4 Questions You Should be Asking In Your Employee Reviews

Patrick Metzger, CEO & Founder at The Greenhouse

I recently spoke with a leader within a company that was telling me about how his son was doing in his first real professional role. He stated that some of the role and responsibilities was good, and some of it had left some room for improvement.

The most shocking item that he shared with me, however, was that in roughly a year of working there, his son still hadn’t been through an employee review. Not after 30 days. Not after even 60 or 90 days. His supervisor had never prioritized the review process, and because of it, he informed me that the company was going to be losing a young, energetic and promising professional to greener pastures where he would use his skills more effectively and be appreciated.

Now, with not even one review over the course of the year, this is a little bit more toward the extreme side of neglecting the employee review process. However, too often, we see employee reviews get way too overcomplicated by many of the companies we work with when they are regularly implementing them. Pages of paperwork, evaluations that are pencil whipped and vague, high-level questions that don’t’ really accomplish a whole lot of anything seem to be the norm. The beauty within a simple and concise review process is digging deep to get highly useful information, let the employee know you appreciate their input and feedback and constructively make it known where they, as well as you as leader, have opportunities for improvement.

With keeping things simple, I’ve found four questions to be extremely helpful and to dig out the best information through your employee review process that you can immediately begin implementing. Let it be known also that it’s best to provide your employee with these questions at least a few days in advance so they can put some thought behind them and come to the review prepared with notes and thoughts behind their answers.

Employee Review Questions

1. Do you love what you are doing?

One of the most important pieces of an employee review is to make sure they’re fitting the seat and responsibilities for it well. This first question really hits extremely hard and fast in digging out if they’re happy doing what they’re responsible for on a day-to-day basis. Employees will also typically give you useful information regarding their supervisor and the culture of the workplace when asked this question.

2. What would you like to be doing more or less of in your role?

Again, this question will get your employee to dive deep into their responsibilities and provide some fine details around not just what they don’t want to be doing, but what their longer-term goals are. Clearly understanding your employee’s desired growth trajectory and desire for advancement and responsibilities is crucial so that you can effectively develop and train them to take that appropriate path. Failure to show an employee where and how they can advance will usually result in looking for a new person to fill that seat at some point down the road, as most employees are looking for better pay, higher responsibility and continuing to climb the professional ladder in some way, shape or form. Obviously, one of the worst things that can happen is you lose an employee because you weren’t invested in their future.

3. What can I do more of or less of, or start or stop doing in order to help you more?

This is where you really get vulnerable as a leader and ask for radically candid feedback that will help you become a better leader. I always say trust building with your employees and people starts on day one, meaning the second you first meet a potential employee and interview them, it’s important to show them how you communicate openly and honestly within your organization. If you’ve set that appropriate tone within your company and on your team, an employee will have no trouble honestly answering this and providing you with valuable feedback and information. It’s your job now as the leader to take it to heart and take the necessary actions to improve and strengthen your own mentorship skills. This will obviously not only help you become a stronger leader, but will allow them to become a more productive and effective employee. Remember, as a leader you should always be preparing and developing more leaders.

4. What else do you need to do to be more successful?

It’s important for an employee to self-reflect in their review process so that they lead themselves to some of the answers you’re asking questions around. From here, you as the leader can assist them in providing the resources, training and guidance in taking the necessary path and steps to strengthen these identified areas of improvement.

If you’re still agonizing over mountains of employee reviews and dread the process every time it comes around during the year, quarter or similar, try starting with these 4 simple questions and you’ll be assured to take big steps toward helping your employee make big strides, improving yourself as a leader and building a healthy and high-performing team and organization. Lastly, if you don’t have ANY kind of employee review process set up right now, that needs to be a priority for your organization ASAP!

Learn more about how The Greenhouse can help with your employee reviews and will help your business and people grow to the next stage by clicking HERE.



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