11 Questions Every Employee Should Ask Their Manager

February 17, 2016

YOUR first and most important job as a people manager is to, well, manage your people. A healthy employee-manager relationship is absolutely key to getting things done in an effective, efficient way, and it’s the manager’s job to set that tone with her employees.

If managers treat their employees with dignity and respect, assist with job and career development, are generous with their time and listen – really listen – they will see many benefits, including:

  • Enhanced teamwork
  • Heightened level of innovation
  • Employees who push back or challenge you in a professional manner, perhaps leading to better outcomes
  • Elevated productivity
  • Goals achieved/exceeded
  • Hearing bad news sooner than later, so there are no surprises
  • Boost in engagement

If you’re thinking: Well, if this is the case, why do I have to do all the work? I agree with you–you shouldn’t have to do all the work. Employees have a role in creating a healthy working relationship, too. If an employee wants to be viewed as top talent and an asset to the company, he/she should be asking you these questions:

  • What’s keeping you up at night?
  • What’s one thing I could be doing differently?
  • What’s the best way to communicate with you?
  • What level of detail do you expect with any given project?
  • What are your hot buttons?
  • Are you using my skills and abilities to their fullest extent?
  • How do you perceive me? How would you say others perceive me?
  • What are the company’s goals for this year?
  • What are your goals for this year?
  • How can I contribute and help you achieve your goals?
  • What challenges or obstacles are you currently facing?

How often are your employees asking you these questions? If they’re not, let them know which questions you would like them to ask you from time to time and when it’s warranted. Don’t assume they should just know or gripe about how unproductive they are without giving them the courtesy of knowing what you want to hear. If you do encourage your employees to ask these questions, be prepared to have the answers!

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About The Author

Jamie Graceffa is speaker and the author of Career Control, Love the Job You’re in or the One You Want. Jamie's areas of expertise include job and career development, employee engagement, team transformation, and coaching. Contact Jamie at, through Facebook or @JamieGraceffa

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