Looking for Performance Review Questions? We Found the 40+ Best Questions to Ask

For many HR professionals and managers, performance reviews are a valuable touchpoint that promotes personal connections and continuous improvement.

But your employees may disagree. According to a recent study by Workhuman Research & Analytics, 55% of employees don't believe reviews improve their performance at work. Instead, performance reviews can feel like a stressful ritual where scrutiny isn't paired with helpful next steps.

For these employees, the problem might not be the concept of performance reviews, but the questions you're asking. To help, our research team gathered the 44 best performance review questions to fuel inspiring and motivating conversations.

Looking for more ways to optimize performance management? BambooHR's Performance Management software streamlines the review process for HR professionals, managers, and employees. It's simple to customize everything from review cadences to questions, while building on research-backed best practices that will set you up for success. Learn more with a free trial today!

How to Craft Effective Performance Review Questions

In 2022 alone, we helped companies manage performance reviews for more than 2.7 million employees across 100,000+ teams.

As we developed BambooHR's core performance management questions, we referenced Gallup’s Q12, which boils down performance management into 12 core statements:

  1. I know what is expected of me at work.
  2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
  3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
  4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
  5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
  8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
  9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
  10. I have a best friend at work.
  11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
  12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.

You may also recognize these affirming statements from the well-known business advice book, First, Break All the Rules.

The 4 Best Self Evaluation Questions for Employees

Employee evaluation questions are a key element of the self-assessment process. These questions provide an opportunity to compare an employee's evaluation of their own performance against how their manager perceives their work.

Within BambooHR's Performance Management tool, we pose four employee evaluation questions:

  1. How well does my company recognize my value? (Multiple choice)
  2. What would have the greatest impact on my ability to do my best work more often? (Multiple choice)
  3. What are some things I do well? (Open-ended)
  4. How could I improve? (Open-ended)

We created Performance Management to transform traditional performance reviews—long, annual or semi-annual sessions with lots of tough questions. In our opinion, dreading a review cycle serves nobody’s interests and makes it more likely that they’ll be put off or rushed through when they do happen. As for doing them only once or twice a year, well…we can’t remember what we had for lunch yesterday, so it’s hard to recall what we were working on six months ago.

The theory that underpins our Performance Management software is that reviews have a bigger impact when they’re relevant to what’s going on in employees’ daily work. Making them easier and more frequent takes some of the weight off the experience, which allows employees and managers to communicate more openly.

Performance Management Made Easy.

Inspire, motivate and develop your employees with BambooHR. Our modern, flexible software is easy to use, providing a research-backed foundation you can customize for any team.

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What Questions Should I Ask in a 360 Review?

In addition to self-assessments, we recommend including your employee's peers and colleagues in the performance review process.

A 360 review incorporates feedback from individuals who work closely with an employee. These colleagues are well-positioned to offer insights into what an employee does well—and where there may be room for further improvement.

We recommend nine questions that will help you gather these valuable insights:

  1. Describe a meaningful contribution that [Name] has made since the last review.
  2. Which company value have you seen [Name] emulating well in the last few months?
  3. Describe how you have impacted [Name]’s ability to succeed and grow in their position.
  4. What types of projects does [Name] excel at?
  5. How has [Name] done with creating and meeting goals over the past few months?
  6. What role does [Name] have on the team and what impact have they had?
  7. What are some areas of focus/projects that could benefit [Name]?
  8. In what way(s) did [Name] contribute to the company’s current goal of [creating a more inclusive culture, closing more sales, launching a new marketing campaign, etc.]?
  9. What are some positive interactions you’ve noticed between [Name] and others?

Depending on the scope of your performance review process, you could use all of these questions, or select just a few.

30+ Additional Ideas for Performance Review Questions

While standard questions can help you track performance over time, you may also need to include customized questions that speak to your specific teams and business challenges.

With BambooHR's Performance Management, you can add up to three custom questions. Here are 30+ additional questions you may consider incorporating into your performance reviews:

Ask Performance Review Questions That Matter.

BambooHR streamlines the performance review process so you can focus on what matters most: Building strong relationships with your people.

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