I’ve used questions to improve one-on-one meetings with staff for years.  What makes your job harder than it has to be?  What can we do to make your job easier?  Are there processes in place that need to be improved?  You know, the usual.

Then, I read this amazing article about employee relations and found the most brilliant questions to use during one-on-ones.  I snapped a picture of it so I could use it later. Sadly, I didn’t get the name of the journal..so I can’t give proper credit.  Most likely, it was from Healthcare Executive or HealthLeaders.  But, here’s the jist of it:

“To truly form relationships with staff members, you have to ask questions that go beyond the surface level and allow them to openly share information about themselves that you wouldn’t know otherwise.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • What are the things that will keep you here?
  • What skills do you have that this practice/hospital is lacking?
  • What’s being talked about in the rumor mill?
  • As your manager, what should I start, stop, and continue doing?
  • What frustrates you most at work?
  • What do I need to know that you suspect I don’t?”

That last question is pure brilliance!  If you want honest meetings with your staff and can handle the candor, try these questions out.  And, just because you get answers, doesn’t mean you have to act on all of them.  But, be sure to close the loop with your team and let them know how you used their feedback.  And, if you don’t use it, why.

Good luck!