When you are a business owner with employees the year-end performance reviews may seem like a necessary evil.

Also, even though they are constructive discussions, these reviews can be awkward Many tasks, activities, and wins and losses occur throughout the year, and it is vital that you prepare yourself in advance to provide your employee with the best feedback While your evaluations should have a framework that will allow you and your staff to know what to expect, understand that the procedure will vary slightly because of job functions and responsibilities. While many concerns can develop in a performance review at the end of the year, you should be prepared to ask five questions below.

What have been your best achievements this year?

It’s a great time for your staff to shine and showcase what they think is their greatest achievements. You’re going to learn what inspires them and what makes them feel proud. Learning this can not only help you understand the motives and ambitions of your employee, but can also help you to include more tasks in their workload. This also gives you a great opportunity to chime in and ask your staff what you think they’ve done well and let them know you appreciate all the work they’re doing.

What are your objectives for the next year?

Depending on your business, this question can lead to a variety of answers. This could be the time to talk about what your employee wants to accomplish in the next year and give suggestions on how to work towards those achievements. Maybe they want to know more about social media and help your company succeed that way, or at your restaurant they want to switch from a hostess to a server. This topic could easily lead to a discussion of areas where the employee has room for growth and improvement such as better time management or experiences with customer service.

Which resources do you think we can use more efficiently?

The people are your assets and they may have expertise that you are completely unaware of could be extremely useful to your business. Building on the previous question, see what additional skills your employee has to bring to your company and develop a plan to make better use of them. In doing so, you’re going to encourage them to take more control of the work they’re doing and perhaps even improve processes that you didn’t know need improvement.

What can I do to make your job more pleasant?

Engagement of employees is key to success in business It will lead to positive outcomes for your business if you have happy employees who are committed in their jobs. What motivates the people and drives them to be committed can vary from person to person, so this is a good time to ask what they think would bring the best out of themselves. Some possibilities to consider are flexible hours, work from home or a casual dress code, depending on your company.

How would you like to get feedback?

While annual performance evaluations have been the standard for years, there are suggestions that it is not necessarily the best approach. Since so much happens over the course of a year, it is natural for you and your employees to forget some of the things that have happened and concentrate on the latest events, rather than the whole picture. In addition, everyone has different styles of interaction and input needs. One worker will prefer to receive feedback orally, while another with an email. As far as timing is concerned, you may have employees who want to meet weekly for check-ins, while someone else would be happy once a month or once every few months. Communication is the key to success for any relationship and checking in during your performance review with your staff is a great time to address this.


While you and your staff can find annual performance reviews a little challenging, a little preparation goes a long way to ensuring a smooth process. While you have questions that you intend to ask, you should also be ready for the questions that your employee may pose, such as questions about raising, promoting, or changing roles. Overall, while this is a time for you to assess your staff, make sure that they have the chance to share their feelings and make some feedback.