The Real Questions You Should Ask Your Employees

words Al Woods

Giving pizza Fridays and offering group gym sessions is cool, but what’s cooler is listening to what your employees have to say and acting on that information. Getting feedback that really matters and can make a big difference to your employees and how they feel about it can make an impact that ripples through your whole office. 

The employee experience starts from the moment they get hired – onboarding can decide if an employee stays or looks elsewhere. 

But for companies that thrive, they ask questions, listen to the feedback and then do something about it. 

So here are a couple of things you can ask to ensure you are getting to the chucks of the issues your employees face. 

Employee retention

Photo by Antonio Gabola on Unsplash

What part of the company do they want to know better?

Most employees end up staging in their one team, and they might now get the chance to learn much about other areas. Some of the most successful companies will let team members check the other teams and see what they are working on. It can give employees a much broader view of the company and how all of the teams function together but separately. 

It’s not just the teams either; the C-suite, managers and other leaders can feel far removed from the people on the floor. They might want to know those people better too. Some of the answers might be surprising – so create a culture where people can ask to meet others – or where there are no barriers between the different hierarchies (or abolish that way of thinking altogether).

Have there been times when you didn’t get to share your input on team issues?

When teams have big projects, there can be a lot of voices giving ideas, solutions, problems and general discussion. Not everyone in those situations will have something to add right at the moment, which means that important things might not get said or shown. 

Once you know that there are people who aren’t finding the space to interject, then you can consciously make space for extra conversation and input. 

What are the fun parts of your job or in the company?

When there are big projects, and everyone has to dig deep to meet deadlines and contribute the right thing for their team, it can be stressful. In fact, it can be difficult to remember all of the fun parts of the job. 

Asking what bit was enjoyable can not only highlight what you are doing right, but it can remind the person what it is about the role that they enjoy. 

What part of the job is most meaningful?

We all value our work in different ways, and what is important to one team member might not matter to another. So if one team member finds that working as a team and having high productivity is meaningful, the other might be focused on innovative works and exciting technology. 

When you understand the most meaningful parts of the job, you can make sure that what you have in place for motivations for the team makes sense to them. If your team doesn’t care about perks like tennis tables and free fruit – but profoundly cares about having input into the direction of the company – you know where to put your efforts. 

What drives you to succeed?

If most of your employees say something like – I like to get paid at the end of the month, you have a bit of a problem. When you ask what drives your employees to success, you are taking a deeper look into what motivates them – and, more importantly, how they define success. Again, when it comes to success, there are many different things that people classify as successful. 

Recognition for their efforts, bonuses, or team awards, or they might get a sense of self and satisfaction seeing their work in fruition. 

If you see that there are correlations in what your employees deem as success, then you can go further in ensuring that they have what they need to feel successful and appreciated.

Are there any projects that could’ve gone better?

Having a clear grasp on what went right and what went wrong can ensure these things don’t happen again in the future. Reflection on our own contribution and the contribution of others is an integral part of growing our own skill set. 

It becomes easier to highlight barriers that seem to be arising regularly – and you can also get insight into any team members who repeatedly have the same issues. 

You can take action to ensure the processes in place work for your team or remove the barriers – regardless of what they are. 

If there were one thing you’d leave this company for, what would it be?

This question can elicit some surprising responses. In a remote and hybrid working climate, if you don’t offer that – this can be something that they might consider a must-have in their working life. Salary might also come up – but that is fair game. 

Not only can the answers to this question give you clarity on what you need to do better, but it can help you improve the environment that new hires will come into. Remember, no one knows your company as well as the team members who have been around for a while. 

How would you like the company to support you in your career growth?

This open-ended question puts the ball firmly in the employee’s court. They can talk to you about learning packages, training, degrees, further certified learning, and better team communications – anything that they feel will help them get the most from their career now and can directly contribute to their goals. 

Keeping your team inspired, innovative, motivated and productive is great for the company – but it is vital for the employee too. They should feel satisfied, confident and comfortable in their role – and see how their career can grow. 

Understanding how you can keep the best employees and attract more is essential for the growth of your company; it is important to recognise: Why do Good Employees Quit? And What Can You Do About It?

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