We have an engagement crisis in today’s world of work. According to recent research, the majority of our employees do not feel a real connection with their work. I find this both alarming and incredibly disheartening. However, the question remains: How might we rectify this epidemic? I do feel that we have the tools (tests, assessments, etc.) and knowledge base to move forward — but our mindset has yet to catch up with the pressing need. The proof is there — we just need to “breathe deeply” and process the information.
We must provide more opportunities for honest conversation. More sharing — more trust — more exploration into what really connects an employee with their work. We need to lay it all out openly and discuss what really matters. No gimmicks. No excuses. We simply need to examine what makes us tick and embrace whatever that might be.
This type of “career transparency” can begin with the interviewing process. To impact this staggering lack of engagement, we need to interview with new-found purpose. This means using the interview platform as an opportunity to discover information that might directly impact future levels of engagement. In particular, we might probe areas that have been linked with higher levels of engagement: Feeling valued, appropriate feedback and support, and how to sustain directed, energized effort.
Here are the questions that I’d like to ask:
- What elements of your work energize you?
- What kind of performance feedback (specificity, frequency) is most useful to you?
- What type of supervision helps you to become maximally effective?
- How does the role we are discussing align with your strengths?
- If you could implement one innovation (or idea) within our industry, what would that be?
What questions might you ask? Share them.
Special thanks to one of my readers Dave Erikson ( The 10 Career Questions I’d like to Ask Just About Everyone), whose comment motivated me to write this post.