6 Must-Ask Questions in a Performance Review

If you—or your employees—dread performance reviews, then there is something very wrong with the way they are being conducted. When the right questions are asked properly, the exercise can actually increase both your organization’s impact and employee engagement.

The nonprofit sector accomplishes some amazing things on a daily basis. While attempting to solve the problems of the world, the minutia of setting up practical business processes can often get pushed to the back burner. But, attention to this detail pays off.

Increasing Impact

Could you possibly deliver on this mission by yourself? Of course not! It takes a team, working well together, to accomplish your goals. Rather than leading with heart only, lead with your brain. “Identify, track, and document” is the very best approach to having more impact—as an organization, and as a member of the team.

Increasing Employee Engagement

A well-planned and well-executed performance review can bolster employee engagement in a number of ways. Start by clearly defining expectations and setting clear goals and benchmarks. It’s neither productive, nor fair, to blind-side employees during a review. Having clearly stated goals allows you and your employees to check progress informally between reviews and monitor progress. This allows for identification of problem areas and course corrections before it’s too late.

The Big Six

By asking these six questions, you evaluate your organization—not just employee performance.

  1. Were the established goals accomplished?
  2. Were the tools necessary to accomplish these tasks provided?
  3. What did the employee actually accomplish?
  4. What did the employee do to achieve these accomplishments?
  5. Which expectations were not accomplished, and why?
  6. Where is there potential for improvement?

One last note—annual evaluations aren’t nearly as productive as quarterly. You have a lot to accomplish as a nonprofit. You review financials often—why not check in with your employees often too?

Amy DeVita is a publisher, entrepreneur, mother, wife, social media enthusiast and fan and avid supporter of the nonprofit/ for-impact sector. She has written for Top Nonprofits and Third Sector Today; she has been quoted on pieces about social media and social impact on The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She was named to the Leading Women Entrepreneurs in NJ Monthly and she is a member of Social Media for Nonprofits’ Leadership Council. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, yoga, hiking, traveling, and playing Scrabble. Amy lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and two dogs. In 1984 she earned the “Most Improved Average” honor on her bowling league.

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