A vital function of an innovation leader is to motivate, support, and point their team to good habits. Doing this should be a daily activity. Modeling leadership habits and exhibiting leadership skills inspires employees to become leaders. With inspiration and a list of questions to ask your employees, they will become more efficient and innovative.
Questions to Ask Your Employees
The first question on my list is, “What went well last time we met?” Once you ask this question, it is crucial to be a good listener. Next, offer them your appreciation for their work, and provide your support. Focus on reinforcing the idea that innovation is about the team.
The second question on the list is, “What went wrong and what was the lesson you took from it?” When dealing with innovation, we can’t always be in complete control of the situation. Failures are bound to happen. As an innovation leader, you must encourage your employees to share their failures and learnings. Having a culture that embraces experimentation leads to more significant innovations. The organization can learn from that failure and avoid it altogether in the future.
Number three on my list of questions to ask your employees is, “What did you find that could be improved, and what did you do to improve it?” This question is vital because it permits employees to fix things. In doing so, the employees learn some critical lessons. Firstly, they understand that everyone in the organization is in it together. Secondly, they know not to throw their problems on someone else, but to take the initiative.
Creating a Motivating, Clear, and Honest Environment
The fourth question is, “how can I create a motivating environment?” In my organization, we give out gift cards to recognize employees’ reasonable efforts and innovation habits. To create a motivating atmosphere, you need to be approachable and listen actively.
Additionally, it would help if you recognized when someone does something well by publicly acknowledging it. The recognition shows others what habits and actions to strive for in their team and organization.
The fifth question I ask is, “What roadblocks are you facing, and what can I do to clear them?” As a leader, your job is to sift out things that hinder productivity. Roadblocks can be significant or minor issues. Leaders should remove barriers so that their teams can stay focused on what’s important.
Lastly, I ask my employees if there is anything else they want to talk about. This open-ended question allows employees to share other things on their minds. One of my organization’s core values is “candor with respect.” This value gives employees the confidence to be transparent and frees them from concern about negative reactions. Protect confidentiality so employees feel they can open up. I’ve had employees present challenges in their personal lives. In some cases, I’ve been able to help. The results have improved employee morale and generated positive change for the organization.
To know more about the top questions to ask your employees, listen to this week's show: Top Questions to Ask Your Employees.