Questions for Evaluating an Employee's Work Performance

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson

Performance evaluations are tricky. You have to honestly evaluate your employee's work while also showing him ways he can improve without destroying his motivation. In addition, you don't want to overlook the good work he has done and leave him feeling unappreciated. When you're getting ready to have a performance evaluation meeting with an employee, putting together a list of fair, in-depth questions to ask can help you remain objective while honestly evaluating the employee's work.

Goals of the Job

You and the employee should review whether she's meeting the responsibilities for the job. Ask her "Do you feel that you met the responsibilities spelled out in your job description?" Or you can ask "Do you feel that you met the goals you set for yourself last year?" Her responses will alert you to whether the two of you are on the same page. If you feel she has need for improvement but she does not feel the same, you'll need to discuss this difference of opinion. You can also ask "Have any responsibilities been added to your job that aren't part of your job description?" These types of questions might help the two of you retool the job description for the coming year.

When Life Gets in the Way

If the employee isn't following through on assignments, ask a series of questions to uncover why he's no longer interested in stepping up to the plate. For example, you can ask a question like "I've noticed you didn't finish your budget reports this past year. What happened to get in the way of finishing?" Or you can ask "I've noticed that you've been consistently late on deadlines. Is there anything we can do to help with this?" If the employee seems to have lost confidence or if he used to be a motivated worker and lately hasn't been, it's perfectly appropriate to ask if anything in his personal life is affecting his job. Ask a question like "Are there any personal problems interfering with your job performance?" If you know what's making the employee hesitant or less confident, you can use the performance review to help set up steps to resolve the issues.

Interpersonal Relationship Skills

Not only should an employee be good at his job, but she should also get along well with her co-workers. If an employee is disagreeable personally, then she can lower morale in an entire department. If you've noticed problems in this area, the performance review is a good time to bring it up. Ask her questions like "Do you feel that co-workers respect you?" Or ask "How do you think you can improve how customers react to you?" Use your questions as a jumping-off point to walk her through ways she can improve her interpersonal communication.

Ask for Feedback

When you meet with the employee, make sure communication is a two-way street. You want the employee to give you feedback about your own performance so you can help him resolve any issues that might exist. To facilitate this exchange, ask the employee questions such as "What type of changes can I make to the department to improve job performance and morale?" The employee should feel free to provide feedback about your own performance so you can improve your skills as an employer and a manager.

About the Author

With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images