Curiosity. Introspection. Integrity.
These are some of the most sought after traits in both company leaders and employees at any level. So whether they are inspiring self-reflection or soliciting information, good questions (and people who are willing to answer them honestly) are vital to a thriving workplace.
Questions are not only core to the 15Five product but also core to our workplace culture. It’s no wonder that our first eBook of Employee Questions remains one of our most popular pieces of content, proving that asking questions is an incredibly valuable skill sought after in the business world.
I have assembled a follow-up eBook with over sixty new questions, along with detailed information about why they are valuable or when they should be asked.
The book is broken up into ten different chapters for managers to ask feedback questions that impact workplace culture, employee development, and customer delight. There are also questions that help employees become more successful in completing their quarterly key objectives.
Here are some examples from the chapter on cross-team collaboration:
1) Who on a different team would you like to include in a brainstorming session?
Sometimes the best people to help with ideation are not as close to the design/problem/initiative as you are. Fresh eyes from others at the organization, or people whose top strengths lie in the creative realm can be just what you need.
2) If you could shadow anyone at the company for a day, who would it be?
Winning today is not as simple as it used to be. Technological advancement means that new products and services (including those of your competitors) can penetrate the market in years, not decades. Innovation must occur far more rapidly these days for businesses to stay competitive. Part of that competitive edge can be to see another aspect of the business through the eyes of a co-worker. Then take what you learn back to your work and get creative.
3) Have you honored your commitment to other team-members? Where are you out of integrity?
This question is more about team dynamics than getting a project completed, but trust is vital for building a collaborative workplace culture. When people reach out for a collaborative effort, this question reframes the issue as one dealing with trust, honesty, and empowerment.
Brainstorming collaboratively or finishing a project that is outside the scope of your goals may seem like a favor to a colleague, but everyone’s job at the company is to ensure that the business succeeds. Take the opportunity to follow-through, restore trust, and get things done together.
Below, you will find the entire Great eBook of Employee Questions, Part 2: Return of the Question Master. Included are several Genius Questions from our favorite business leaders and People Ops experts.
There are practically infinite questions out there, and asking them can help you as a leader to maintain visibility, strengthen relationships, and gather information to help you lead better. And who knows? With a little time and a bit of practice, you may even become The Question Master…
Shane Metcalf is cofounder and VP of Customer Success at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, objectives (OKR) tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and reviews. Shane has spent his career studying organizational & human development and the power of asking the right question.
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