The 25 questions every manager needs to ask his staff in order to generate maximum commitment


The importance of leaders to generate commitment at work.

If you are here, it is because you are a team manager and you want to improve the way you lead your team! Just by reading this you are already taking a step to improve! Now you just need to start applying it.

Or maybe you are an HR professional, and you want to share this with the managers you work with. We are sure it will improve your relationship with your teams. We encourage you to do so!

Let’s see how we can ask questions to improve engagement in teams.

A study of more than 19,000 people found that the number one driver for improving team engagement was trust in the team leader. Their level of engagement increased x12 if they trusted their leader!

💍 People who trust their team leader are x12 times more likely to be 100% engaged.

One on One Meetings

Individual or One on One meetings give team managers and team members time to connect personally and talk privately about their hopes or concerns at work. At least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Unfortunately, for many teams, one-on-one meetings are a boring obligation that neither party enjoys.

We hope that’s not the case for you 😉 But just in case, we want to share with you a Cisco study in which they analyzed the engagement of more than 15,000 teams and found that well-designed one-on-one meetings based on just two questions reliably increased employee engagement and team performance.

Want to know what the two questions are?

Two essential questions

Here they go:

  • What are your priorities this week?
  • How can I help?

Why are these two questions good?

These two questions do a great job of starting the conversation. They create an excellent foundation when you want to drive scalable, repeatable performance, which is desirable for any organization.

It shifts the focus to the actual work the team is doing right now, and those areas where the manager can do the most good by helping.

1. The team member takes the first step

They also bring about a paradigm shift. As a rule, team leaders schedule individual meetings and set the agenda, often requiring team members to report on progress since the last meeting.

In this case, instead of the leader requiring a report, the team member decides what is shared. Once a week, team members may choose to send the leader written responses (or check-ins) to the above two monitoring questions.

2. Team leaders respond

Increased commitment only occurs when team members do this exercise regularly and receive regular feedback. How regularly? At least once a week.

In other words, if a team leader asks his team to check in once or twice, but doesn’t push them if they don’t, there is no increase in engagement. Similarly, if a team member does this check-in but the leader does not respond, the team member stops checking in; again, no improvement!

Also, while knowing that your team leader has read your check-in helps, a direct response means much more. A live conversation works best. Once they had data showing that these weekly meetings reliably drove team engagement and performance, Cisco took the next step.

Explicitly expressing meeting performance as a job expectation is one of the game-changing practices we’ve identified in many organizations with a high-performance meeting culture.

When Cisco realized the power of well-designed weekly meetings, they also found a way to hold people accountable for this performance. They set the expectation that team leaders should respond to at least 80% of check-ins within a week.

Now, the number of check-ins that receive a response is 92%.

Engagement in a work team comes with frequency of attention.

The key to the operation of all of the above is frequency of attention.

Smaller-scale studies conducted at the University of Michigan found that “high-performing organizations have three times more positive energizers or (people who uplift and drive others) than average organizations,” including positive attention exchanged in one-on-one meetings.

To add, that in a study that was conducted with over 26,000 people found that the determining factor of team engagement was trust with the team leader. Teams are x14 times more likely to be fully engaged if they trust the team leader.

And it makes perfect sense!

If we strip away the academic language, what we see is simply and fundamentally human.

We are more engaged and do our best work when we know that the people around us care. We know that people care about us and what we do because they show us that they care in their responses. Furthermore, we believe they care because they show us they care not once, not sometimes, but often.

However, that doesn’t mean that these two questions are all that can or should be talked about.

Here are 25 questions that move to create these human relationships and make both parties build trust. Introduced in the above system and in One on One sessions, this is the best way to ensure that teams are 100% engaged!

25 questions a leader can ask his or her team to generate engagement.

To understand what’s working well, so you and your team can repeat it and do it more:

To understand what is working well, so that you and your team can do it again and do it more:

  1. What feels best about the work we’re doing?
  2. How can we set each other up for success?
  3. When have you recently had an opportunity to learn and grow? How can we create more of those opportunities?
  4. Have you seen someone doing something that you thought worked really well? What did it involve?

To find out how you can best support your team member:

  1. What do I need to know about you that will help me better support you?
  2. What are you doing here that you think is most in line with your long-term goals?
  3. What are you doing here that you would like to put aside so you can focus on your more important work?
  4. Is there anything holding you back from doing the best work you can do right now?

To invite questions and comments about working with you:

  1. If you were coaching me to have a greater positive impact, what would you say to me?
  2. What can I tell you about myself to make it easier for you to understand me and work with me?

To invite ideas for improvement:

  1. Is there any part of the company that you would like to interact with more?
  2. Have you seen something recently and thought, “I wish we had done that?
  3. Is there anything outside your current role that you feel you could contribute?
  4. What rules should we break?

Questions team members might ask their manager.

To learn more about the leader’s perspective on the job:

  1. what was your career path?
  2. What would you like to be true about the way this team works?

Questions anyone can ask

These are the questions typically asked by managers, but in a meeting, any team member can try to push. Also, just because a person has the job title doesn’t mean they are a naturally gifted leader when it comes to this part of the job.

Whether you are the manager or the team member, you can take the lead by asking these questions.

About Work:

  1. What has come to light since the last time we met?
  2. What vibes (news, rumors, dynamics) are you picking up that you think I should know about?
  3. What is our biggest failure and how do we solve it?
  4. What do we need to do today to stay ahead of our competition?
  5. What do you think is our biggest risk right now, and what is the plan if it happens?

About Your Work Relationship:

  1. Is there anything you’re curious about, have doubts, anxiety, or concern regarding working with me?
  2. Are there other conversations we should be having?

And because teams that do the best work are full of people who trust each other, care for each other, and enjoy an above-average level of being treated as human beings at work:

  1. What’s going on with you these days outside of work?
  2. How’s life?

How to Improve as a Manager

If you want to boost engagement in your team or help your managers do so, at Mindbly, we assist you with our leadership program on our digital coaching platform. We measure the progress of processes and the improvement of your company’s MLI (Mindbly Leadership Index)!

If we can help you, don’t hesitate to contact us!

👉 Schedule a demo


Revolutionize the development of your organization. Contact our team

Mindbly unites technology, measurement and coaching to create inspiring and effective leaders.

Powered by:

About us
Mindbly Resources

© 2024 Mindbly all rights reserved.