4 Questions the Best Managers Answer to Energize Employees
“The best managers reinforce how and why each person’s contribution is fundamental to the team’s success.” Gallup
First: What is your contribution?
People are energized when their contribution is understood and appreciated.
Here’s a walk-about question you might use today. “I believe you’re making important contributions. What contributions do you think you’re making?”
(Find creative ways to complete the above question, “to our customer’s success,” for example.)
Note: If you’re afraid to ask the question, maybe it’s time to work on helping people know they’re contributing.
Second: What are you great at?
People are energized when their strengths are understood, appreciated, leveraged and improved.
“The best managers … actively create a culture of continuous learning.” Gallup
Here’s a walk-about question you might use tomorrow. “I think you’re really great at … . What do you think you’re great at?”
Third: What are your aspirations?
People are energized when their current work develops their skills and advances their career.
Here’s a walk-about question for Wednesday. “What are your aspirations?” Or, “Where would you like to be in five years and how can I help you get there?”
Fourth: How can we set you up for success?
People are energized when the path for success is clear and attainable with hard work.
Success is about:
“42% of Millennials want feedback every week—more than twice the percentage of every other generation.” HBR
Here’s a walk-about question for Friday: “Who’s helping you develop your skills and advance your career?” (Everyone goes further with someone.)
7 walk-about tips:
- Relax and have a brief conversation.
- Don’t pressure people.
- Be curious.
- Say, “Thank you.”
- Set a follow-up meeting when appropriate.
- Reject the need to offer quick solutions to people’s problems.
The whole point of walking-about is connecting with people.
What do you see the worst managers doing?
What do you see the best managers doing?
Hi Dan: I particularly like the 4th Question because it does in general what all the others do in a more focused way. By Challenging people, we’re understanding their strengths and weaknesses; by Training, we’re giving them tools; by giving Feedback, we’re fine tuning their skills; and by Coaching, we’re looking to have them participate in their own development and success. Thanks!
The best managers ask –What can we do that has never been done before?
I like the idea of that conversational approach – always good to get your insights Dan.
Worst managers notice errors, bad behaviors, etc. They live in the world of correcting without guiding or supporting. They don’t take the time to truly know the members of their team.
Best managers let their staff know they see every one of their good acts, good behaviors, etc. They care about their staff and provide insight, not answers. They invest effort and cultivate trust in order to understand their staff and help them develop good habits, new skills. They help their staff grow.
When I first became a supervisor, I made the mistake of thinking I needed to solve people’s problems for them right away. I then realized, with the help of Dan’s Leadership Freak posts, that doing so only creates dependence and hurts productivity and morale.
I think the relative triangular similarity between good managers and likewise are what motivates success: feedback and challenge. The worst manager powers up challenge but to please him or herself inorder to meet up with dew target thereby putting on hold what the team needs to get to another level.
Secondly, failing to welcome feedback which is one major key to engagement in any field. Engagement builds strong relationship and people feel energized when they know that you care about their goals and that their opinions matters. Collaboration minimizes compromise thereby maximizing the core values in the team.
These questions are successful because they’re all related to development of the employee. As someone who has been asked these questions, they’ve got me energized to think about my career and to help me ‘see’ that through the questions. 1-on-1 discussions should be the medium for these conversations with an employee. It’s private and it’s allotted time to think about career pathways/trajectory with your manager.
I see the worst managers being inconsiderate, selfish, not goal oriented and taking all the credit. Good managers do the opposite. By doing this and actually caring, connecting, engaging and empowering, they ensure the success of their work center.
I sometimes wonder how a manager gets into positions and stay there without the “leadership” see this behavior. Or is it something they learned from the leader that hired them. There has to be an enable somewhere to make them this would be okay right?
Very well said!!!
I love reading your messages. I am working on a quick survey to go out to my staff. My superintendent suggested asking what are three of my strengths and three of my areas to improve. What are your suggestions?