29 February 2016

What are you too afraid to ask?

In the name of leap year traditions, here are the questions you should be asking employees…even if you’re afraid of the answers!

Today marks the leap year, an occurrence that happens every four years and is steeped in traditions. Perhaps the most famous of these traditions is the one where women across the world propose to men.

Of course, we don’t need a leap year or a tradition for that anymore! But, the idea of using the day to ask questions you’d normally be too afraid to ask, is a great one…and it got us thinking.

So, here are a few questions that perhaps you want to ask your employees, but were too afraid to!


1. If you had a chance to take a job with the same pay and benefits elsewhere, would you jump ship?


Let’s get straight to point. If they say yes, you need to know why and what you can do to ensure that your company remains the most attractive proposition. What are your competitors offering that you’re not? If your employees say no to this question then that’s great news! But you still need to know why. Make sure you capture the reasons they’re happy and make this shine through in your employer brand.


2. What’s frustrating you at the moment?


Every job has its frustrations. It might be as simple as a broken coffee machine or dodgy mobile signal, or it could be more deep-set, to do with processes, structure or culture. Encourage employees to pipe up and speak their mind on the big and small stuff, act quickly on the easy-to-fix things and give regular updates on the longer-term projects. Colleagues understand that there isn’t always a quick fix, but being transparent with progress can be just as important as the end result. Ask them to finish the sentence, ‘If only we…’


3. How would you like to be recognised?


Recognition for a job well done is so important to make people feel good about what they do and the impact they make. Are you giving enough praise? Are you giving it in the right way? Bonuses and recognition programmes are brilliant but sometimes a simple thank you goes a long way.
There’s a book we love called ‘1001 Ways to Reward Employees’. This quirky book includes no excuse examples as simple as ‘Leave a post it note on your employee’s office door’.


4. How do you feel?


Everyone is talking about wellness; even the CIPD has launched a specialist wellness campaign to raise awareness of physical and mental wellbeing in the workplace. But it starts with an open culture of being able to talk about health and wellbeing openly and without judgment. And that starts with a very simple question – How are you? The days of the once-a-year engagement survey are dwindling, now it’s all about quick, regular and real-time feedback. So what are you waiting for? Get asking!


5. What’s the deal?


Why second-guess the benefits, work environment or culture of your company when the people who matter are right there in front of you. Ask them what they want from their career and from the company they work for. In return, talk about the deal. What is expected from them and what can they expect from you in return?


What do YOU think?


What questions do you think we should be asking? Tweet us at @synergycreative.

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