- What do you like most about your job? In these challenging economic times, you can’t always give raises or promotions. But if you give your employees more of what they like to do (things they are probably quite good at it), they will perceive that as a reward.
- What do you like least about your job? See if there
are others who might not mind doing these things. I was the only “fool”
in my department who liked public speaking. Yet, once I was able to
take on more of those tasks, somebody else was happy to pick up my slack
in other areas.
- What would you like to do in the future? The
temptation, when you’re the manager of a well-oiled machine, is to want
to keep it going. But maybe “Barbara” on your team has been doing her
job for the last eight years and now wants to move on to other
opportunities. Tell Barbara, “If you cooperate with me, I can help make
your dreams a reality.” First, however, you need to find out what
Barbara’s ambitions are.
- What would you most like to learn? Tell your employees that you will invest in them and help them arrive at their sought-after destination.
- When do you feel you do your best work? It
may not necessarily be important when your employees do their work.
Some people function best in the morning, some in the afternoon and some
in the evening. Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, author of Crazy Busy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Handling Your Fast-Paced Life,
calls an employee’s prime time (no matter when it occurs) his “morning
burst.” If not utilized properly, this period can turn into the “morning
bust.” Bosses who give their employees the flexibility to schedule work
around the rest of their lives can earn exceptional loyalty.
- Who do you like working with the most? We find, for
instance, that “thinkers” love to work with other “thinkers.” (Thinkers
tend to be accountants, engineers and IT professionals.) They dislike
working with “socializers,” whom they may perceive to be disorganized,
illogical and always out entertaining clients on the golf course.
Furthermore, socializers may find thinkers to be way too detail-oriented
- What’s most important to you in a job? This
all-encompassing question can help you uncover your staff’s attitudes
and philosophies and better understand their motivations.
Taking the time to ask questions of your employees will show them
that you care. You may get the most out of this exercise if you listen
not only with your ears, but also with your eyes and your heart. The
answers may surprise you.