3 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Employees

Want to give your team an extra boost that’ll help them preform at their best? The solution’s simple – ask for feedback. 

Giving feedback isn’t just a one-way street. The best kind of managers ask their employees for feedback on how they’re doing.

Group meeting
Group meeting

There’s just one tiny problem: Most employees don’t jump at the chance to critique their managers. Make it easy on them – and get some helpful feedback – by asking these simple effective questions:

How did I do on …. ?

Simply asking “How did I do?” leaves a lot of room for misunderstanding. It’s too broad and too easy to answer with a modest “Fine.” Instead, narrow it down to the specific problem or situation.

For example: How clear was the proposed suggestion in the PowerPoint? Did my analogy stick with you, or do I need to come up with a clearer example?

Then sit back and listen.

Absorbing feedback – and putting it to good use – is critical, but difficult.

Fear or frustration tends to take over when you hear those six words: Let me give you some feedback. Make it easier to swallow by taking charge of your emotions.

Mentally prepare yourself and you’ll be more likely to listen to the good and the bad, and figure out what to do with each.

What did you like about …?

“You run our monthly meetings really well.”

“You’re good at delegating tasks.”

You’ve likely heard a few of these before – but have you pressed for details?

What did the employee like about the monthly meeting? What worked well when you delegated that task? Was it the time frame? Was it the communication style? Dig deeper to really get to the useable feedback.

Just like you provide concrete examples when giving feedback, ask for more details when receiving it, too.

What don’t you like about my style?

Did you cringe just reading that question? It’s a tough one – but it’s an effective method to see what makes your team tick, and how you can make their work lives a little bit easier.

Every person has his or her own pet peeves with management styles. One team member may hate one-on-one meetings, while another hates email-only communication.

Either way, you’ve giving them the OK to discuss these concerns – which they wouldn’t likely fess up to on their own.

Asking for feedback doesn’t just make your employees’ jobs easier – it makes your easier, too.

Once you’ve got the answers to these questions, you’ll have a clear idea of what it’ll take to make each individual employee not just productive but happy and reliable – and likely someone that’ll stick around for quite a while.