The phrase ”it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” couldn’t be more true when it comes to leadership. You’re tasked with various responsibilities as a leader, including keeping your employees engaged and getting their feedback. However, it can seem like you’re pulling teeth when asking your team to weigh in on certain matters. Why does this happen? It’s simply because you aren’t asking the right types of questions.
Questions that have a purpose and that are open-ended allows your team to share more thoughtful responses, and this is groundwork for increased employee engagement. Asking engaging questions helps your team feel heard and included. You’ll also learn more about their needs, suggestions, and concerns in the workplace.
The key to asking questions that increase employee engagement is to avoid asking questions that yield only “yes or no” responses. It can be daunting to figure out what types of questions to ask your team and how to address certain topics. To help you avoid starting from scratch, this post includes a list of 24 engaging questions to ask your team. These questions are purposefully designed for your employees to share thoughtful insight and feedback related to company culture, professional development, leadership needs, and more!
Employee engagement isn’t a program, it’s a relationship. Humanize the connection you have with your employees by acknowledging what matters most to them.
- Are you happy with what you’re doing?
- What are you interested in lately (work and/or life related)?
- What has been you biggest achievement recently (work and/or life related)?
- How’s your family?
- What do you enjoy outside of work?
Serving your employees means putting their needs before your own. When you ask the following questions to an employee, make note of the responses and be consistent with applying them to your leadership practices:
- What makes you feel appreciated?
- What can I do to make your role easier?
- How can I help you reach your goals?
By creating an open feedback dynamic, you’ll become more informed of the good, the bad, and the ugly of what’s occurring in your workplace. Asking (and acting on) the following questions will help your employees feel like their feedback matters:
- Do you think [insert new idea or change here] will be effective?
- Do you think we should look into changing …?
- Has __ been working for you?
- What are the most important skills that you believe every new hire in the company/team should have?
Understanding what experience your team has when they come to work will help you create a culture that inspires them to thrive in the workplace and like being there. These questions will help reveal how your team really feels about your workplace:
- How would you describe our company culture?
- What are your top frustrations at work?
- What keeps you with the company?
- Do you find it difficult to work on this team? Why/why not?
Including your team in decisions and changes that affect them increases buy-in and employee motivation. Ask the following questions to keep your team involved:
- What are your thoughts on [insert project/task challenge]?
- Have there been any recent instances when you didn’t feel that your opinions were heard?
- When do you feel the most appreciated at work?
- What are your thoughts on the company’s goals?
It’s important to know the goals your employees have for themselves so you can create a development plan with them:
- Is there a role or program that we don’t have that you think we need?
- What skills do you have that you don’t have the opportunity to use now?
- How comfortable are you with making decisions in your role?
- Do you see yourself a part of this team in the next 2 years?