If you’ve been following us on social media and our blog, you know that we’ve been going over First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham this month. It’s one of our favorite books, as well as one that affects what we do at Dotedison every day, including leadership, daily work, and company culture.
While the book overall has great wisdom to offer, we wanted to introduce you to what many business managers, team leaders, and many others have found useful for leading their employees, specifically in the ways they improve their company culture.
In the book, Buckingham presents 12 questions that research found are most indicative of a good work environment when employees could answer positively. Below, we’ve listed the questions out for you.
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday?
- In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?
- Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
- At work, do my opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of my company make me feel my job is important?
- Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
- Do I have a best friend at work?
- In the last six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?
- This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow?
These questions cover three main categories of your business. Use each category to gauge your company culture and figure out ways you can improve.
Questions like “Do I know what is expected of me at work?” affect an employee’s everyday working experience. Taking the time to ask your workers what their day-to-day is like can help you improve working conditions and manage expectations so that problems do not build over time.
“Do I have a best friend at work?” and other similar questions indicate an individual’s need for human connection at work. Relationships with peers, managers, and even those at lower levels really influence a person’s satisfaction with their work environment. Cooperating good interpersonal relations does more than just make people happy though… it helps them to work together and rely on each other’s strengths in order to get the job done the best way possible!
Finally, Marcus Buckingham found in his research that employees tend to feel more positively about their work when they believe that their job and their company are doing something impactful and important. Whether the larger goal is aspirational on a global scale or just important to an individual, creating meaning in the workplace can give your employees something to strive for.
Next time you sit down with an employee one-on-one, take a few minutes to ask them these questions and write down their responses. When you value your team’s responses to these questions, you’ll make changes to your management, and your whole business will be better because of it.