While you keep your head down running the macro and micro duties of your business, you may forget you are surrounded by people who can help run your business better—your employees! Your employees are on the front lines, often knowing what tasks are creating bottlenecks and even missed marketing opportunities.
Here are eight things that you should ask your employees about immediately. You can do it formally through one-on-one interviews, through a survey or even a good-old-fashioned suggestion box. But, regardless of what form you ask for the feedback, make sure you review and act on it afterwards!
1. What do you spend too much time doing?
Employees know exactly what the time-wasters are in business. Whether it’s an onerous form-filling process or other jobs that can be simplified, asking your employees for their input can help you streamline your operations.
2. Where could technology make your job easier?
Technology is another great catalyst for making employees more productive. Ask them what tasks they wish were faster and
easier and see if they can be streamlined with a technology solution.
3. What are customers complaining about?
Employees who interact with customers know where the business pain points are. If shipping is always making mistakes or you are constantly out of stock on bestselling items, your employees will be able to give you the head’s up on where you should be focused on.
4. What do customers compliment us about?
On the flipside, employees who interact with customers also know what your business is doing well, so use that knowledge to make sure you focus on your differentiators.
5. Are there other employees whose talents aren’t being fully utilized?
You may have talented employees that aren’t being used to their full extent and not even know it. A great way to find out who those employees are is via their peers. This helps you to not only get more from your staff, but also make sure that a good employee doesn’t get bored and leave because they aren’t being challenged.
6. What do you wish we did differently or better?
There isn’t an employee around that doesn’t have an opinion (or twelve!) on what the company can do to improve, so ask them!
7. Do you know any good people for a position?
One of the best sources of finding new employees that are a good cultural fit is through the employees who already work there. So, be sure to ask your employees about possible candidates for any job openings.
8. Is there anything else you wish management knew?
Having an open-ended question allows for employees to share their specific insights on everything from their own goals and position to other important strategic aspects of the company.
Again, those working throughout the business are living and breathing it every single day and are a fountain of knowledge for business owners willing to listen.
About Carol Roth
Carol Roth is the creator of the Future File™ legacy planning system, “recovering” investment banker, billion-dollar dealmaker, investor, entrepreneur, national media personality and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett-produced technology competition show, America’s Greatest Makers and TV host and contributor, including host of Microsoft’s Office Small Business Academy. She is also an advisor to companies ranging from startups to major multi-national corporations and has an action figure made in her own likeness.
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