A “get to know your employees” questionnaire is one of the best ways to understand who you are working with.
A questionnaire like this one doesn’t have to be basic and boring. Sometimes, it’s necessary to get creative while you are developing business practices and seeking innovation. This creativity on your end provides the means for deeper thinking from your employees.
Your goals are multifold. You want to know your employees’ reasons for working and their life’s purpose. You also want to find problems early on and guide your team members toward growth. Help them discover their strengths and evolve into the best versions of themselves.
Use this as a foundation to connect with your employees during one-on-one discussion time to foster development, improvement, and relationship.
How to Use a “Get to Know Your Employees” Questionnaire
If it seems overwhelming to think about the time it takes to ask each of your employees all these questions, you aren’t alone. You have many tasks during the day and you can’t simply sit and talk with everyone in your office.
Think about sending out a questionnaire like this to your employees as they are hired by the company. Tell the new team members that your future meetings include deeper discussions about these topics. The more you connect with them over your initial questions, the more they realize that you truly care about their lives, skills, and goals.
Questions to Use on a “Get to Know Your Employees” Questionnaire
The questions/statements detailed here aren’t the only ones that help you get to know your workforce. Use them as basic ideas and tailor them to your particular business, people, and company culture.
Give 5-10 must-have practices to enrich and diversify our company culture.
The brains and experiences that your employees bring to the table are invaluable resources. You never know what they learned in their past employment or the life lessons they have that are helpful to the team as a whole.
It’s also important to think about people who are a fit with your company culture. However, there’s a good mix between someone who fits in and someone who will bring a new, positive perspective to the team.
Do you notice anything inefficient or that needs improvement? What are some ideas you have to fix them?
Ideally, your office would run smoothly and efficiently without any struggles or hurdles. However, that isn’t the real world.
You see the office from a large-scale, big-picture perspective. On the other hand, your employees are on the ground floor, doing the day-to-day work. This means that they see things in a way you can’t (or don’t remember).
Many company policies look good on paper or in theory but don’t pan out in real life. Ask your employees how they see things to help you to understand where they are coming from. Even though it takes extra work to reorganize and implement new procedures, it saves hundreds of hours of manpower in the long run.
An office with open communication and a culture of continuous improvement motivates employees to look for things that they can improve every day. This ripples into people improving their own work and processes and sharing that with others.
Everyone has a voice and opinion. You have the choice as a manager to listen and improve or to overlook and stay stagnant.
Our company holds (these) values as foundational. Which of these speaks to you the most, or would you like to embody more?
A company’s values make up the foundation of its company culture. A business that truly values honesty, engagement, improvement, and collaboration has policies and procedures in place that make these skills possible.
People need to take charge of their growth and development. A manager who brings areas of potential to mind opens up the possibility for change.
Employees who are invested in themselves are also invested in their careers. Investment in one’s career leads to a desire for company success. You want to invest time and attention into your team so that they evolve to hold company values. Furthermore, you want those values to reflect the intelligent, successful people who make up your team.
Where do you need help? How can I/we get you to where you need to go?
There is a reason for organizational hierarchy. It helps the flow of communication and task organization. Employees who are lower-level or less experienced want and deserve guidance toward their end goal.
Bigger goals are best achieved when smaller, day-to-day tasks are checked off as a means to the end objective. When people have a seemingly far-off goal but they don’t know how to begin the journey, they often shut down.
Ask your team members where they see themselves in the future and what scaffolds or support they need to get there. Is there a way that they learn best or a type of direction that they respond well to?
Don’t leave it at this, either. When you follow up on the help people ask you for, it creates trust. They come to you more often when you do what you say and show that you value their vulnerability.
What causes you frustration or delay?
Many people approach their work each day with ideas of how they are going to check off tasks, get things done, and do it with a positive attitude. Then, real life hits.
- Co-workers make mistakes and they have to pick up the slack.
- Bosses throw new work on top of the regular.
- Meetings stop productivity when people are on a roll.
- Work gets returned for lack of clear direction.
- IT or technical issues shut down necessary tasks.
- Workspaces are tight and other people’s conversations are distracting.
This list comprises just a few of the issues that many workers deal with every day. Many people throw their hands up and just chalk it up to the way their office works. Asking for help seems like more work than it’s worth.
Delays are inevitable. Experienced, mature employees know this and work with resilience and understanding. However, when things keep people from efficient, productive days more often than not, it dampens morale.
These obstacles won’t go away unless addressed. A manager who asks for feedback shows that they want to create a positive, upbeat, environment in which everyone is supported.
Is your job role and your responsibilities clear? What needs clarification?
Oftentimes, people come into a job with roles and responsibilities outlined during the hiring/onboarding process. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always come with check-ins and feedback on how a team member is faring later on.
Sometimes, people think they understand something and then hurdles appear as they begin to tackle their projects. Maybe roles are detailed but there are unwritten rules that complicate matters.
When you get to know your employees and keep open lines of communication, they trust you. Trust enables them to come to you when they need help. That being said, don’t wait for them to tell you there’s a problem. Ask, and bring up issues that you notice as well.
What is your “why” or your inspiration?
This is a very open-ended question. However, it gives the most insight into who your employees are at a deep level.
Everyone has a reason for getting out of bed each day. They work to earn money, sure, but what is the reason they earn money? Are they the main breadwinner for a spouse and children? Do they want to travel the world someday? Do they want to move up the ladder until they have the influence to make a change?
Ask your employees about their purpose to give you an avenue into directing work that matches their “why.” Remember, fulfilled people produce high-quality work and engage well with their team.
What else would you like to share with me?
Again, this is an open-ended question with great potential. A “get to know your employees” questionnaire is a great jumping-off point. However, no questionnaire covers every single thing people want to talk about.
People have an innate desire to let their voices be heard. Ask your team members what they want to share with you and you open up the conversation to take a direction you may not have even imagined.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable here. You might hear something that needs work or adjustment, of course. Your employees will also probably share plenty of positive, encouraging things that motivate you to keep pushing on, as well.
Although a ‘get to know your employees’ questionnaire is a great starting point, it’s not the end goal. Take the things you learn in these questionnaires and use them to begin deeper conversations. These conversations are a way for you to figure out your employees’ purpose and inspiration.
As you get to know your team members on a deeper level, structure their tasks and workdays to connect to their greater purpose. This creates engagement, motivation, and collaboration.
Employees who have high morale and purpose in their work push onward toward success. This is your end goal.
The eLeaP continuous performance management system provides organizations with powerful options to attract and retain high caliber team members including an easy to use survey tool so you can deploy questionnaires quickly.