Whether you just started using 15Five or have been thinking about taking a closer look at the current questions being asked of your employees, understanding Question Management is key. Are you getting the most out of questions? Are people skipping the optional questions they're being asked? Where are all of these questions coming from anyway? Questions are just as important as asking for project/objective updates and priorities.
What are Questions good for?
Questions are a core feature in 15Five, and for good reason. Questions are a huge part of how we interact as humans, we learn and grow by asking questions, and questions are an essential part of the 15Five feedback loop. Questions in 15Five should be more than “How are you?" or "Tell me about your work week." While the Pulse question is important to help gauge the health of your company and build rapport, there is even more potential that you can unlock when pairing the Pulse question with other well-crafted questions.
Success Center article 🗒: Gauge the pulse of your team
With questions in 15Five, you can utilize the check-in to ask questions to build a better work culture, to make each other more productive, and to enhance each other’s quality of life. That’s huge!
Questions can be used to ask anything the admin/manager may want to know, but some great use cases for questions are:
- Checking in after a global event (ex. COVID, protests, national events too, etc)
- To encourage self reflection and growth within their roles and beyond
- Asking for ideas! People love being asked their opinion and they likely will give innovative answers that account admins/managers not have seen before.
- Creating company culture practices and programs that actually address what the company needs, by asking, rather than assuming. Examples of this could be onboarding feedback, thoughts on office policies, what steps the company can take to be better at activism, etc.
Organizations that have invested time and attention in developing psychological safety will see the results of that work when they ask questions, and asking questions (and then taking action to follow up) will help build psychological safety. We can’t just assume that employees will willingly share ideas and feelings, as it has become out of practice for employers to actually solicit feedback and do something about it once opinions are given.
Video 🎥:: The Science of Building Psychologically Safe Team Relationships.
Using questions is a great way to build a company culture where everyone feels like they can share what they are feeling, their ideas, and opinions in order to thrive.
New to questions? See our Questions section for how-to articles on how to create, manage, and report on questions for your organization.
Now, for some examples.... 👇🏽
- The power of the “Anything else” question.
- Examine motivation
- Connecting employees
TIP 💡: If you are an admin, you can ask questions to the whole company, any group, or any one person. If you are a reviewer, you can ask questions to your direct reports or any groups you are a group admin of.
1️⃣ The power of the "Anything else to add" question
This default question is included on all 15Five check-ins is a great opportunity for employees to surface questions, issues, or other subjects that they want to bring up but were not specifically requested about via the other questions on their check-in. There are many creative ways that customers have used this question, but one of the best examples was from a customer of ours that owns a dog grooming business and wanted an employee to get advice from other dog groomers that have had similar experiences.
In this solution, the employee would utilize the “Anything else” question and @mentions to state what happened and ask others for advice. They could use the @all mention to bring everyone at the company in, mention a department, or a few people they work closely with. This gives the employee the freedom to ask everyone at the company. If they wanted the feedback to be a bit more private, they could also use the Feedback feature to ask specific employees.
This doesn't have to stop at dog groomers, but can also apply to departments and teams in your organization. By promoting the use of this question, along with the possibility of using @mentions, you can help foster a sense of community within your company.
2️⃣ Examine motivation
Questions are a great place to start when trying to figure out what motivates your employees, and therefore makes them more productive and creative. Reviews are another space where you can have this type of developmental conversation, but integrating this into your questions on your regular check-ins keeps you in the know about: projects that are energizing for your people, what things your team may need in order to function at the top of their game, and what interests your team is interested in developing (more than just during review cycles).
Trends and metric questions are accessible ways to start this practice. Metric questions asked regularly form trends. Trends are where an admin or manager can view metric answers over time and see how they fluctuate depending on current events, during specific campaigns at the company, or even how long it has been since the employee has taken time off (hinting at possible burn out approaching).
3️⃣ Connecting employees & creating relationships
Are there people on other teams that you have always wondered what they do? Maybe even some in your own department? You can help fight silos and promote inter-department connection by using questions!
Here we go! Set up a question (some companies set these up monthly or bi-weekly) to prompt people to hold a coffee/tea chat with another member of the company. We do this at 15Five and it has led to insightful conversations with other team members, where I've learned more about the inner workings of other departments. In turn, this led me to build better processes that supported both team's needs. This is extra helpful for remote teams as well!
When employees connect outside of their day to day projects and tasks, friendships form, creating a closer work environment; an environment where everyone can see the humanity in each other and know who to go to when they have a specific question (or opportunity!) These meetings are also really useful to bridge gaps between departments that may never talk to each other, even if they work closely, and collaboration is encouraged between the two.
Looking for more examples of great questions? Two of the best tools to use when creating questions are our Great eBook of Questions and Return of The Question Master.
Have a scenario regarding Questions and need some help? Reach out to our Support Team.