Listening to Your Team is a Great Way to Overcome Business Challenges
While it sounds like a term that only applies to the person with the fanciest title in an organization, business leadership is an important quality for people to demonstrate at all levels. However, when you are the boss, it becomes important that you encourage this comprehensive business leadership amongst your team. Here are a few key questions you should be asking regularly to communicate this responsibility to your team members.
“What’s working? And, just as critically, what isn’t?”
If you want your team to be invested in the successful operations of a business, you must recognize that this investment comes with some level of ownership. While there is no “I” in “team”, there is one in “collaboration.” Listen to your team as they celebrate their individual accomplishments. Not only will this help build morale, you’ll get some deeper insights into which tasks your employees—your boots on the ground, so to speak—see as noteworthy.
On the flip side, you also need to hear out their grievances in terms of your established processes and procedures. As the ones with hands-on experience, your end users will likely have the most pertinent perspective of how work can be done most effectively. Whether it is presented as a need for more support or simply a solution that doesn’t work for them, you can learn a lot from hearing them out.
Maybe they make it clear that they need more coaching in how to use a given tool, or perhaps there’s a better alternative that they could be using. Either way, it also helps to involve them in brainstorming a better way to accomplish these goals.
“What do you need from me in order to help you succeed?”
This is one of those questions that will need to be repeated over time, as the evolving situation will cause the answer to change with regularity. However, the important thing is that this question will help you to change your employee engagement for the better. By opening the door for feedback, suggestions, and requests, you are giving your employees the power to bring their input to you.
This is also a good way to collect the insights we discussed above, helping you better evaluate where your team stands and improving your processes that way.
“What are some things your teammates accomplished recently?”
This question is really about mindset, as well as encouraging a more collaborative and communicative workplace. Phrasing your question in this way preempts your employees to look to the positives, leading them to see the benefits of keeping communications open with each other.
Furthermore, by priming them to think in this way, you’re making sure that this focus becomes a part of your company culture. Wouldn’t you rather your different team members share their success, and as a result, seek to support each other in its pursuit?
“How would you improve what we have to offer our clientele?”
Again, returning to the theme of collecting input from those with first-hand knowledge on the subject, asking your team to identify shortcomings that they may be dealing with each day can help you to optimize whatever it is you may be offering. After all, your team members are likely the first to answer the phone when someone calls the company, whatever the call’s purpose, and so will be the first to hear any negative feedback. As such, they’ll have first-hand knowledge of where the biggest and most impactful deficits exist in your service delivery.
“What would you do differently if you were in my shoes?”
While this question has obvious value in terms of evaluating the biggest pain points within the company, it also helps you encourage your team members to think from more of a leadership perspective. It isn’t enough anymore to just have people at their workstations, businesses today need to have innovative and engaged workforces with high prospects for upwards mobility. Asking this question puts some of the power in the end user’s hands, even if only for a moment, reinforcing the employee’s worth to the company.
Now, if any of your employees’ feedback should ever reference insufficient technology resources to effectively complete their tasks, that’s where Directive can come in to help. We offer a wide variety of services and solutions designed to improve your workplace’s efficacy, security, and productivity.
Reach out to us for more information by calling 607.433.2200.