by Michael Holland     

Have regular conversations with your employees, one-on-one, about their work and themselves. It shows your employees you are interested and care about meeting their needs. The information you learn will help you to better manage each person and you will find that your employees will appreciate the conversation.

Below are some questions you can consider asking. Keep in mind however, you shouldn’t ask them all at once. Just “sprinkle” them from time to time as you meet with an employee or as you are having a conversation. Be sincere in your approach and remember that your response, both verbal and non-verbal, will determine how much information the person is willing to share. So listen carefully, don’t judge, query further, and follow up as needed.

  • Do you get enough regular, candid feedback?  What additional feedback would you like?  Do you have any thoughts on what type of feedback is most helpful to you?
  • Do you feel recognized for your accomplishments?  Tell me about work you’ve done that went “unnoticed.”  I want to know what I’m missing.
  • Do you feel your job matches your skills and interests?
  • Are you challenged in your day-to-day work?
  • Is the training you want available to you?
  • Would you like to develop a career plan?  Do you need assistance?
  • What are you struggling with?
  • What would make your work and life easier?
  • What makes you want to stay here? What will keep you here on a long-term basis?
  • What might lure you away?
  • How does this job meet your needs? How does this job not meet your needs?
  • What do you like best about your job?  Least?
  • What do you like best about working here? Least?
  • What do I do that is helpful for you? What do I do that is not helpful? What could I do differently?

The rewards of keeping the lines of communication open with your employees will be many.