Gaining quality employee feedback is invaluable for any company. It allows the upper management to gauge the level of productivity, motivation, and interest in the office and take measures to improve them with decisions based on facts instead of assumptions. But employee reviews seldom yield any such valuable information. Employees give tried-and-tested answers to tried-and-tested questions and everything remains the same as it always has. If your company witnesses the occurrence of the same pattern, it's time to shake things up. And it's not some big task you need to undertake to make it happen; just ask these seven questions to your employees and you'll automatically see the revelation of valuable, hitherto undisclosed, information.
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Are there any things beyond your control that hinder your work?
This question will reveal any processes or unnecessary dependence on managers or colleagues that may be causing your employees' productivity to take a hit due to circumstances beyond their control. Once you have this information, you can take the appropriate measures to make their work as hassle-free as possible.
Do you have any ideas that you would like to see implemented here?
Getting employees involved in the decision-making process at their place of work is a good way to empower them and make them feel more involved. And since they're the ones who have to deal with the decisions implemented by whoever's above them in the professional hierarchy, they may have a better idea of what will work well and what won't.
Is there anyone here whose work you think goes unnoticed?
Personal disputes or innocent oversights may result in an employee's contributions to the company going unnoticed. While asking employees if their own work is receiving the necessary appraisal is not guaranteed to work (people often undervalue their worth), asking their colleagues produces far better results.
Could you see yourself contributing to an area outside your current role?
Several employees have a varied skill-set that can benefit departments of the company outside their current role. By allowing them to contribute to another area, not only does your company benefit from fresh talent without having to hire for it, it also breaks the routine of employees by giving them something new to work – thereby increasing their interest and hence motivation.
Is there anything you need help with or anything you would like to learn?
Employees, due to the fear of embarrassment or admonishment, rarely come forward with a problem even when it's hindering their work. Asking this simple question can go a long way to making them understand that it's not having a problem, but not getting it solved that's the issue. Also, people are almost always looking to learn new things and develop their skills. If your employee expresses such a desire, you can ask a senior employee to assist them or conduct a workshop that teaches them what they want to learn.
Do you find your work here meaningful?
While most employers think that a salary is motivation enough for employees to work, social scientists have discovered that meaning or purpose is a far more effective motivator. While gauging your employee's satisfaction level is not an easy task, asking them if they find their work to be meaningful is. And you can use that information to make changes that'll drive employees to be more enthusiastic workers.
Are there any benefits you would like to see offered?
Employees would almost always want more benefits above those they're currently offered, but it's which ones they ask for that matter. If you find enough intersecting requests from multiple employees, you'll know which benefits will be most valuable for retaining your employees. Similarly, you can also find which benefits are going unused and eliminate them to save your company's resources.
If you've already been asking these questions, then congratulations, your company is among the better places to work. If not, you better get started at the earliest.