Engagement is a big buzz word, and while it’s powerful and necessary, often we make it harder to apply than it needs to be. Let’s get right to it-- what people really want in their lives is to be SEEN. The more we put in the effort, the more we’ll get out of people… and, the more we’ll all enjoy our work.
So, what do people want?
Purpose. We all want to be a part of something meaningful, valuable, and bigger than ourselves. Help your people see how what they contribute makes a difference for others, for the community, and maybe even the world at large. Share the mission of the organization and show them how they can fit in to it. Most importantly, help them see WHY this mission is important and why they matter in the grand scheme of things.
Relationships. We all want to feel connected to other people, and work is a logical place to have that need met. Does your working environment allow for and promote the development of strong working relationships? Do people feel a personal connection to you? Do you allow yourself to be vulnerable and share what inspires you?
Participation. We all want to know that our participation and perspective is valuable. Your team members have ideas, and undoubtedly would like to share them. You don’t need to implement every idea, or accept every solution suggested; but if you openly ask for and value those ideas, some will certainly make a difference. And the process of asking will engage people in powerful ways. Are you making it easy for people to share their ideas? Are you inquiring about their interests daily?
Development. We all want to know that we're valuable enough to be invested in. Training classes, coaching, mentorships, conferences, online courses, and opportunities to grow MATTER. Indeed has identified that this is one of the top 5 reasons that employees leave their jobs. Having room to grow in your career is an important part of feeling fulfilled. Quality employers offer continued education, like workshops, seminars, lectures or even tuition reimbursement.
Belief. We all want to be around people who believe in us. We do our best work when we know that those around us want the best for us and believe we can achieve the best. Do you believe in the capacity and potential of your people? If so, do they know?
Every leader or manager can create an environment and lead in a way to provide more engagement. Your team culture is a reflection of the effort and energy you put in every day. Remember that your people are more like you than you may realize, and we all want more of these things in our lives and work. When you provide them with a reason to feel seen, heard, and valued, engagement follows.
99 Questions To Encourage Engagement
1. How are you? How is life outside of work?
2. How do you feel your work/life balance is right now?
3. What's one thing we could change about work for you that would improve your personal life?
4. If around a holiday: Do you celebrate [Holiday]? How was it?
5. What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?
6. What did you do for fun in the past that you haven't had as much time for lately?
7. What drives you? What motivates you to come to work each day?
8. What work are you doing here that you feel is most in line with your long term goals?
9. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
10. What do you want to be doing in 5 years? 10 years? 3 years?
11. What are your long term goals? Have you thought about them?
12. Who do you really admire? Why?
13. If you had millions of dollars, what would you do every day?
14. What are your superpowers? What powers would you like to develop?
15. What do you want to do in your next job?
16. Do you feel challenged at work? Are you learning new things?
17. What area of the organization would you like to learn more about?
18. What skills would you like to develop right now?
19. Who in the company would you like to learn from? What do you want to learn?
20. What additional training or education would you like?
21. Are there any roles in the company you'd like to learn more about?
22. What do you think are the key skills for your role? How would you rate yourself for each of them?
23. Do you feel like you're making progress on your big goals here? Why or why not?
24. What's one thing we could do today to help you with your long term goals?
25. Do you feel we're helping you advance your career at a pace you would like? Why or why not?
26. What are your big dreams in life? Are you making progress on them?
27. Could you see yourself making progress on more of your goals here? What would need to change to do so?
28. What skills would you like to work on most right now?
29. Are there any events or training you'd like to attend to help you grow your skills?
30. Who in the company would you like to learn from? What do you want to learn?
31. How do you prefer to receive feedback?
32. Do you feel you're getting enough feedback? Why/why not?
33. What's a recent situation you wish you handled differently? What would you change?
34. What's an area of your work you want to improve?
35. What aspect of your job would you like more help or coaching on?
36. How many hours a day do you feel you're productive? How could we help you be more productive?
37. How can I better support you?
38. What could I do as a manager to make your work easier?
39. What is something I could do better? What is a criticism you have for me?
40. What aspects of your work would you like more or less direction from me?
41. What would you like to know about me?
42. What could I do to make you enjoy your work more?
43. What do you like about my management style? What do you dislike?
44. Is there a situation you'd like my help with?
45. What have your past managers done that you'd like me to also do or not do?
46. What's your favorite thing I do as a manager that I should keep doing?
47. What is the organization not doing today that we should do in order to better compete in the market?
48. What's one thing we'd be *crazy* not to do in the next quarter to improve our organization?
49. If you were leading the organization, what's the first thing you'd change?
50. Do you think our organization is loyal to its employees? Why or why not?
51. Are there any aspects of our culture you wish you could change?
52. What are your favorite parts about our culture?
53. Which organizational values do you like the most? Which the least? Why?
54. What is the #1 Problem at our organization? Why?
55. How could we be more creative or innovative as a organization?
56. How well do you feel like you relate to your coworkers? Do you view them as friends, acquaintances, or strangers?
57. How could we change our team meetings to be more effective?
58. What would convince you to leave for a job somewhere else?
59. Do you feel over-worked, under-worked, or just the right workload?
60. Do you feel like you're on the same page with the team? How often do you think you need meetings to ensure you stay that way?
61. Are there any meetings or discussions you feel you should be a part of that you're not? Are you included in any you don't want to be a part of?
62. Who would you like to work more often with? Why?
63. Is everyone pulling their weight on the team?
64. Who is rocking it on the team? What have they done?
65. What behavior on the team do you have the most difficulty working with? Why?
66. What do you like most about working on our team?
67. Do you help other members of the team? Do others help you when you need it?
68. Are you uncomfortable giving any of your peer's constructive criticism? If so, why?
69. What's an inexpensive thing we could do to improve our office environment for the team?
70. Is your job what you expected when you accepted it?
71. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment here?
72. When was the time you enjoyed working here the most?
73. Are you happy with your recent work? Why or why not?
74. Are you happy working here?
75. Who are you friends with at work? (Shown to be a key to enjoying your job)
76. What's something you feel is undervalued that you contribute to the team?
77. What part of your job do you wish you didn't have to do?
78. What's not fun about working here? What do you enjoy most about working here?
79. What worries you? What's on your mind?
80. What would make you leave this job for another?
81. How well do you feel you know your coworkers?
82. Do you feel like you have opportunities for "water cooler” type discussions with the team to help you spur on ideas?
83. Do you feel you could go to anyone asking them for help?
84. What's most challenging for you in your daily work routine?
85. What about our team / organization do you want to learn more about?
86. How well do you feel you know your coworkers?
87. How do you manage distractions during the day? Is it a challenge for you?
88. When you have a creative idea or epiphany, what do you do with it?
89. How are you feeling right now?
90. How do you feel about our organization’s current standing?
91. What questions do you have about our organization right now?
92. What can I do to help you feel more confident or comfortable right now?
93. What is your favorite part of your job? Why that?
94. When do you feel most productive and motivated when working?
95. How do you think your work impacts our team and organization?
96. What drives you? What motivates you to come to work each day?
97. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to college?
98. What's your favorite part about living in [your city/town/region]?
99. What's your favorite book you've read / podcast you've listened to / movie you saw recently?