Increase Employee Engagement with 3 Tips for Asking Better Questions

Isn’t this true for you? People perform best at work when they know their viewpoints, opinions, and contributions count — when they feel heard. When that happens, we all feel more engaged.

One way to boost employee engagement is to commit to asking better questions as a framework for more effective communication. Here are 3 tips for getting started.  

1. Start with Open-Ended Questions

Asking open-ended questions elicits more thoughtful answers than simply “yes, no, good, or fine.” Get curious and explore conversations with questions that begin with phrases like:

  • What was the best part of…
  • What is your key take-away from…
  • How does this new information intersect with…
  • When might you use this?
  • What is it about developing your leadership skills that you enjoy?

2. Follow the Thread

As Stephen Covey wrote in his now classic The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, most people listen with the intent to reply instead of listening to understand or learn. Shift your focus to follow the threads of the conversation you’re having right now, in this moment. To fully understand what is being conveyed, snag a word or comment from the person sharing and let that drive your next question. “So, developing your leadership skills as a new manager is challenging right now. Tell me, what do you find most challenging?”

3. Take notes

The process of taking notes impresses the person sharing that her words matter.  The action of taking notes also helps us have greater recall by prepping our brain to evaluate and order the information that is being said. Many find that by taking notes, they remember important points without having look at their notes again. Recall is key to connecting the dots to bring viewpoints together for new approaches and solutions.

Why does engagement and effective communication matter? A 2018 Gallup poll found that organizations that excel in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth more than four times that of their competitors.

Let’s discuss how teams within your organization can improve communication and increase engagement. Contact Clearwater Consulting by clicking the button below or call (404) 634-4332 to schedule a conversation. 


Gallup article link:

Taking notes: