February 3, 2016

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Employees; The Answers May Shock You!

Have you ever thought that by completing employee performance reviews you could become a better leader, and in return, foster a better company? A few months ago, during an employee performance review, a few questions came to me that I don’t usually ask. The answers shocked me!

Spending one-on-one time with your employees is next to impossible when you’re already swamped taking care of patients, the business, marketing, finances, and so on. Welcome to the life of every small business owner, right? I get it, believe me, but if you’re not spending one-on-one time with your team members, that means you’re not scheduling the needed time with the people who are dedicating their lives to your passion, and that is a mistake. Instead, if you carve out this time quarterly, your entire business will thrive from this one simple, must-have human resource procedure. This scheduled time is to help the employee identify his/her strengths and weaknesses, but if you also slip in the five questions I’ve provided below, you can help identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to leading your company. Including these five simple questions in each employee performance review might just change your perspective on how well you’re fulfilling the role of CEO for your company:

#1 Do you truly believe we are the best at what we do?

Make sure your employee feels safe to answer this question honestly. This question is very important, because your employees interact with your patients in ways that you do not. This allows them to hear things that you do not. Write these answers down and ponder them. The second we stop yearning to improve, we might as well retire.

#2 Is there anything in our procedures that seems outdated or needs to be improved?

The answers could relate to patient procedures, employee policies, office culture, or more. Write their answers down and present the list to the group (with permission) in a team meeting, allowing the team to weigh-in on each area of potential concern, agree or disagree, and vote on what improvement needs to take priority. Allowing the team to value and consider their feedback will go a long way.

#3 Are there services that we do not offer here that you hear patients asking about?

Seeking out new profit centers is a part of every viable business. You should be setting aside five percent of your income for business development. This money goes to seminars, employee training, and research to identify profit centers that align with your business culture.

#4 What do you produce each day and do you love it?

Does each of your employees know what they produce and how that fits into your overall company’s product and mission statement? Are they passionate about it? If not, something needs to change. Perhaps that change is additional training on the product each employee produces, ensuring each employee can view/interact with the metrics he/she is responsible for or contributes to, or creating and maintaining a reward system to help motivate your employees to perform.

#5 Do I (the employer) live up to the ideals that I set for this company?

As their leader, how are you holding up your end of the deal? Are you still inspiring them to be better and give beyond just great customer service? It is your job to project the company vision clearly and then show your team the path of how to get there.

As you spend this necessary one-on-one time with your employees, you are investing the time that it takes to develop important relationships with your team members. When a team member respects you, looks to you for leadership and guidance, and becomes your vision missionary, you build a team that propels your company forward. This team becomes your greatest asset!

No matter how busy your day-to-day gets, do not look at performance reviews as a burden or a waste of time. These precious few slices of time each year may be the most valuable investment you make as a leader.

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