The world is evolving, Internet is faster than before, and digital payments have become common. Products are conveniently landing up at our doorstep, the rich are taking fun trips to outer space, and companies are testing self-driving cars, and so on. You get the drift.
Yet, one thing remains constant, refusing to budge, never adjusting to the times.And that's the way we work!
We, more or less, still follow the same routine.
It is high time that employers start asking relevant questions to keep up with the times – to facilitate a more rewarding work environment.
1. Where Do You Want to Work? Home or Office?
During the pandemic, many people, especially in the tech industry, realized that they could work effectively from home without any productivity loss. It has led to many people resigning from their jobs to take up freelancing. Their companies refused to offer a permanent work-from-home option. Employers were adamant about dragging the workers back to the office.
Times have changed. An office job was essential when people had none of the options available today. They did not have internet, couldn't buy the required tools at home (like a printer or a scanner), did not have online research tools like Google (looking at you coders!). So they were entirely dependent on physical discussions & interactions to finish off their tasks. There is nothing stopping techies from doing their work from home now.
But many offices (including the biggies) are still reluctant to offer that choice to their employees.
We now see founders and leaders from prominent companies frantically justifying office work and chiding working from home. They know many employees have tasted blood and that they want remote work to stay.
Employers get anxious about remote work because they fear that their real estate might go to waste. Big sprawling offices with the best of technology can become redundant – which corporate giant would want that?
Irrespective of the reasons, all companies should support remote work for more talent outreach. Such a move can help them to branch out to every corner of the world cost-effectively.
2. How Can I Do Better?
Have you ever seen the management asking their employees genuinely and openly, "How can I do better?"
Does reaching the top mean you are not prone to mistakes anymore? And, you do not require any more feedback? No one is perfect. I honestly feel the day you think you have learned it all is the day of your downfall. We then become closed to any new viewpoints or feedback.
It is why I genuinely feel employers should start asking their subordinates, "How can I do better?"
Many employees are scared of providing honest feedback to their bosses, thinking it might affect their annual performance review. To address this, managers need to make themselves more helpful and approachable.
Start interacting with your team more often, ask them to join you for lunch, engage in casual chit chat, then ask for feedback on how you can do better. When you increase the comfort level and your team senses you want to do your best, they might let their guard down.
3. What Do You Think Is Lacking in the Current System?
If your company is facing a high attrition rate, then it is time to analyze internal data.
Are resignations more for a particular department, race, religion, gender?
Looking closely at data can reveal a lot of dark secrets.
But the truth is, many employers do not have the time to analyze and address issues. Meeting deadlines takes precedence over what is essential – promoting an inclusive, safe, positive work environment.
It is a well-known fact that people usually do not leave companies. They leave their managers. No one likes to work with an unsupportive boss who makes them feel like their company can do without them.
Does your manager provide positive feedback in addition to constructive criticism to motivate their team?
Observe how people react around the manager. Do they appear nervous, on their toes, afraid?
Approach such employees, question them on what is lacking in the current work system. Tell them you can find a solution for their issues without revealing their name to anyone.
Of course, it takes a secure leader to ask for feedback genuinely.Most of us tend to be feedback-phobes.
4.How Can We Drive for Improvement/Quality?
This question requires a reflective assessment of aspects that the employee has improved in significance as compared to the past and its impact on the job.
The Manager and Employee should first check back on the areas of improvement identified in the last review and assess their relevance in the context of the current job and whether there should be any more added to the list.
Then, they should independently assess the employee’s progress and recommend rectification strategies if any.
5.What is Your Career Path?
As the employee progresses in his/her career within the organization, what are the skills that the employee demonstrates against those expected to be possessed, gaps and how these can be planned to be developed in the near future through training or job tasks.
This review question should be a collaborative discussion that concludes with the plan that prioritizes the development of missing or under-displayed competencies along a timeline for the employee.
Any Other Questions Employers Should Start Asking Employees? Comment Below.
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