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Seven Straightforward Questions that all Leaders Must Answer for an Engaged Team

Engaging and mobilising employees can feel like a real challenge. However, we have found that a few straightforward behaviours can make a massive difference to improve engagement.

It’s frustrating to have to be a mind reader

For instance, many employees are frustrated because they feel like they have to read their manager’s mind. They don’t know how they are progressing and how they can do better and achieve more. The annual performance review is sometimes their only opportunity to find out, and that experience is so stressful and formal that the environment is not conducive for improvements.

Spans of control add to the problem

This situation is not totally the fault of management. In some organisations, spans of control have become so large that managers have to complete other formal performance reviews every three or four days.

The solutions are more straightforward than you might think

There are many simple strategies to engage and mobilise employees. They cost almost nothing to implement, can be put into place immediately, and have huge impact.

For instance, one opportunity that many leaders have – even at the C-level – is to give more frequent, informal feedback about how each employee is doing. That way, everyone in an organisation knows what is expected of them and how they can improve.

The seven questions

There are seven straightforward questions every leader must answer and communicate to employees. As with advertising, frequency counts. Small, informal conversations about performance go a long way – especially when they include teachable moments about different situations and details. The questions include:

1.      What do I expect from you?

2.      What are you doing well?

3.      What, if anything, can you be doing better?

4.      What, if anything, do I want you to do better?

5.      (If appropriate): What will happen if you improve (e.g., more responsibility, more time with leadership, more desirable assignments)?

6.      (If appropriate): What will happen if you don’t improve?

7.      How can I help?

While all of these questions are important, the final question is particularly important. It shows the employee that the leader cares, and is not merely abdicating responsibility or shifting blame.

For more information about engaging and mobilising employees please contact Toby Trumble to chat further.

Toby Trumble