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12 Critical Questions


Awhile ago, we talked about Marcus Buckingham, a senior researcher at the Gallup Organization, and discussed his findings in his excellent book, “Now Discover Your Strengths.”

He has more to offer us.

Buckingham says a workforce can be divided into three categories: people who are loyal and productive, or “engaged,” those who are just treading water or “not engaged,” and those who are malcontents or “actively disengaged.”  There are 12 simple questions the answers to which, he says, determine whether employees are engaged, not engaged, or actively disengaged at work.

1)      Do I know what is expected of me at work?

2)      Do I have the materials and equipment that I need in order to do my work right?

3)      At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?

4)      In the past seven days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work?

5)      Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?

6)      Is there someone at work who encourages my development?

7)      At work, do my opinions seem to count?

8)      Does the mission or purpose of my company make me feel that my job is important?

9)      Are my coworkers committed to doing quality work?

10)   Do I have a best friend at work?

11)   In the past six months, has someone at work talked to me about my progress?

12)   This past year, have I had opportunities at work to learn and grow?

Obviously, the more of these questions an employee can answer in the affirmative, the more he or she will gravitate toward “engaged.”  The fewer an employee can answer in the affirmative, the more he or she will gravitate toward either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.”

Do you know where your employees fall on this continuum from “engaged” to “actively disengaged?”  If not, you should find out.  The very act of asking the 12 questions may move some employees a few notches closer to “engaged.”

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