A key finding from Blessing White’s 2011 Employee Engagement Report is that employees “view opportunities to apply their talents, career development and training as top drivers of job satisfaction.”
Managers who have worked with employees for a while are usually familiar with their staff’s ongoing talent development and career aspirations. But there is little of this familiarity when a new employee is brought in that the manager doesn’t know as well. Ditto for a new manager assigned to the group. In such situations, beyond the information contained in an employee’s HR file, how can managers gain insight into employee job preferences and career goals?
Here are several questions (adapted from a New York Times interview with Lockerz CEO Kathy Savitt) you can use as discussion starters:
- What do you love most about the work you do?
- If you could take all your abilities and create a job description, what would it look like?
- If every employee was made a CEO of something on their first day with this company, what would you be CEO of?
I invite you to share other insightful questions you find to be helpful. Your experience in handling these discussions is also welcome.