4 Categories You Should Cover in Performance Reviews

Performance reviews can be a great benefit to your organization if there is a clear structure and constructive dialogue between the employee and the person performing the review. Structuring the review around goals and scoring can help, as can asking the right questions. Consider the following  four categories during your next performance review to glean more information on how your employee approaches their work, how they feel about the organization, their coworkers, and more.

Self-review Questions

Performance reviews are usually focused on direct feedback given to an employee by their manager. This phase can be a stressful moment for both parties, which is why it’s best to be prepared with a few questions to gauge how an employee views their work performance and to see their perspective about the organization.

Consider the following questions to get a full picture of how an employee views their work habits:

  • What accomplishments are you most proud of this year?

  • Are you satisfied with your job training and feel you have what you need to perform your job effectively?

  • What is your biggest motivation for coming to work?

  • What did you hope to accomplish this calendar year? Did you come close? Why/why not?

  • What was your biggest contribution to your team this year? What do you think the impact was?

  • What large projects are you looking to accomplish this upcoming year?

  • How do you see your job relating to the organization’s performance?

Dominion’s Performance Review feature is simple, flexible, and perfectly suited for modern employee management.

Training and Mentorship Questions

Training and mentorship questions during performance reviews are some of the most important questions you can ask. They not only reveal how effectively an employee was onboarded and trained, but also how an employee can improve going forward.

The following questions highlight how well your employees are being supported by their coworkers and managers and where they could use additional support:

  • Do you feel like you received adequate training and mentorship to accomplish the previous year’s challenges?

  • What mentorship or feedback did you find most helpful?

  • Do you feel you could improve with additional feedback, training, or mentorship?

  • What additional skills would you like to learn or take on?

  • Do you have any questions for the leadership team?

Read on: The Definitive Guide to Onboarding Success

Behavioral Questions

Employees tend to dread behavioral-based performance review questions because they require articulate answers to in-depth situations. And while they may be perfectly adequate at performing day-to-day tasks and large projects, they may have difficulties spelling out why and how they accomplish their work.

But teasing out answers to some of the following questions provides insight into how your employees work through tough situations and gives you an idea of how well they handle deadlines, stress, and tricky situations.

  • Tell me about how you went about accomplishing your biggest project this year. What helped and what set you back?

  • Tell me about your biggest setback this year. What circumstances lead to it happening, and what, if anything, could you have done differently to avoid it?

  • What tasks are taking longer than you personally think they should? Why do you think so?

  • Tell me about a project that was much harder to complete than you originally though. How did you overcome those difficulties?

Employee retention and outlook questions

Performance reviews provide a great opportunity to gauge how your employee feels about their work, coworkers, and professional prospects. An open dialogue can give you hints at how to retain stellar employees and reduce costly turnover.

Use the following questions to learn how your employee feels about coming to work each day, how they view their role within the organization, and what might be required to keep them from jumping ship:

  • What do you want to accomplish in the next month and the next quarter? Are there any significant obstacles in your way?

  • Do you want to take on more complex projects? IF so, what is your plan to prepare for new possibilities?

  • What adjustments do you feel would make you more productive and happier at work?

  • What’s your favorite aspect of working here? Your least?

  • Is there anything I can do to make your job easier and more productive?

These categories are meant to steer you in the right direction and are not applicable to every organization. However, the better you can understand how an employee approaches work challenges, how they feel about their day-to-day contributions, and how their personal goals align with your organization’s, the more useful your performance review data will be.

Watch a demo of our Performance Review software


If you’re searching to enhance employee engagement and integrate performance reviews into the rest of your HR platform, Dominion is fully equipped to manage and administer your reviews and improve the overall productivity around the office. Request a demo today to move performance reviews into the modern world of HR.