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

Four questions:

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:

  1. Challenge.
  2. Training.
  3. Feedback.
  4. Coaching.

“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:

  1. Relax and have a brief conversation.
  2. Don’t pressure people.
  3. Be curious.
  4. Listen
  5. Say, “Thank you.”
  6. Set a follow-up meeting when appropriate.
  7. 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?