The Truth About Performance Reviews

The Truth About Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews

“Performance reviews are a waste of time and usually do more damage than good.”

I often hear this statement from managers and employees alike. Unfortunately, it is usually due to the fact that they both see this meeting as a negotiation over wages; and as a result, the conversation is more like an argument than a pep talk. So managers try to avoid performance reviews and their employees resent the fact that they have had no feedback in over a year.

What can be done?

Managers, try changing it up! Make the meeting a real conversation about your employee and where they are going. Really listen to what they have to say. Take notes and take action with the answers you receive.

What are regular performance reviews?

A regular performance review is ideally every 3 months; however, even 2 times a year would be a huge boost for many employees. This is a proven system that is used in many large organizations. It has also been credited with a large increase in productivity for many employees. Each time a review is performed, the previous review should be referenced to see if there are any goals that need to be managed or refocused. The shift from evaluation or test, to working together and discussing how they can do a better job – this is something both a manager and employee wants, and the idea is that now they will work together to get there.


What would we talk about?

The following questions are based on the Q12 system written by Marcus Buckingham. You don’t have to use these specific questions but take a read through them and see if this would be a different kind of conversation than the usual ‘does not meet’, ‘meets’ or ‘exceeds’ expectations in safety or product knowledge.

Example Questions:


  • Do you feel that you have a complete understanding of what is expected of you?
  • How do you measure whether you had a good day/week /month?
  • Do you know what your KPI’s are?


Training and Tools

  • Are the tools/supplies/systems we give you working OK?
  • Is there a way we could help you do your job better through training or better equipment/supply/systems?
    • Do you think it is worth the expense? Work it out with me.


The Job

  • What part of your job do you like the best?
    • Have you always been good at doing that?
  • What part do you find is the hardest/like least?
    • How could we make that part of the job easier?(Tools Training Reassigning?)
  • Do you think that when you do well it gets noticed?
    • How do you know? How would you like to receive recognition?(praise/money/prizes)
  • Do you feel significant/important/valuable to the company? To your manager?



  • Are you getting enough help with your career progress here? (What do you need?)
  • Does it feel like it been a while since you were able to talk about your career?
  • Is it easy to express your opinion? Do you feel that you get a listening ear?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Do you think you could do my job?
  • What would you need to learn/do to be able to do my job?
  • How can I help you to get what you need?


The Company

  • Do you have any ideas about how we could do things better/faster/easier?
  • Are you proud of what the company does? (Mission/Vision)
  • How would you describe what the company does? (most have no real idea of the real mission or why the company exists and no it is not “to make money”. There is a deeper and more inspiring answer to that in every business)
  • How does your role contribute to this mission?
  • Do your coworkers feel the same as you do about customer service and quality?
  • Do you think that in general people in the company get along with each other?


Business coaching helps owners of small and medium sized businesses with their sales, marketing, management, team building and so much more. Contact business coach Rob Carol for all your business coaching needs. Call 604-942-2866 or visit

Rob Carol

Executive Business Coach, Rob Carol, can help you! As your business coach, he will be working with you in five key areas. The emphasis on each area depends on YOUR needs, the type of business YOU have, and YOUR goals.

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