I recently had the opportunity to read the work by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman – “First Break all the rules: What the world’s greatest managers do differently”. The book is based on extensive research done by Gallup on measuring workplace effectiveness and how some of the best managers in the world handle their teams. The extensiveness of empirical research to arrive at the findings is evident from the sheer numbers involved, over 105,000 employees across 2500 business units in different industries!! I found the questions used as a “measuring stick” by the study exhaustive and very powerful even in measuring the effectiveness of teams in organizations.
Here are 12 of the most powerful questions that teams can use as a dipstick of where they stand.
1. Do I know what is expected of me at work?
2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
3. At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
5. Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
7. At work, do my opinions seem to count?
8. Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel like my work is important?
9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
10. Do I have a best friend at work?
11. In the last 6 months, have I talked with someone about my progress?
12. At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
After running more than a million questions through empirical research, these 12 were identified by the authors as the most powerful in measuring workplace effectiveness. I believe that these are also powerful questions for every team leader to introspect and understand gaps that can be worked on with team members. Some of them might sound very intuitive, but sometimes, the most obvious questions are the ones which we never ask!
Do refer the book for extensive data on how these questions have been found effective, but even before that try asking these with your team. You might find the answers very surprising and insightful!!
Do try it out! 🙂