Meet 5 Critical Employee Needs with Leader Connection Questions
Employees want a leader who cares about and values them. The number one reason people leave their jobs is because they feel they are not valued. Even more, people do not leave their “team”—they leave their direct supervisor. Taking the time to make a human connection with employees—and to really listen and respond to their needs—counteracts that perception. “When you round properly, you automatically build strong relationships with all of your employees,” says Quint Studer. “It just happens naturally.”
FOUNDATIONAL CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS
Employees want systems that work and the necessary resources to be successful in their work. Their job satisfaction is heavily reliant on each condition. Organizations often experience equipment and process breakdowns that stifle productivity. In some cases, employees have complained among themselves for years about inefficient systems and processes. Making the rounds with employees and asking questions solves these problems and gives productivity a boost. “When you ask people, ‘Do you have the tools and equipment you need to do your job today?’ and they say, ‘yes,’ it’s a win for everyone,” Studer explains. “If they say no, you can fix the problem and turn it into a win.”
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
Employees want opportunities for professional development. Leader Connection Questions are a natural avenue for discovering whose skill sets need improvement and for initiating professional development discussions. When making the rounds and connecting, it is easy to suggest training to someone who is in need of a development opportunity, or to ask one employee to mentor another. Professional development can occur in a variety of settings. Leader Connection Questions also provide opportunities to help high performers move to an even higher level. Consider using the phrase, “We want to keep you in our organization and are committed to helping you excel personally and professionally. Is there any training that you feel might be helpful for you?”
REWARDING AND RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
Employees want to be recognized and rewarded for doing a good job. A big part of the Leader Connection Question process involves asking others to identify colleagues who have been helpful or who have demonstrated exceptional performance—and then passing the compliments on to others. It is a powerful way to build morale and collegiality. Praise from one’s peers is one the most meaningful kinds. It makes an employee feel great when a leader says, “Carla told me you did an outstanding job getting the data report together last week.” It makes the employee feel great about Carla for recognizing her hard work and it makes the employee feel good about her leader for sharing the information.
ADDRESSING LOW PERFORMANCE TO CREATE A CULTURE OF EXCELLENCE
Employees do not want to work with low performers. Nothing makes employees feel as discouraged and resentful as having to work with people who do not pull their own weight. In fact, low performers often drive high performers right out the door – while attracting like-minded colleagues to the organization. The use of Leader Connection Questions solves this problem naturally. When a leader is in touch with all employees on a routine basis, leaders quickly learn which employees are consistently under-performing. Once low performers are identified, a leader has a choice to develop them or move them out. It is not an easy task, but it is absolutely necessary.