Compensation is not considered the only goal of a performance review process. The management gives equal importance to career development, acquisition of new skills, and business alignment as rewards.

Performance Review

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Employees During a Performance Review Discussion

Instead of starting the performance review discussion with the age-old questions like ‘how do you rate your performance this year?’, An employer can dive deeper and ask the below-mentioned questions for better understanding.

  1. What was something you were proud of this year/quarter?

You can use this question to instill confidence in the employee and discuss the accomplishments that the individual was proud of. This will help the performance review discussion go forward on a positive note and also help you understand how satisfied the employee is of his/her work.

  1. What were the roadblocks you experienced that prevented you from doing your job better?

Here, you can encourage the employee to talk about tools, resources, and people that preventing him/her from giving the best. This will help you design a better environment for the employee in the coming years.

  1. What are your skills that we can use better as a team?

This is an amazing question that will tell the managers if they are missing out on any unearthed potentials. It can also help in improving individual performance and the team’s output. Some members of the team may be good leaders but didn’t get any opportunities to lead. Others may have completed a vital certification course that you may not be aware of. So, make sure you do not miss out on asking this question.

  1. Which goal were you not able to achieve last year/quarter? Is there something you wish you could have done better?

Almost all employees want to do their best when it comes to their roles. They just don’t have an idea of what they can do better. Getting an answer to this question can help you identify potential problems the employee had, and encourage the person to move past that.

  1. What are you hoping to achieve next year/quarter? What do you think the goals of our team and company are?

It is a surprising fact, but while many employees know what their goals are for the next year/quarter, they have no idea about their company goals. Aligning the goals of the individual performer with the company should be one of the main discussions during a performance review.

Performance Review

Top 5 Questions the Employee Should Ask During a Performance Review Discussion

  1. What do you think I did well this year/quarter?

While some managers can recognize and appreciate your work on the spot, others do not. By asking your manager what he/she thought went well for that year/quarter, you will get to know your work did not go unnoticed.

  1. What should I be doing differently next year?

It is impossible for a company to be completely satisfied with your performance. So, you can ask this question. This way, you will also know what the management’s expectations were and get an idea of what you should be doing to match them.

  1. What additional skills should I be getting?

If you want to be on the top of your game, you should constantly update your skills. Talk to your manager to know about your learning goals for the coming year. You can share your ideas and have a healthy discussion.

  1. What changes should I expect in the company and the team in the coming year?

If you are not aware of the changes in the company, you will be left behind. It could also affect both your compensation and position. So, ask your manager this question. They understand business trends and are quick to spot impending management decisions.

  1. Is there something I can do to help to make your day easier?

A performance review is not just about the employee’s wants and needs. It is also about developing communication between the management and the workforce. Asking this question will let your manager know you care about the company.

Employee Question


A performance review is a wholesome process that benefits the company, management, and employees both in the short and long term. When done right, this can help in aligning employees with business goals and improve their attitude and productivity.

The right process will measure the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of individual performance metric while making compensation and rewards more transparent. When the management and the employee ask the right questions, it makes the review process efficient.

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