Five questions to ask your employees this week

If you speak to most employers, they’ll probably tell you that they have a pretty good grasp on what’s going on in their workplace.  There’s small talk over sandwiches in the canteen and important discussions in the meeting rooms.  You probably feel like you have your finger on the pulse and know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface.

Here’s the thing though. If you want to excel, you need to go a little deeper.  Want to have some more meaningful conversations this week?

Ask your employees the following questions:

How do you think we could improve the business?

Sometimes, you’re so involved in your own business that it’s hard to see the wood for the trees.  Your employees are working with your clients and customers each and every day.  They’ll often have an advanced understanding of what’s really happening.  So find out how they think you could move forward.  You could pick up some amazing ideas and it could do wonders for engagement and morale.

What can we do to make your job easier?

Improving productivity could have a real impact on your profits.  Your employees know what’s expected from them, but are you giving them the support they need?  Maybe you could roll out a system that automates a trickier part of their daily activities.  Perhaps you could invest in new equipment to cut down on the time that’s spent on certain tasks.  It’s about supporting your employees to be the very best they can be.

What are we doing within the business that is no longer necessary?

Outdated systems and procedures could be costing you a fortune and ensuring that you play small.  It could be time to ditch the things that aren’t working and start moving towards the future.  Your employees keep things running on an operational basis, so it’s likely that they’ve got plenty of thoughts to share.

Where do you want to be in the next 2/3/5 years?

If you’re not nurturing your team and doing your bit to keep them motivated and on track, then a time will come when they start to look elsewhere.  When you know their ambitions and aspirations, you can consider how you can align these with your succession planning.

How’s your work-life balance at the moment?

Have you stopped to consider what your employees get up to outside of work?  It’s important that they have time to relax and unwind.  Ask about your employees’ families, children, pets, interests and hobbies.  How could you support them in striking an effective balance?  Showing an interest is often greatly appreciated and it could help you to get a better understanding of wider issues that are having an impact on your workforce.

If you ask these questions this week, it’s guaranteed that you’ll unearth some extremely valuable gems when it comes to working out what makes your staff tick.

Perhaps you already know that your people practices need some work, but you’re not quite sure where to start.  If this is the case, then we want to help. Our HR health check could get you on the right track to making some serious improvements. Give us a call to find out more.

Rachel Wade, Senior HR Consultant, Opt HR Limited, rachelwade@opthr.co.uk, 024 7627 2908

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