As managers we have a huge influence over our team members’ wellbeing, mood and therefore performance. Whilst it is critical to set goals, coach, praise and correct where necessary, it is also vital to take an interest in the individual. Either during formal one on ones or whenever an opportunity for a private conversation occurs. Simply asking a question about how things are going (Present State), along with an enquiry into ambitions (Future Progress) demonstrates that you are on your team member’s side and want them to be the best they can be.
How would you say we’re doing at working together as a team?
What is the biggest challenge you’re currently facing?
How is your workload right now?
How has your work-life balance been lately?
Tell me what you are most proud of accomplishing recently?
How’s everything going outside of work?
What can I do to help you grow in your career?
What new skills would you like to be learning?
What do you think are your three greatest strengths?
What’s something I should stop doing as the team’s manager?
If you were me (manager), what changes would you make?
What’s our team not doing that we should be doing?
Finally, the task doesn’t end when you’ve asked the question and listened to the answer. Be sure to log what you’ve heard, quickly take any actions you’ve committed to and follow up at a later date.
Find out more about how to make your team more successful with our short guide.