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4 HR Questions Every Association Should Ask Their Employees

Are you having trouble motivating your employees and struggling to figure out what you can do to improve productivity?

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Are you having trouble motivating your employees and struggling to figure out what you can do to improve productivity? Are you curious what you can do to make your management style more effective?

Well these answers are a lot closer than you think. All it takes is a simple question.

The success of your company is ultimately determined by the success of your employees, so why not utilize their thoughts and opinions? It’s time you start asking your employees a few questions in order to get feedback, promote productivity, and increase success within your association.

But what types of questions should you be asking your employees? Let’s talk about the best questions to get the answers you’re looking for. Let’s get started with our first question.

1. How do you want to be rewarded?

Your employees work hard, and hard work deserves a reward. But do you know how they’d like to receive that award?

It is no surprise that employees inherently value being rewarded for the time they put in and work they do for you and your company. Like a little kid who cleans his room for extra video game time, an employee is no different. Employees value incentives, and that is not a bad thing.

But without knowing which incentives work best with your employees, you could be missing out on opportunities to reward employees in ways they’d best prefer.  Incentives such as paid vacation time, employee trip opportunities, bonuses, or even gift cards and other rewards will motivate your employees and help drive productivity.

Multiple research studies and surveys have indicated that ‘feeling appreciated’ is a key driver of employee engagement and productivity in the workplace. According to a new research study conducted by Robert Half, 66% of employees expressed that they would quit if they ever felt unappreciated, despite the fact that managers often view ‘appreciation’ as a soft HR concept that doesn’t exactly apply to the hard business world. This research is quite staggering, as this percentage has significantly risen from 51% in 2012 to 66% in 2017. This feeling of appreciation undoubtedly begins with compensation, because at the end of the day an unfair salary or lack of incentives may discourage even your most motivated employees.

Among this research it is important to point out that the percentage of millennial employees who said they would “likely leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated” has skyrocketed to 76%, which is definitely something to consider as millennials are becoming the dominant generation in the workforce.

Additional research has shown that “Unhappy Workers Cost the U.S. Up to $550 Billion a Year,” which suggests that your employees happiness has the power to make or break your business. According to Catherine Clifford, a senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC, “Disgruntled, disengaged, unsatisfied workers are less productive, less creative and more likely to leave. And that’s expensive for you.” All it takes is a small act of appreciation to ensure that your employees are kept satisfied, engaged, and eager to work.

Don’t give your employees rewards that leave them wanting more. Ask the questions you need in order to plan a reward system they can truly enjoy.

2. How do you best work?

It is crucial to ask your employees what kind of work environment they best thrive in, and what you can do as the executive to bring that workspace to life.

And for this question to give you an effective answer, there are multiple facets that you must discuss first.

Let’s consider the structure of a traditional office space.

Studies have shown that cubicles have become a thing of the past. But these studies may not reflect your company directly. Don’t be afraid to ask your employees if they value the privacy of a cubicle desk, or if they would prefer an office with an open floor plan and space to collaborate.

When it comes to this question, you always want to consider the little things. Small factors such as the offices lighting, style, temperature, and volume have a much larger impact on your employees than you think.

As the executive, it’s up to you to put yourself in your employees shoes. From an employee perspective ask yourself: ‘What environment do I work best in?’ No employee wants to work in a dark and dull office with no signs of life. Brighten up your office with increased window space, greenery, and improved lighting, and watch your workers come to life as your office does the same.

A poor work space leads to poor productivity. But without knowing the office arrangements that work best for your employees, you can’t create a space that works for everyone. Be sure to get the truth about your employees preferred work environment.

3. If you were in my shoes, what would you do?

This may seem like something you don’t want to hear as the executive, but in order to truly gauge how successful your management style is you must ask the team around you.

This question will show your employees that you value their feedback, as well as the fact that you are willing to change and accommodate their needs. It is extremely important for your employees to know that even as the executive you are far from perfect, which fosters an office-wide mentality of always working to improve.

Think about this question as complete, evaluative feedback for your own performance. As the executive your work ethic is reflected in your employees, which is why you should always be working toward perfection with no signs of complacency.

Giving your employees the opportunity to truly voice their opinions will undoubtedly make them feel appreciated. But in the midst of this conversation, it’s crucial that you remain calm, cool, and collected as the executive. Whether your employees feedback is good or bad, positive or negative, productive or counterproductive. It’s essential to hear them out and make them feel like an executive for an instant in time.

Get a lesson on your own work performance from your employees, and you could have feedback to drive you to further success.

4. What do people say about our association?

And last, but certainly not least, you want to know what type of feedback your association’s team is getting from its members.

More often than not, employees feel pressure to share only the good news of the day with an executive in fear of telling them something they don’t necessarily want to hear.

As the executive you should be begging your association’s team to share all news, good or bad (especially the bad). Regardless of the industry or association, every company works to turn its doubters into future buyers and promoters of your association’s brand.

With the right questions, you can make sure your association and its team is running at peak performance, ready to take on anything and make its members happy.