3 Questions to Answer for Your Employees
Ask and Answer the right questions to drive employee success—across all demographics.
So often the “performance conversation” is focused on what an employee did wrong and should be doing right. Doing the right things, which is important to the overall organization, subtly implies there are “wrong” things and “right” things. However, it’s imperative that employees can find more meaning in their work aside from checking the boxes of right or wrong. Do your team members believe they’re a valued part of the team, and understand how they make an impact?
With five generations of employees currently in the workforce, the span of employee needs, styles, and preferences in the workplace is vast and often misunderstood from one generation to the next. It may seem impossible to build a performance conversation that works for everyone, but Management Concepts can help you focus on three questions you should be answering in every performance conversation.
1. What is the mission or purpose of our organization?
It seems basic, but many employees don’t really know what their company or agency’s purpose is. Creating a mission statement and posting it on the wall is a start but involving your team members in conversations and strategy sessions to create those statements, or implement action to help achieve those goals themselves adds a level of engagement most employees will welcome.
A recent trend on social media is highlighting the notion of “Quiet Quitting”. This idea is essentially the action of doing only what is expected at work, no more, no less. Is it a self-care move borne from the pandemic: taking more time for home, family, and life outside of work? Or, is it a boundary-setting exercise to step away from the 24/7 “hustle culture” that arose from the global office?
This notion of holding the workplace at arms-length really brings a level of discontent to the surface. However, we find that when managers involve their team members in the strategic planning, and really listen to their suggestions and ideas, those team members feel a greater sense of involvement, influence and purpose, and a desire to stay involved as a contributor.
2. Where do I fit in?
As important as the purpose of the organization, individuals want to know where they fit into the story and how they can make an impact. A recent post-pandemic study by McKinsey and Company found that when employees’ personal purpose at work aligns with the organizational purpose and values, that improves engagement, work effectiveness, and personal well-being. While managers may easily see where their team members fit, it’s important to take the time to have those conversations with each individual. Talking about the big pictures, and the smaller ones, opens a different line of questions and can develop clarity.
While we offer a variety of industry standard assessments, we can customize these assessments to meet your unique organizational needs. Assessments such as DiSC, MBTI, 360 and others, provide a balanced and holistic approach to identifying strengths, opportunities, interests, and preferences.
3. What can I do to make a bigger impact? What opportunities are there for me?
It’s ok to focus on the short term, tactical areas of employee performance. Most people are happy to receive kudos for a year’s worth of well-done work. But what’s next? Where do you and your team members go from there? The traditional career pathing is still a valuable conversation, but how else can team members flourish and grow in their organization? Providing customized learning, mentoring programs, individual coaching sessions, and communities of practice goes a long way to help establish performance goals and expectations, and to lay the foundation for those aspirational conversations.
With a span of nearly 50 years of generational differences in the workplace, what each person wants could look very different from person to person, which makes individualized conversations even more important. Management Concepts can help you build the team experiences you need to address these important questions year-round, not just at performance time.
How can I implement best practices to help accelerate my team’s growth?
Contact Tom Ladenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-270-4176 to discuss what we can do for you and download our Mentoring Programs one-pager for more information on how we can help you set up a Mentoring Program to ensure everyone on the team is sharing institutional and professional knowledge from one generations to another.
Keri Wilson is the Business Manager for the Management Concepts’ Learning Services Department. She has more than 20 years of experience leading change management processes and continuous improvement initiatives, as well as implementing procedures to increase organizational effectiveness. She maintains both the Professional Human Resources (PHR), and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certifications. Her passion is helping teams build and implement strategies to ensure they can execute the mission in a collaborative and sustainable way.