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Productivity and business success rarely grace places where the management and the rest of the workforce operate in different dimensions. That’s because open communication and a steady influx of constructive feedback help employees bring their best foot forward. Isn’t that what good management is all about? From this viewpoint, the importance of performance appraisals cannot be overstated. They serve as a tangible mechanism to help the management, as well as the workforce, stay on the same page. Hence, we’ve put together a list of 5 pertinent performance appraisal questions that managers should (and do) ask year after year.

What are your thoughts on your performance last year? Were you able to meet your goals?

The management already has access to performance reports before walking into an in-person appraisal. So, you might wonder why you should bother with regurgitating the same details. That’s because the formal reports don’t have your personalized account- your take on how you perceived your performance and goal accomplishments. When you’re sitting across the room with your manager, you have the opportunity to address your greatest achievements and specific challenges that you overcame. Even when you’ve performed below your potential, you can highlight the roadblocks you faced and assert how you can do better. For this you need to be well prepared and arm yourself with information- data, statistics, successful projects and even the challenges faced and solutions devised if any.

The right answer: Take inventory of your achievements and shortcomings throughout the year. That’ll make it easier to give a concrete account of your performance. Even when you’re talking about your failings, try to be solution-oriented and showcase that you’re learning from your mistakes.

What are your goals for the next year? How do you plan on meeting them?

This question is a follow-up to the first question. Managers want to know that you’re ready to improve in the future and are aware of how you can do so. Like in most areas, specificity beats vagueness here as well. Be as specific with clear and crisp details to highlight what you plan to achieve, of course in alignment with the overall organizational Objective.

The right answer: Present your roadmap for the next year but be open to feedback. Don’t present a set of goals that are too unrealistic or cannot be measured. Use the SMART(Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time Related)  goal setting framework for a straightforward solution.

How do you envision your future in the company? What would you like to accomplish?

Organisations love employees who have a roadmap for their career. After all, the business world thrives on virtues like structure and preparedness. So, it’s only natural for the management to ask about your short-term and long-term career plans during appraisals. Moreover, knowing where you are headed can help the management in helping you reach there faster.

The right answer: The worst thing you can possibly do here is blurting out a response that lacks both self-awareness and preparedness. For instance, it’s not a good idea to quote nothing but the monetary value you want to earn in 10 years. It’s good banter when you’re hanging out with your friends but a non-descriptive answer in a performance review. Exhibit awareness of the trajectory that comes with your dream career. Demonstrate that you’re aware of the unique skills that reaching your goal position requires. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to establish a dialogue with the manager and ask questions that help you eliminate gaps in your knowledge. Like what skill set that you could build on which will really help the Organization in reaching the overall goal.

What part of your job do you adore the most and what’s something that you don’t enjoy putting up with?

Happy employees are productive employees. Happy Employees also translate to Happy Customers. Managers across the globe are not oblivious of this fact. Ideally, they’d want you to do more of what you love and less of what you don’t. So, when you present your review of your day-to-day responsibilities, it’s perfectly okay to be candid about aspects that you don’t enjoy while you highlight the aspect of the Job role that you relish.

The right answer: Try to ascertain the rationale behind liking certain responsibilities and disliking others. Having said that, don’t say that you hate preparing weekly presentations because you feel they’re a waste of time. Instead, you may assert that you’re in the process of developing the creative rigor required to make good presentations. Talk about how the challenge of the task makes you a bit uncomfortable at times. However, maintain that you’re taking active measures to improve.  Packaging the feedback is as important as the idea itself. Also keep in mind that Certain tasks come bundled with the overall role you undertake.

How can the management help you with your job?

Business organizations are collaborative entities and work best when all parts of the machinery are in sync with each other. That’s why it is important for managers to know how they can help. At the employee level, you’re privy to information that managers aren’t. You’re their primary source of information for assessing areas of improvement at the workforce level. So, make sure that you use this opportunity to present an analysis that benefits you as well as the company at-large.

The right answer: Try to brainstorm problems that aren’t heavily localized to your daily lived experience in the workplace. Think like a team-member and present problems many of your colleagues face. In a nutshell, you only have one job while answering this question. Leverage your individual day-to-day experience to inform the management of problems that they can realistically work upon.

This article was originally published on Kelly Services Blog 


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