Performance evaluation – Definition, method, survey questions and example

What is performance evaluation?


Performance Evaluation is defined as a formal and productive procedure to measure an employee’s work and results based on their job responsibilities. It is used to gauge the amount of value added by an employee in terms of increased business revenue, in comparison to industry standards and overall employee return on investment (ROI).

All organizations that have learned the art of “winning from within” by focusing inward towards their employees, rely on a systematic performance evaluation process to measure and evaluate employee performance regularly. Ideally, employees are graded annually on their work anniversaries based on which they are either promoted or are given suitable distribution of salary raises. Performance evaluation also plays a direct role in providing periodic feedback to employees, such that they are more self-aware in terms of their performance metrics.

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What is the purpose of performance evaluation?

  • Periodic performance evaluation is an employee’s report card from his/her manager that acknowledges the work he/she has done in a specific time and the scope for improvement.
  • An employer can provide consistent feedback on an employee’s strengths and strive for improvement in the areas that the employees need to work on.
  • It is an integrated platform for both the employee and employer to attain common ground on what both think is befitting a quality performance. This helps in improving communication, which usually leads to better and more accurate team metrics and, thus, improved performance results.
  • The goal of this entire process of performance evaluation is to improve the way a team or an organization functions, to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction.
  • A manager should evaluate his/her team member regularly and not just once a year. This way, the team can avert new and unexpected problems with constant work being done to improve competence and efficiency.
  • An organization’s management can conduct frequent employee training and skill development sessions based on the development areas recognized after a performance evaluation session.
  • The management can effectively manage the team and conduct productive resource allocation after evaluating the goals and preset standards of performance.
  • Regular performance evaluation can help determine the scope of growth in an employee’s career and the level of motivation with which he/she contributes towards the success of an organization.
  • Performance evaluation lets an employee understand where does he/she stands as compared to others in the organization.

Learn more: Employee Review Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

20 Effective performance evaluation survey questions

Survey questions for job satisfaction

1. What motivates you to get your job done well?

2. Which tasks do you enjoy doing the most?

3. Which tasks you don’t enjoy at all, and why?

4. What are the 3 things as an organization we can do better?

5. On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to refer us to your family or friends?

Survey questions for effective leadership

6. Do you feel the leadership in this organization treats everyone fairly?

7. What leadership qualities do you associate yourself with?

8. Can you give us an example of an incident where you used leadership traits in this organization?

9. Do you think there is effective communication between employees and leadership in this organization?

10. If you are replaced with one of the leaders in this organization, what advice would you give the employees?

Survey questions for value addition

11. What are the things you have done to improve the overall success of this organization?

12. What is your idea of recognition?

13. Do you receive regular feedback from your peers/manager/supervisor?

14. How many sensitive projects have you handled in your association with the organization?

15. Do you feel valued in this organization?

Survey questions for workplace culture

16. Have you proposed any effective changes in office policies or procedures?

17. How often do you communicate with your manager/peers?

18. Do you help your peers with the information they need to complete their tasks successfully?

19. Have you had any unpleasant discussions with your team members/manager/ supervisor?

20. How do you think you can bring about a positive change in workplace culture?

Sample performance review templates

We have put together some free sample performance review templates for you; these can be used in your organization as they are or customized to include your themes and questions.

360-degree review

The 360-degree survey is a comprehensive review mechanism that helps gather the greatest insights and feedback on an employee’s performance from his/her supervisor, peers, colleagues, and subordinates.

Supervisor evaluation

The supervisor evaluation survey is deployed to collect feedback and information from employees related to their supervisor. Supervisor evaluation helps an organization and its leadership understand the accuracy of the work done by the supervisor and also helps them evaluate the overall value the supervisor adds to his/her team and to the organization as a whole.

Manager evaluation

A manager evaluation survey offers a set of questions that are answered by the employees to evaluate their direct or indirect manager’s effectiveness at work. This survey is extremely useful for the management to understand the manager’s performance, the attitude at work, willingness to help his/her subordinate, and more.

Senior management evaluation

Senior management evaluation survey questions are used to understand the employee’s perspective of the senior management and evaluate their abilities to be able to run the organization smoothly. This questionnaire should have questions that help an organization gather insights on effectiveness, direction, policy-making abilities, and other useful traits.  

