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8 Final Quarter Review Questions to Ensure Employee Satisfaction

8 Final Quarter Review Questions to Ensure Employee Satisfaction

To help you navigate the crucial last quarter review meetings, we've gathered eight insightful responses from CEOs and HR managers. From assessing challenge levels and happiness to discussing the year’s highs and lows, these leaders share the key questions to ask your employees to ensure their satisfaction. Dive into their expert advice to make your review meetings more effective and meaningful.

  • Assess Challenge Level and Happiness

  • Ask for Desired Changes

  • Inquire About Managerial Support

  • Identify Success Supporters

  • Uncover Project Frustrations

  • Seek Feedback for Improvement

  • Check Work-Life Balance

  • Discuss Year's Highs and Lows

Assess Challenge Level and Happiness

“Do you feel challenged and satisfied by your job? Are you happy here?”

Yes, those are two questions, but they are intrinsically linked. Employee satisfaction may not be at the top of your priority list, perhaps behind expenses or profit, but without it your business will never scale, and it may not survive. Nothing kills a business more than unhappy workers or, worse, repeating attrition that can damage the company’s reputation and ability to attract talent.

Unhappy employees often don’t show up, and if they do, productivity is not where it needs to be. Happy employees work harder and are more loyal to the organization. While you may not care about employee happiness because they are getting paid to do a job, think about the consequences if every good employee you have quits and your business becomes a revolving door of disaffected former employees.

Ask for Desired Changes

In my role as the founder of a life-coaching business, my employees' well-being is always my chief priority. So, I've found that the most revealing question to ask is, "If you could change one thing about your role or the company to make your experience more fulfilling, what would it be?"

This question touches on their emotional well-being and offers a window for them to express their genuine feelings about their position. The feedback I receive is often very insightful, as it helps me better understand their needs and shape the direction of our team dynamics.

By addressing their concerns, I've noticed a significant improvement in their mood and productivity. It's a simple way to ensure employee satisfaction and pursue continuous improvement within your company.

Bayu Prihandito, Psychology Expert, Life Coach, Founder, Life Architekture

Inquire About Managerial Support

One of the most impactful questions we ask our employees each quarter is, "What can your manager do to better support you?" This consistently reveals insights into what's working and what's not. It creates accountability for managers and the impact they have on their employees' growth. It also empowers the managers to be adaptable to different employee needs and working styles.

Then, it allows me, as HR, to hone in on what kind of training and support the managers need. We all know that people don't leave jobs; they leave poor managers. So, giving our people managers the tools they need is an absolute must for our company's success, our culture, and staying true to our company's core values.

Ali Aguilar, HR Manager, Envisionit

Identify Success Supporters

I find it beneficial to ask employees during a final-quarter review who best supported their success. This question provides an opportunity for them to highlight fellow employees with whom they work well—information that can be used later when building teams.

It's also a positive framing that allows workers to open up about management. If no superiors make the cut, it might indicate that team leaders are not fulfilling their roles, and gently guide the conversation into what management could do to better support employees.

Uncover Project Frustrations

As a CEO of a recruiting firm working in the tech sector, I often see workers looking for roles where their dedication will be more appreciated. Losing employees this way is a huge problem for companies, and a great way to ensure better retention rates is by letting them vent a little during the final review.

No project is perfect, but sometimes companies want to keep it positive during a review—this is a mistake. Dancing around the negatives forces an employee to bottle up perfectly normal dissatisfaction and eliminates the chance of making the process smoother in the future.

So, one question to always ask is:

“What part of this project or responsibility frustrated you the most?”

Phrasing it this way lets the worker know difficulties are normal and expected, and it opens the door to collaborative solutions.

Rob Reeves, CEO and President, Redfish Technology

Seek Feedback for Improvement

This should be asked at every review, but this has always been a go-to for me to understand satisfaction both with the organization and with my role as a leader:

"What can I start doing? What can I stop doing? What should I continue doing?"

This shows the employee that you care about their needs. It also allows them space to provide a little bit of feedback to you as the manager.

Check Work-Life Balance

As a CEO, I often ask my team, "How's your work-life balance? Is your workload manageable, or can we make any adjustments to help you achieve a healthier balance?"

This question is not just a routine inquiry; it's a reflection of our sincere commitment to our team members' well-being. It's crucial because it demonstrates our dedication to reducing stress and enhancing job satisfaction. Prioritizing our employees' needs is a win-win, benefiting both our valued team members and the company.

Discuss Year's Highs and Lows

“What has been the best thing about this year, and what has been the worst thing?”

You want to ensure that you're getting actionable insights from this interview rather than general discontent, as that doesn't help you address your employees' concerns.

While it is important to make your employees feel heard, I think it is equally, if not more, important to ensure that you actually take action to fix whatever is bothering them as well±hence the more direct question on what they'd like to see more of in the new year and what needs to be fixed.