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    1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 28, 2018 6:29 PM by moderator_lisa

    How to Ask Better Questions and Help Your Employees Set Goals

    lucybenton Wayfarer

      Imagine your average working day. Do you often get frustrated because of a massive amount of work you are dealing with? Your employees are constantly missing the deadlines and it stresses you out?


      If your employees often sink into the pile of unfinished work, and it sometimes seems that their work doesn’t bring any tangible results, your subordinates might have a problem with goal setting. But don’t be discouraged because often that’s boss’s job to help them figure it out!


      How to set Goals in the Right Way


      Setting right goals at the workplace is essential for the success of each employee and of the whole company as well. And in order to make the employees successful at the workplace, supervisors need to know how to ask right encouraging questions.


      Asking correct questions is a great skill, though it requires a great amount of patience and understanding. Why patience? Because we all know how stressful it can be when your company is dealing with a little bit of a crisis. Many ill-advised decisions are made in a rush, so we’re going to do it the right way.


      Nevertheless, the biggest mistake many employers make is letting their emotions out. So keep calm and try out the following models and approaches that will definitely help you ask correct questions and help your employees set the right goals!


      • Check out SMART criteria for goal setting. SMART model is all about setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals. But what you probably don’t know is that these criteria also describe types of questions you need to ask your employee.
      • When asking a question, try to be specific and relevant. If you have a question about a certain task you’ve given to your employee, remember that this task must be measurable and achievable. Remember about time management. Constantly asking a “When” question is not a good idea. Set manageable deadlines!
      • Ask empowering questions. Even if sometimes it may seem cool being knowledgeable, try not to overwhelm your employees with your image of “know-it-all boss”.
      • Employees are better encouraged when you ask them their opinion. Professor Michael J. Marquardt from George Washington University states that asking empowering questions does not only show employer’s respect to an employee but encourages employee’s ability to think and find solutions. So seek out your employee’s ideas and creativity!
      • Don’t forget about the experiences of the most successful companies. Remember Google’s OKRs model? Allow your employees to set goals for themselves and to outline necessary steps to achieve their objectives.
      • As an employer, you should also supervise the performance of your employees and evaluate their work. However, while asking about their performance, try not to discourage them, and instead of saying that their performance is “bad”, tell that it “needs improvement”. Always believe in your employees’ potential!
      • Treating your employees with respect is another important aspect. “Remember that you have your staff’s experience and potential, don’t be afraid to ask questions like “Based on your experience, what do you suggest we do here?” says David Duncan, HR specialist at Assignmenthelper. This will instantly create a necessary productive mood.
      • When asking a question about a task or explaining a new project, always remind your employees about the end result. Allan Murray based his guide on how to set the right goals in the workplace on the whole idea of imagining the final outcome. Besides, what can motivate an employee better than the image of the reward in the end? Visualize the result and you’ll see how productive your employees will get!


      Okay, this might seem like too much information. However, you should bear in mind that asking correct questions with the aim to set necessary goals will eventually create the type of corporate culture within your company that will embrace asking questions.


      Remember, your attitude towards your employees will directly influence your company’s success and overall performance. If it seems to you that you don’t have enough patience to keep calm during the most critical working moments, remind yourself about the beginning of your career. Then, everything was very difficult and you couldn’t do anything without your boss’s or supervisor’s helping hand.




      Don’t wait for your employee to come to you crying for help. If you see a person in need, offer your help first, show your sympathy and openness. Remember: we were all beginners once.


      As an employer, you need to set an example and show that it is necessary to be a bit more curious. Asking question will not only show that you care about how your employees perform, but will also demonstrate that you are interested in their personalities.


      Cherish your employees’ experience, potential and knowledge and they will fire back only with positive feedbacks and great productivity!