Employee satisfaction surveys and employee engagement surveys are also one of the best ways to conduct the performance evaluation. A satisfied and engaged employee is most likely to perform 14 %  better than his/her counterparts (Gallup).

Employee satisfaction

An employee satisfaction survey is deployed to understand how satisfied or dissatisfied is your workforce. It is essential you measure employee satisfaction as dissatisfied employees not only not perform well but also can be a major reason for high levels of employee attrition in an organization. This survey can power your workforce and HR strategies to cultivate a work culture that enables your organization to win from within. Many times, if an employee doesn’t feel challenged enough, then he/she remains unsatisfied with the work. Performance evaluation can find reasons behind one’s contribution to the company and ways of enhancing it.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement survey enables you as an organization to test the levels of engagement of your employees and to understand how motivated they are to perform well in the workplace. Employee engagement is a matter of concern for most organizations, and disengaged employees set a negative example for other employees. Disengaged employees perform poorly as compared to their colleagues. Thus, this survey can be used to analyze and review the level of performance of an employee and take corrective measures immediately.

Learn more: Career Training And Development + Sample Questionnaire Template

How to use online surveys for performance evaluation

Employee feedback that you will gather from your performance review surveys will refine your training programs, succession planning, and learning initiatives.


In self-assessment surveys, ask your employees to rate themselves based on job performance. In these self-assessment performance review surveys, you may cover aspects such as goals management, eagerness to take on additional responsibilities, training requirements, etc.

Team assessment

In team assessment surveys, you can gain insights into what management thinks about individual and team performances. Use employee self-assessment surveys and manager assessment surveys to find overlapping training and upskilling needs and proceed with training initiatives accordingly.

Manager assessment

Manager performance evaluation is necessary to see what team members think of their supervisor. Are they a good mentor and leader? Are expectations conveyed clearly? Are employee goals and team goals aligned with organizational goals? Use this kind of assessment to gauge the effectiveness of managers.

Training and development needs

It is crucial that your employees feel that your learning and development initiatives are wholesome, and their career training and development needs will be met. How can they upskill for their next role, and how will the organization help them in this? Are employees asked about their training, upskilling, and reskilling needs? These crucial questions will come in handy in refining and revamping your training and development programs.

New role readiness

Your employees will move into new roles with higher responsibilities over their tenure. Many will move into management roles and team management roles, and they need to be ready for it. Do they have the requisite skill set for the job? Do they require further training? Do their colleagues, superiors, and subordinates feel they are the right person for the role? Use these questions to gauge if the fit is right and ideal for the teams involved and the organization.

Learn more: Short Employee Performance Review Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Benefits of employee performance evaluation

Now that we know why the staff performance measurement process is necessary, let us look at the top 5 key benefits the employee performance evaluation offers.

Improved communication

In staff performance evaluation processes, managers give feedback to the team members. This feedback is based on their assignments, their understanding of it, completion, and delivery. Using this feedback, employees can improve their work and plug any gap areas that have been identified by their managers. It also brings to light many issues that the employees may have and need to be addressed. This helps in open and honest communication between the manager and the team.

Build a career path

Managers help their employees with assignments and how they can effectively do them. A performance evaluation meeting is a perfect time to look at an employee’s career path. It lets the employee know what their future goals are and what they need to do to get there. This helps them create small and achievable goals, assign deadlines to it, and work towards completion. It also lets the employees know where they stand in the hierarchy and where they will be in the years to come.

Check levels of engagement

Engaged employees perform better than their counterparts. They are better team players, are more productive, and help their peers out actively. A staff performance evaluation is a perfect time to check how engaged an employee is. This will not only help you in understanding how engaged the employee is but also let you know what necessary steps you would need to take to ensure high engagement.

Get feedback for yourself

A performance evaluation meeting is not only to give feedback; it is a good opportunity to get feedback on your performance from the team members. Understand what your gap areas are, and what more you can do to improve the performance of your team members, and be a good mentor to them.

Resources planning

Staff appraisals help in understanding how an employee is performing and what their future assignments of goals can be. This not only helps in effective goals management but also in resource planning. You can effectively reallocate your resources or hire new members to add to your team.

Learn more: Manager Effectiveness Evaluation Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Performance evaluation process: 3 key steps

Step 1

In most organizations, a performance evaluation process states that an employee’s performance is tracked every three and six months, provided, the employee has worked with the organization continually for that tenure. The HR department can send across an online survey for the employees to fill out regarding their satisfaction and engagement levels.

