Did you know that managers spend an average of 210 hours a year on performance management? Though performance reviews are an integral part of every organization, almost everyone dreads them. Do they have to be that scary? Well, not if you discuss just the right things with your employees during the review!

As managers, it is your responsibility to conduct performance discussions with your employees and provide them with a fair and accurate review. It’s important to be prepared ahead of time and give an honest review but it is more important to ask the right questions and have productive discussions with your direct reports. These discussions can result in strategic planning of workplace goals and objectives and help you with setting OKRs for your team easily.

This article will provide you with 7 performance review topics to discuss with your direct reports to get the most out of the performance discussion.

Also Read: Questions to ask during performance review

What To Discuss In A Performance Review Meeting?

The purpose of a performance review discussion is to understand the performance of an employee in the core business areas. The responsibilities and actions performed by an employee in accomplishing the tasks and any other initiatives taken by them to drive the team and the organization towards their objectives.

It is important to understand the things to discuss during performance review to make it streamlined and employee centered. The below points will help you in making your next review meeting more stratigized and focused on the employee’s improvement.

Also Read: Performance review discussion tips for 2022

performance review guide for new hires

Acknowledge Accomplishments

Always remember to acknowledge the good work that your employees do or find something good about your direct reports to talk about in a performance review meeting. It is important for them to understand that you are monitoring both the positive and negative aspects of their performance. Moreover, this helps you make them feel comfortable with the conversation.

Talk About The Gaps In Knowledge

A leader always lets people know about their shortcomings and shows them a way to improve themselves. It is very important for you as a manager to recognize and talk about your employees’ gaps in knowledge. This helps them understand what is expected of them and evaluate themselves better.

Also read: Performance review questions for managers: A guide to performance reviews

Discuss Things That Need Improvement/ Change

There are many things other than just knowledge gap that result in a lack of performance. As a manager, you should let your team members know what could be changed about their current performance and where they need improvement. A performance review meeting should be a place where you both communicate and plan where you could improve as individuals and as a team to improve your performance.

Ask For Suggestions

Sometimes, it is important to listen to your employees. They could have really valuable suggestions to give about how the team could function and contribute to organizational success. Also, asking for suggestions from your employees gives them a chance to participate and contribute to the organization actively.

Also Read: 7 Reason To Set Employee Goals

Discuss Employee’s Long-term and Short-term Goals

As a manager, you should know the answer to these two questions about your employee.

According to HRM Canada, 85% of workers feel they could be more efficient at work, but because of skill underutilization, do not live up to their full potential!

Asking about their short-term goals makes you understand what they have planned for the current role in your organization and helps you both stay on the same page with regards to their goals and helps you utilize their skills and potential to the fullest. Asking them about their long-term goals will help you understand what they expect from their current job and how they would be able to adjust to the changing trends in your industry.

Clarity Of Role

Research from the University of Cambridge tells us that employees find more success in their roles when they’re given clear expectations. Utilize your performance review meeting to clarify the role of your employees in the organization and set specific goals for them.

Also read: Your Comprehensive Guide To 360 Degree Feedback In The Modern Workplace

Make A Performance Improvement Plan

Once you clarify your employee’s role in the organization, it is important to make a performance improvement plan for them. This doesn’t imply that their past performance wasn’t good enough, you can always aim to improve your future performance. So use this performance review meeting to come up with a proper performance plan and set OKRs for your employees!


A performance review is an integral part of an organization. It helps in finding potential employees and providing them with the right opportunities and skills to excel in their career. Additionally, managers can also provide constructive feedback to employees whose performance is not on par with the standards. By inculcating the review meeting points discussed in this article, you can make the process clear, actionable, and employee-centered. You can use these points as annual review topics or during quarterly and biannnual performance discussion meetings.

performance review discussion