We naturally assume we provide great work environments for our employees. I’m guessing most of us do anyway. If asked, I’d bet most of you would say, with exception of one or two, most employees in my practice are happy with their employment.
But can we be certain of this assumption?
If you want to put your assumptions to the challenge (and you are brave enough to receive the feedback) consider asking employees these 6-questions:
- What is most satisfying about your job?
- What is least satisfying about your job?
- Do you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
- Do you receive adequate support to do your job?
- Are you satisfied with this company’s merit-review process?
- Does this company help you to fulfill your career goals?
Not All At Once
First thing first, don’t ask these questions during an employee review or ask them them in all at once.
If you ask the questions all at once, or during a formal review, you are not going to hear the truth. Especially if it’s the boss that is asking. Employees will answer what they think you want to hear… which is, they are completely satisfied and this is the best job they have ever had.
How To Approach The Questions Then?
The best way to approach asking the questions, is by inserting them (or a variation of the question) during an ordinary conversation with an employee.
Here’s an example of how one could carry this out: When an employee comes to you in frustration because she is having a hard time accomplishing a project or task, it may be appropriate to ask: “Are you getting adequate support to do your job?” “Do you think you need additional training?”
Say you are in the lunch room and Nancy, your biller, is getting coffee. You may start out by making small talk and then ask, how are things going with the billing? Are you having any issues? Is there anything in particular that you are having a hard time with?
If the conversation lends itself and time allows, you may consider using a variation of the questions like this with Nancy. What’s not working well in the billing department? I bet that is your least favorite part of your job? What’s working well? If you could spend time doing only one or two things, what would those things be? Are those your favorite part of your job?
There is one key factor that one must have in order to get the most out of this exercise. And that is, be intentional with your engagement. In other words, if one rarely has interactions with staff members or if the interactions are always “strictly business,” understanding your employees satisfaction is not going to be as fruitful as it otherwise could be.
If you manage a large practice, it is difficult to engage all employees. However, you can have this type of sincere and intentional engagement with direct report. And your direct reports should have it with their direct reports.
By being intentional with these questions, not only will you gain a better perspective of your employee’s job satisfaction, but you will also have an opportunity to make employees feel appreciated and valued. Two emotions, by the way, that are largely responsible for employee satisfaction.
Consider signing up to receive blog post like this one in your inbox. By doing so, you won’t miss new articles.