Last week I wrote about some of the reasons why you should be collecting feedback from your employees and some ways you can obtain that feedback. Regularly asking your employees for feedback is massively important and underrated. A business is only as good as its employees. So you need to make sure your employees are happy and engaged with their work or your business will suffer.
A survey software, such as YesInsights, that lets you capture the general pulse of your employees’ feelings is a great way to ensure they’re the most productive they can be. So I’ve come up with my favorite 7 questions you can ask to get actionable feedback from your employees. And I explain why each question works and the best practice for asking it.
7 Questions to Ask Employees to Get Feedback
Question #1 – What area do you need the most improvement in?
Why? This question lets you dig deeper into the skillset of your employees. Sometimes a lack of communication between leadership teams and employees results in an employee doing tasks that don’t fit his particular skillset. This is especially true for newer employees.
So asking this question gives you a chance to restore the communication channel between managers and employees. And it can uncover insights you might’ve missed otherwise, like moving unhappy employees to jobs that better fit their specific skill set.
You’ll make your employees more engaged and more productive, which means more revenue for your business!
Best Practice: It’s best to ask this question to each employee at the beginning of each new quarter. Growing businesses deal with changes all the time, so you want to keep track of areas your employees are struggling with.
Further, you should ask your employees this question a few weeks after they’ve switched job roles. This way you can be proactive with your employees and avoid the costly error of misaligning their skillset and job.
Question #2 – How long do you see yourself staying in the company?
Why? This is a great question to uncover your employees’ loyalty to your business. Though, be cautious. Your employees will be more likely to answer this question how they think you would want it answered rather than answering the truth.
Alternatively, you could phrase the question as “Do you see yourself working here a year from now?”. This version is a little softer so the responses will be more truthful. But it comes at the expense of gaining more insights.
Best Practice: This question is best used after you’ve already developed a company culture of providing honest feedback. Your employees should feel safe with providing honest feedback to their managers.
Once your company culture is in place, it’s best to ask this question a few months after hiring a new employee. Then, have a yearly checkup with each employee to see if their desires have changed.
Question #3 – Would you refer someone to work here?
Why? Friends don’t let friends work at terrible companies. And the opposite is true too. Friends want their other friends to work at an awesome company.
So you can use this question to capture your employees’ loyalty on a more subtle level than the previous question. And you might even gain another valuable member to your team.
Best Practice: Usually this question is phrased as an NPS question, and respondents answer on a scale of 1-10. While using the NPS version is the absolute best practice, you don’t need to use the NPS formula to see results.
The follow-up question here is critical. After answering, you should ask your employees why or why not and let them add their own reasons in an open ended format.
If you use a survey software, such as YesInsights, answering a survey question will automatically prompt an additional way to add open-ended feedback.
Question #4 – Do you have a clear understanding of your career or promotion path?
Why? You and your employees should always be on the same page. If you leave your employees in the dark about their career path, then you run the risk of them becoming less engaged in their work, and ultimately less productive.
And if you and your employees are on different pages then you might think you’ve given them a clear path, but your employees might not feel the same way. So it’s crucial to routinely ask this question and ensure everybody is on the same page.
Best Practice: Ask this question to your employees every 6 months. 6 months is an adequate amount of time to check-in with your employees to make sure you are both working towards the same ends.
Question #5 – How would you rank your work-life balance?
Why? A recent study conducted by Design Pickle shows that most of their clients don’t achieve a work-life balance. And since many of their clients are businesspeople, the same is likely true about your clients and employees.
Achieving a work-life balance helps avoid employee burnout and keeps productivity levels high. Again, you won’t know until you ask. And you can make improvements to a problem you didn’t know existed.
Best Practice: The NPS survey works best for this question, as it gives your employees a scale of 1-10 to rank their work-life balance. But one-click surveys work well here too.
You should ask this question more often than the other questions. About once a month or every other month is a good amount of time.
Question #6 – How comfortable do you feel giving feedback to your manager?
Why? This is perhaps the most important question on the entire list. If your employees don’t feel comfortable giving honest feedback to their manager, then there’s no point in asking for feedback. Because the feedback will be based on how they think you would want them to answer, rather than being truthful.
Best Practice: You should ask this question once a quarter, as well as every time a new manager is hired. Again, the follow-up here is critical, especially if your employees don’t feel comfortable. You need to find why they don’t feel comfortable and make adjustments as quickly as possible.
Question #7 – Do you believe the leadership team takes your feedback seriously?
Why? If the previous question was the most important, this one comes in at number 2. If your employees don’t feel like their feedback is taken seriously they are more likely to lie in their feedback and become less engaged at work.
When employees don’t feel like they’re being listened to, they respond by disengaging. Which means there will be a drop in their productivity and loyalty to your company. Not good.
Best Practice: You should ask this question every quarter to make sure that all of your employees feel like their input is being taken seriously.
Pay close attention to the follow-up responses if your employees feel like their feedback isn’t being taken seriously. This is a problem that needs to be solved immediately.