Are You Afraid to Ask Your Employees These Questions?


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http://stevedigioia.comRose-colored glasses. Yes, that what they’re called.

I had mine on…bet you did too.

I knew I was a still just a junior manager but I walked around like the king. I was the newest big shot. Got things done, yes, that was me!

Boss needed a project completed, I was the man. Boss read the good customer feedback letters in our daily stand-up meeting, guess whose name kept being mentioned? Yes, mine!

The king! Need something done, call me

But what did I really do? What did I really get accomplished?

Sure, tasks were completed, customers taken care of, budgets met. But that’s not all there is.

What about my staff? Did I take care of them? Did I help them to succeed? Was I so focused on my “rising star” that I forgot the most important part of a business, our employees?

I’m embarrassed to say that yes, I did. And I bet you did too!

Are you still doing it?

We should hope that our employees are looked at as stars and in times of need, not just us managers. Without them we fail, and I’m not ready to fail…at least not anymore.

What about you?

Do you really know how your employees feel about you, or your company?

Are they happy working for you, look forward to coming to work?

Do they feel appreciated?

Don’t think all this matters? Then, what does matter? Your job maybe?

How long do you think the boss will keep you around if the employee morale in your department is poor?

Don’t blame the economy or the customer’s expectations for poor morale. That’s part of doing business.

We can have happy employees in good times and in bad. It’s just harder to keep them motivated in bad times, but with effort it can be done. No excuses.

So, are you willing to find out, really find out, what your employees think of you?

If they like working for you? If they are thinking of leaving? Then what?

If you have the perfect department, the perfect employees and have nothing to gain by this exercise, stop reading now.

Go back to your cubicle and read the paper. Check on your budget, read your emails, do anything but improve.

But, if your honest and, like me, finally realize that many times we wear the rose-colored glasses far too long, it’s time to make a change. Realizing that we forget to put our employees first so that they may take care of our customers as intended; sit down with a sampling of your staff and ask them the following questions.

If you really have guts, ask them all. Do a “blind questionnaire” of the entire staff.

You may be surprised at what the answers to these questions will tell you.

Here goes…

1. When you tell others, friends or family, etc., what company you work for what do you say? Do you follow up with how good/bad the company is and why you like working there?

2. Are you proud to work here? Why?

3. Are you aware of the standards and policies of your department? If you were quizzed would you be able to answer 10 questions about them correctly? If not, explain why.

4. Would you prefer that some in your department would leave and work somewhere else?

5. If you had an opportunity to take a job with another company within the next 2 weeks, one that will pay you a similar wage and position, would you take it, and why?

6. Do your managers give you clear and concise directions/expectations?

7. Are your department managers involved in your ongoing training? Do they actively, and frequently, show you how to do your job better?

8. Are you happy with your department’s management team? Do you have confidence in them to be able to help you and your department be successful and improve? Explain.

9. Are you provided with the tools needed to do your job?

10. Does your company put people or profit first?

Well, what do you think? How will your staff answer these?

Guess the rose-colored glasses need to come off now, right?

It’s bad enough to be given unexpected and potentially damaging answers to questions about your inability to motivate your team and provide the positive work environment necessary for a successful business.

But that pales in comparison to the efforts of many to even realize you may be failing in these very same areas.

So, are you ready to take off the glasses and get to work and do a better job? I hope so.

Your employees deserve nothing less

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks much for adding your considerable expertise to this discussion.

    I especially like/agree with your third question; “Do you understand your role in providing customer value?”

    Too many times, especially with the younger-set, today’s employees have no idea how they fit into the overall process of guest experience. This is what makes it so important to hire the right person and train until their understanding is to the level of expectations.

    Your question from your linked article: “Can you also say how likely you’ll be to still be employed there in the next year?” is a great one and I use almost this same question during my new employee orientation classes.

    Seems we have more in common than we realize. Thanks again,


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