What is the most powerful management tool at your disposal?
It’s not necessarily a software application or something that you picked up in an MBA program. This tool is far more basic… the question.
Regularly asking questions to employees is an agile and lightweight way of keeping up with what’s really going on. Answers become conversations about what is most essential and meaningful for the team and the company. With a little effort those conversations can be transformed into actions that can impact employee performance and ultimately profitability.
If you owned the company, what’s one thing you would do differently?
Ask this question to your employees once a month to encourage leadership from everyone in the company. Placing them in the driver’s seat can really open up some potent ideas for helping the company succeed. This question also offers a sense of empowerment and ownership in the company.
Many of the questions in the eBook slideshare below were designed by members of our team or our beloved customers. Others are contributions from thought-leaders like Simon Sinek, Rand Fishkin, and Ryan Holiday. They share the questions that they ask their own teams, along with why they ask them.
No matter what method you use to gather information from employees (whether that’s face-to-face, via email, or via employee feedback software), ask these proven questions on a regular basis to learn about their frustrations, triumphs, and innovative ideas. When you keep the questions fresh, the outcomes will consistently improve. Your employees will appreciate you not boring them with repetitive question, and appreciative employees are far more likely to tell you what you need to know…
David Hassell is Cofounder & CEO of 15Five, employee engagement and performance software that helps create high performing teams by combining continuous feedback, pulse surveys, objectives (OKRs), peer recognition, and 1-on-1 meeting agendas, all in one lightweight weekly check-in. Follow David on Twitter @dhassell.