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27thFeb2017

Instantly Improve Employee Productivity by Asking These 10 Questions

Instantly Improve Employee Productivity by Asking These 10 Questions

If you’ve found this article, it means that as a business owner, you understand that employee morale drastically affects your bottom line. You know engaged employees perform 202% better than disengaged employees; that 7 out of 10 American employees admit they aren’t working to their full potential; and unhappy employees will take 15 more sick days each year than the average worker.

To help, we’ve developed an employee satisfaction survey that covertly gauges how happy your employees truly are. Ask these 10 questions and have the information you need to improve employee productivity in your business.

 Questions to Ask to Improve Employee Productivity

1. What has changed since you starting work here? 

If you’re a hands-on type of boss, you’ll probably know each employee you have and their personal stories. But if your business has grown substantially, you may have some employees that you don’t have a personal relationship with.

Have the employee take you through their employment journey within your organization. You’ll be able to look at each employee uniquely by seeing company milestones through their eyes. Pay close attention to their wording and body language. Is it positive or negative?

Starting the employee satisfaction survey with this question allows you to get a broad picture of the history of your relationship with each team member.   

2. What is your job description?

This question’s purpose is to gauge your office’s overall communication abilities and efficiency. When reviewing everyone’s responses, does each employee know exactly what is required and expected of them? Refresher training may be needed for some employees that feel that they don’t know their exact role within the organization.    

A clear understanding of job titles and duties ensures that your office runs as efficiently as possible. Improve your team’s understanding of the big and small pictures to improve everyone’s productivity levels.

3. What is your average workday like?

You can choose how much detail you’d like in this question. You want to be able to gain a quick understanding of their day-to-day tasks; where they see themselves in the big scheme of production.

Gauge your employee’s happiness levels by focusing on not only what they say, but how they say it. If they dole out a robotic list of daily tasks, try to dig deeper to see what duties that employee enjoys versus the ones they dread. 

For instance, does your employee say, in a monotone or irritated voice, “Well, my work is constantly interrupted because I have to answer the telephone every time it rings.” Consider hiring an affordable virtual receptionist that can take menial tasks away from your highly skilled team members.

Try to find solutions by outsourcing tasks that bring down your employee office morale.

4. What would you change about your workspace? 

With this question, find out if there are any small and/or inexpensive upgrades you can make to your office environment. You may be surprised to learn that your employee would feel more engaged with better lighting; freshly cut flowers; or a more comfortable desk chair.

Review everyone’s responses at the end of your interviews to see if any employee responses overlap or lend to a pattern. Start fixing up and troubleshooting your team’s workspaces to get a healthy surge in your office’s productivity numbers.

5. How often do you use the break room?

If your office has shared conference rooms, break rooms or quiet spaces, learn how often your employees utilize those community rooms. Knowing this information will allow you to understand each employee’s social tendencies. It’ll also give you insider information on how well your community spaces are being received.   

These #EmployeeHappinessHacks will inadvertently improve employee productivity in your office. Creating a warm and comfortable break room may encourage employees to eat away from their desks; increasing social interaction amongst your team. Supplying your community workspaces with access to gourmet coffee and energizing soft drinks will keep your team hyped up and excited about their projects.

6. How would you describe your supervisor in 3 words?

Before asking this question, remind your employees that their responses are strictly confidential; encourage that they be honest and candid.    

“One of the biggest employee morale killers is having a bad management team. In a recent survey, Gallup shared that 82% of the time, companies fail to hire a manager with the right talent for the job. This inability to properly hire supervisors and managers leads to 50% of U.S. workers quitting; citing poor management.” 7 Morale Killers Ruining Your Office Environment

Group the employees’ responses for each supervisor and you’ll be able to see each manager’s leadership style. This will help you understand if bad management is potentially and negatively impacting your team’s ability to be engaged and productive.

7. Given supreme power, what would you change…?

Give your employees the ultimate power by asking what they would do differently if they owned the company.

Don’t limit their responses to particular duties or even departments. Open the discussion to include how they would improve any or all of the following aspects of your company: 

  • • Marketing
  • • Customer Service
  • • Order Taking
  • • Order Processing
  • • Production
  • • Delivery
  • • Follow-Up Service

8. Which performance incentive would you like to see?

Don’t just ask your employees if they’d like more money; nearly every person will say, “Of course I want a raise.” Since you cannot afford to give everyone raises, ask each team member what type of performance incentive would they like to see implemented.    

Come up with several incentive programs that you can offer, such as:

  • • Pay raise structured policies written out;
  • • Earning more paid time off;
  • • Monetary bonus schedule programs;
  • • Excursions for team’s that over perform; or,
  • • Gift certificates for employee of the month.

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Step into the world of your employee and see what their career goals look like. Discuss ways they can grow within the company to reach that goal. Pay attention to parts of their plan where they become really excited. Keep that employee’s passion in mind when deciding on promotions or creating new job titles in your organization.  

Your goal is to help your employees reach their career goals that are mutually beneficial to you. If your team member wants to go back to school and take management courses, consider offering them tuition reimbursement. If they aspire to become a business owner and you trust their dedication, offer to personally mentor one employee each month. 

10. Do you have any questions for me?

Successful communication is a two-way street. End the series of questions by asking if there’s anything they’d like to know. Plant the seed of an open-door policy by opening yourself up to their questions, comments, concerns and recommendations.

Improving employee productivity doesn’t happen overnight.

A lot of these questions will lead to ways you can instantly improve employee productivity. However, full employee satisfaction (employees that are 100% engaged and productive) doesn’t happen overnight. Give your business and team time to strategize and troubleshoot areas that need to be improved. 

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Learn more about keeping your employees happy to improve productivity and office morale by reading:

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