Remote work, travel restrictions, moving businesses online, loss of jobs, and revenue shifts are some of the challenges organizational leaders are tackling now. It’s a whole new territory, which means that answers to these problems are not readily available. Questions are aplenty even about managing teams. And the best way to know what to address and how, is to learn from teams themselves. So, we’ve rounded up some questions you could ask your teams, that’ll tell you what their needs are.

About working from home:

  • How is the work from home practice making you feel? This question is geared towards understanding your employees’ psychological health – stress, loneliness, isolation, fatigue, etc.
  • Tell me about your experience of WFH, in comparison to when you worked in the office. Listen for productivity challenges, infrastructure issues, blurring of boundaries between home and work, high or low points of the day, etc.
  • What can I do for you to do your best work? Once you have heard the above responses, ask how often employees want to check-in with you, where do they feel confused or lost, etc.

About work projects/ goals:

  • Right now, what are your concerns about the team or the company? This is a chance for you to hear out how your team is perceiving changes. Offer them clarity by sharing your thoughts and as much information about the current situation as your role permits.
  • Do you have clarity about what we have to achieve in the next 60 days, and how your work fits into the work of the larger team? Talk about what they do when they get stuck and discuss possible ways to ease challenges.
  • Do our methods of brainstorming, decision-making, and information-sharing work for you? How could it be different? This is a process-related question and could offer insights into how your team functions.

About their sense of belongingness:

  • Do you have opportunities for informal conversations with your team? Encourage your team to share their views as such informal conversations build better team relationships and generate ideas. Ask team members how they could create opportunities for such spontaneous chats.
  • What do you feel is missing when working remotely? This could be information, opportunities for feedback, having fun, dialing into strategic plans, etc.
  • If you were to lead this team for a day (or week), what would you do? Another version of the previous question, the responses to it will give you an idea of what the team member wants, or thinks is missing at work in the given circumstances.

While it is important that leaders offer teams the information they need to do their work efficiently, equally important is the practice of asking good questions that give you insights into the team’s experience. Otherwise, your leadership will be built on assumptions. What are some questions you ask?

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