5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports
Home 9 Leader's Digest 9 5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports

by | Feb 24, 2022 | Leader's Digest

In a recent article for HBR, executive coach and career strategist Susan Peppercorn outlines five questions to consider asking your direct reports so you can get a better sense of how they’re feeling about their positions. I came across the article on my LinkedIn feed and thought it was profound for several reasons.

First, as a leader, I am always searching for new ways to better myself and my team. I am always looking for opportunities to grow, and these five questions can help push me to dive deeper into the development of my employees.

Secondly, the article cites a recent Gallup study where 51% of voluntarily exiting employees say that in the three months before they left, no one—not even their manager—spoke with them about their job satisfaction. No one spoke with them about how they were feeling in their role, or about their future with the organization. My hope as a leader is for my team to feel their contributions are beneficial. I want each person to feel seen and valued. I can do this by having frequent, meaningful conversations with my employees about what really matters to them. I can check in using the five questions suggested by Peppercorn:

  1. How would you like to grow within this organization? It is essential to understand what goals my sales professionals have for their careers. Knowing this helps guide me to find more meaningful experiences and opportunities to challenge them with.
  2. Do you feel a sense of purpose in your job? I never want my employees to feel like they are simply clocking in and clocking out. I want them to have pride and passion for the work they do every day.
  3. What do you need from me to do your best work? Further, the article states I might ask: “What have you been trying to tell me that I have not been hearing? How would you like to be recognized?”
  4. What are we currently not doing as a company that you feel we should do? This can help uncover any gaps in the organization. Further, when I ask this question, I am validating that my sales professionals’ thoughts/opinions matter.
  5. Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? I want to ensure I never miss an opportunity to harness the best of my team members’ individual talents.

For more thought on each of these five questions, read the entire article here. Do you ask any of these already? What would it mean for you as a leader if you were to understand how your sales professionals are feeling in their jobs?

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