How to keep employees engaged with one simple question

Surveys are fine, but direct conversations with employees can help them do their jobs better-a crucial component of an inspired workforce.

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(Editor’s note: This was one of the top viewed stories of 2015. We’re rerunning it as part of a look back at the articles that captivated our readers the most.)

In a great workplace culture, managers do more than share timely and relevant information with employees. They also listen and digest that feedback.

Employee surveys can be useful tools, but they’re not enough to help you know what your people are really thinking.

There’s no survey, assessment or app that can take the place of a manager finding a few moments of quiet, pulling an employee aside and asking: “Hey, how are you making out around here? What kinds of dragons have you had to slay today? Do you have all the tools and resources you need? Are you seeing any challenges on the horizon that you’re going to need help with? What can I do to support you?”

Once employees start to open up, the most important thing the manager can do is to shut up, listen, take notes and take action.

Bill Marriott on keeping employees engaged

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