Is there anything that I can do to help you do your job better?
Such an important question and so scary for the person conducting the appraisal! What if it opens up a can of worms? What if their request is unreasonable?
If it does open a can of worms, then good! It was a time bomb waiting to explode anyway and at least you now have a chance to defuse the bomb.
In the unlikely event that the request is unreasonable, it gives you the opportunity to deal with it. An unreasonable request is an indication of unrealistic expectations. Would you prefer to have that simmering in the background or upfront so that you can do something about it?
Performance appraisals can sometimes be one-sided with the employee being “told” what he or she has or has not done. While simplistic, the question is intended to open up lines of communication, be a gesture of goodwill and to demonstrate that you are both on the same side trying to achieve a common outcome.