As a leader, your day moves fast and your plate is full. It’s easy to breeze through the day focusing on the tasks at hand while missing the importance of connecting with those you lead.
While each employee is different, they all have a fundamental need to hear from you. They need to know you are interested in them, you listen to them, and you are there to support them. Staying engaged with your workforce will do wonders for your company culture and efficiency.
In addition to the improved team dynamics, communication with your employees will give you valuable insight into how things are really going inside your business.
The problem is that stopping to chat is not always the easiest thing to do. And if we are honest, you don’t connect with everyone on your team the same. There are probably some that are downright challenging to genuinely engage with.
Here is a simple framework of 3 questions that can lead your engagement with your team.
Question 1: “What’s New”
This question is a great way to find out what is going on in someone’s life both at home and at work. You’d be surprised at the things happening in the lives of your employees that you miss because you simply don’t ask.
Maybe a new baby is on the way. Maybe there is a sick family member. This simple question can give a lot of insight into why someone may be struggling at work or it may give an opportunity to celebrate as a team. It will show you things you would have never known without stopping to ask.
This question also dives into how things are going at work. Maybe they have a great idea that could benefit the company. Maybe they are stalled out on a project and not sure where to go next. By stopping to ask, you put yourself in a position to get a true pulse on how your people are doing and what they are facing.
Question 2: “What’s Next”
This question sheds light into what your employees are facing in the future. It helps you understand what they are stressed about and also what excites them.
Asking “What’s Next?” can open the door to discussing an upcoming project and allow you to provide insight and guidance without being a micro-manager. It can also give you insight into what resources may be needed or what may need to be coordinated with other teams.
Question 3: “What’s Needed”
The last question cuts right to the heart of what they need from you. Your employees may be reluctant to come to you if they need more tools, more resources, or even more direction. By taking the time to ask, you are showing that you are actively engaged in supporting your employees and getting them what they need.
Putting It Into Play
If you are anything like me, you are task driven and like to hit the ground running. You genuinely care about your team, but stopping to chat is not really on your radar. However, building relationships and trust is crucial to creating a strong team that will grow with your company.
Having these three questions in your back pocket can take the pressure off you a little, while giving you an easy way to engage your team and really get to know them better.
So give it a try this week. When you have a few extra minutes with one of your employees, ask them one (or all three) of these questions:
- What’s New
- What’s Next
- What’s Needed
Question: What strategies do you use to stay engaged with your employees? Let us know over in the Facebook Group.