Step 2

The employee’s immediate manager will decide his/her performance quality after evaluating the yearly performance, conducting an employee engagement survey, and eventually having a face-to-face meeting.

Step 3

The feedback received from the online employee satisfaction survey can be kept anonymous. This feedback can be analyzed in real-time from a centralized dashboard. On the basis of the analysis, the manager can prepare further questions for the face-to-face performance evaluation meeting.

For a probationary employee to be termed as a tenured employee, he/she must perform as per their supervisor’s expectations for six months. The first six months of an employee’s tenure are crucial as the management always has a watchful eye on them for all their contribution towards assigned tasks, ownership skills, and punctuality in task completion.

After confirmation, an immediate manager will evaluate the non-probationary employee on a yearly basis.

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Tips to have a smooth performance evaluation process

  • The supervisor should avoid being too negative or positive with the employees and express displeasure is the most positive manner possible. He/she should communicate with the employee prior to the review meeting about preparing any questions they might have for the supervisor.
  • It is highly recommended for a manager to prepare a list of general topics to discuss with the team member, as an evaluation discussion is ideal for all topics which remain undiscussed throughout the year.
  • Every manager must communicate the employee’s future plans with the organization in the performance evaluation meeting.
  • The supervisor should always end the evaluation process on a positive note.

Learn more: 360 Degree Review Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

Performance evaluation methods: 5 key methods to consider

There are 5 most critical performance evaluation methods. Using only one of these performance evaluation methods might help an organization merely gain one-sided information while using multiple of these methods to help in obtaining insights from various perspectives, which will be instrumental in forming an unbiased and performance-centric decision.

1. Self-evaluation

This is an amazing method to get started with employee reviews. Self-evaluation is when an employee is expected to rate themselves using multiple-choice or open-ended questions by keeping in mind some evaluation criteria. After conducting self-evaluation, the management has an opportunity to fairly assess an employee by considering his/her thoughts about their performance.

An organization’s management can compare every employee’s self-evaluation with the rating his/her manager provides, which makes the performance evaluation process exhaustive and effective. The gap between self-evaluated ratings and the supervisor’s ratings can be discussed to maintain a certain level of transparency.

2. 360-degree employee evaluation

In this performance evaluation method, an employee is rated in terms of the advancements made by him/her within the team as well as with external teams. Inputs from supervisors of different departments are considered along with evaluation done by direct supervisors and immediate peers too. Thus, in 360-degree feedback, each employee is rated for the job done according to their job description as well as the work done by them in association with other teams.

3. Graphics rating scale

This is one of the most widely used performance evaluation methods by supervisors. Numeric or text values corresponding to values from poor to excellent can be used in this scale, and parallel evaluation of multiple team members can be conducted using this graphical scale. Employee skills, expertise, conduct, and other qualities, in comparison to others in a team, can be evaluated. It is important to make each employee understand the value of each entity of the scale in terms of success and failure. This scale should ideally be the same for each employee.

4. Developmental checklists

Every organization has a certain roadmap for each employee for their developments as well as exhibited behaviour. This method of maintaining a checklist for development is one of the most straightforward performance evaluation methods. This checklist has several dichotomous questions, answers of which need to be positive. If not, then the employee requires some developmental training in the areas where he/she needs improvement.

5. Demanding events checklist

There are events in each employee’s career with an organization where he/she has to exhibit immense skill and expertise. An intelligent manager always tends to keep a demanding events list where employees show good or bad qualities.

View our library: Employee evaluation survey templates

Performance evaluation example

By considering all the discussed points, here is a performance evaluation example:

“John has been one of the most hardworking members of the software development team. He works exceedingly well under restricted time frames and adjusts according to the demand of the project. He always discusses his concerns well in time to get results immediately and also keeps the other team members regularly motivated.

He keeps track of the quality of work he produces and is very analytical. Due to this, he constantly improves himself. The only concern that I have currently is whether he will be able to manage additional responsibilities.”

From this example, it is clear that, for a manager to have an impactful performance evaluation, he/she must present the coordinate it in the most professional manner by making sure the negatives do not overpower the positives. This is a testimony to the manager’s leadership skills as well as the employee’s yearly performance.

Learn more: Gender Discrimination Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template 

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