Questions To AsK Your Employees - Incentive and Motivation

Just how motivated are you out of 10? It’s been a long year, perhaps you place yourself at a steady 5 – still working and getting your to-do list checked off, but in other senses, a little checked out and ready to hit the tin of Quality Street with vigor during the break?
A check in during the festive period on your own well-being and levels of satisfaction is a natural thing to do. Between the family arguments over board games and the lull of a hearty roast dinner you can really start to either get excited and motivated to get back to what you do best – or you can start checking the job boards. But what are your employees doing? Stats show that sites like Monster are extremely highly visited on Boxing day, just as sites like Rightmove are. These spikes are clearly linked to the period of downtime – so there’s never a better time to start thinking about how you’re going to ensure that when the new year begins that you’re on top of both your own motivation levels, and that of your employees.
You might already be running motivational or incentive campaigns. You might even already take stats and anecdotal feedback, but if the question still lingers ‘is this working?’ then it’s time to really take stock.
Whilst checking motivation levels might sound like an oxymoron, there’s no need to march around your office with a clipboard and a happiness gauge barking orders at unsuspecting teams.
Reviews and surveys can be incredible revealing – all you have to do is ask the right questions at the right time. With the New Year coming, there’s never been a better time to ask these questions.
‘How easy is cross team communication in our business?’
How is communication in your business? It might not be as strong as you think. According to Tiddler, 40% of the working week is lost to communication inefficiencies and 68% of disengaged employees say there is difficulty communicating between teams and they experience delays in getting information.
In contrast 59% of engaged employees say that cross department and team collaboration is very important. It might be worth running a survey to investigate how much cross-department work is being undertaken, and how easy this is to do. Don’t underestimate the waste of business time and the effect on morale of a few weak communicators.
‘Do you feel comfortable or interested in contributing new business ideas?’
The difference between a happy employee and an engaged employee is the value they add to the company. How many new, innovative processes and methods, ideas and solutions are your employees producing? It may be well worth spending time crowd sourcing ideas this year and also going back and see who is investing time in producing news ideas for your business.

‘How likely are you to be promoted and how can you affect this?
Time and time again studies show that employees favour personal development over other perks or benefits. Someone invested in development within a company is someone driven to succeed. How motivational are your routes to success? The answers may be very enlightening!

Does the company and your line manager care about you as an individual?
Feeding back to the training point, management and team leaders have a significant level of importance when it comes to the day to day motivation of your team. By checking that managers are showing skills that relate to empathy, growth and development, you can spot any ‘weak links’ ahead.
How likely are you to look for a new role in the next year?
Whilst the common question used is based on recommendation, this alternative question allows employees to be brutally honest. Whilst many may consider that, no, they wouldn’t recommend a friend for their job, the question doesn’t put the respondent in the frame of mind of the business as a whole – they might recommend the job of CEO, but not of a software engineer. By asking instead if and why they are looking for a new role there’s no doubt in your mind.
Metrics and stats are only as useful as the actions they create. It is wholly unacceptable to run a survey or feedback forum, without addressing the answers, however bad the news.
If the news is indeed poor – take hope. There is always the bias of the survey, where your most engaged and most dis-engaged employees feel compelled to participate. You must ensure that your statistics are reflective of the volume of your workforce. On top of this, it’s a brand new year. There are hundreds of ways to improve motivation, to re-engage employees and spark the passion in a role once more.