The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Asking Your Team These Essential Questions
Keeping on top of your business means more than being aware of industry trends and changes. Your employees and their thoughts and feelings will impact your success.
Regularly asking questions and soliciting feedback from employees, whether in person or in writing, is a quick and easy way of keeping your finger on the pulse of the lifeblood of your business – your employees. Their answers will shed light on what is meaningful to them, their team, and the company. Those answers can then become conversations that spark action.
You need to ask the right questions and be alert to staff needs to keep up with what’s really going on. Below are seven of the best feedback questions we’ve found actually work:
What’s going well with your work and have you had any wins this past week?
Starting with a positive question works wonders because people enjoy recognizing the good things about their work. By including the small wins that are often overlooked you give everyone on your team the chance to highlight something great about their work. In the meantime, you will be able to ascertain what employees think of as triumphs in relation to the company’s goals.
Are there any challenges causing frustration that you need help with?
By posing the question like this you are leaving the floor open for employees to raise challenges that may be on the periphery of their work, yet having tremendous impact on what they do and how they do it. The fastest way to overcome challenges and frustrations is to recognize them. Bringing someone else’s attention to it puts you in a positive position to do something about it. With another mind added to the mix, you both can think of the issue in a new light and find creative solutions to overcome it.
What are we, or should we, be doing to make you more successful in your role?
Success is a moving target. Whatever goals were reached, or aimed for, one week can change the next, and employee success and support evolves with it. Someone may need help with a particular skill, a one-on-one meeting, or better understanding of a particular policy.
By asking for feedback you are providing an opportunity for employees to tell you what they need to achieve their personal goals. You’ll be creating more engaged and happy teams as they enjoy greater success.
How do you feel and what’s the team morale on a scale of 1 – 5?
It’s critical to know how your employees feel, and the best way to do this is to ask them. It boosts motivation and happiness as they’ll feel heard and appreciated for both individual and team experiences.
The answers will also help you to effectively plan various initiatives and changes to the business. If they are feeling burnt-out or stressed it may be better to postpone collaborative exercises until they are feeling more energized and able to tap into themselves to reach their most creative point.
How happy are you on a scale of 1 – 10 and why?
Research tells us that happiness comes before success and achievement, not vice versa. When people are happy they find better solutions with ease.
Satisfaction builds a culture of high performance and retention. By asking about happiness you are showing that your staff matter more than simple performance or work issues.
What was the best thing, in or out of work that happened this week?
Learning about team members as three-dimensional people helps to forge more committed and engaged teams. When employees feel that they are properly understood and their personal ambitions and goals matter, team cohesion is boosted along with retention. This question also allows you to find commonalities which will give depth to personal communication.
What one suggestion do you have to improve our product/service that you think we should implement?
Your employees are the ones who know your products and services inside out, and are therefore often the best source of innovation. Allow them to offer ideas for improvement, both big or small, and you’re bound to receive ideas you hadn’t thought of. It’ll also make the person being queried feel part of the business and valued.
By asking the right questions, you will be better able to tap into the power driving your business forward. However, don’t ask all of the above questions at once. Doing so is overwhelming for the respondent and you won’t gain as much from it as if you break it up to 3 or 4 each week or month.
It’s up to you how you invite this feedback. A regular staff survey may suit your business, but so may a regular team meeting agenda item – the choice is yours. Whichever direction you choose, soliciting feedback is an excellent method of keeping tabs on your employees and the company’s future success.