Each January, the members of our company get together to discuss the previous year and our objectives for the year ahead. We invite a few friends and advisors from outside the company to add a unique perspective to the discussions and to challenge our thinking. We ask ourselves the fundamental question: “why are we here?” This answer is our purpose, our ideal. And all of our discussions on our strategies and tactics need to come back to this purpose. Are we living up to that purpose? The decisions we make every day need to be aligned with that purpose. How often do you take a step back and challenge your team about why you do what you do?
Our agenda includes fundamental business topics: financial results, business development, and where we are heading as a company. Prior to these meetings, we interview every team member. We use feedback from these interviews to select agenda items and drive discussion. We ask the team members what drives them, what challenges them, and their vision for the future of the company. Yes, we’re a small company and it’s easy to interview 10 people. But, the information we gather is what helps drive our company further. And everyone is onboard for the ride, which is critical for creating a culture of growth. Are your team members onboard with your company’s purpose and vision?
The rookie on our team conducts the interviews. It gives her the opportunity to learn more about who we are and what we stand for. She gets a better sense as to what gets the team fired up every morning and what keeps them up at night. Understanding what motivates your teammates adds a human element that doesn’t exist in employee handbooks. How often do your leaders sit down with new employees and share their vision and excitement about the company?
Below is a sample of the questions we ask our team members. How valuable would this information be to your business?
1. Do you truly believe we are the best at what we do?
2. Are we living up to our ideals?
3. Are we working with clients that are aligned with our ideal?
4. What do you think is our biggest opportunity in the next 1/5/10 years?
5. What can we do better?
6. Is there anything we do today that is no longer relevant?
7. What is your dream project or client?
8. What was your favorite project this past year?
9. What was your biggest challenge this past year?
10. Do you enjoy what you do?
11. How is your work/life balance?
12. What skill set do we need on our team?
13. Are there any questions that we did not ask but should have asked?