Questions for a Roundtable With Employees

Large roundtable business meeting
Large roundtable business meeting (Image: Robert Churchill/iStock/Getty Images)

An effective way for businesses to uncover what goes on within their organizations and to drive worker productivity is to have a roundtable discussion with employees. A roundtable is a discussion between a small and diverse group of employees from different sectors of an organization. According to the Gallup Management Journal, the secret of higher performance is employee engagement. Roundtable discussions encourage employee input and offer management a better opportunity to understand their workers' needs.

Company Principles

Most organizations have a vision or mission statement -- pose the direct question to employees to determine if they know the organization's vision and mission. For example, "Do you know the company's mission statement?" is a fundamental question to begin roundtable discussions. Mission statements typically are a set of principles that organizations use to define the purpose of the business, whom the business serves and what sets the company apart from the competition. This question helps management determine if employees understand the company’s goals and expectations.

Opportunities to Advance

Advancement opportunities are an important part of an employee’s career path. Employers may ask, "Do you feel advancement opportunities exist within the organization?" to understand how workers perceive the career development opportunities within the company. The question also lets employers know why employees pursue other employment opportunities. Employees who feel they can grow with a company are more likely to remain employed and perform optimally. Employee turnover could increase if advancement opportunities are limited.

Recognition and Reward

Employee recognition programs are designed to identify and reward employees who do their jobs well. It is important for employers to know how workers perceive recognition efforts. Asking, "What does the organization do to recognize and praise optimal performance?" is an open-ended question that challenges employees to think about the forms of recognition the company offers. This allows employers to implement plans and strategies to formally recognize workers and identify areas where employee performance has gone unnoticed.

Sufficient Employee Resources

Miscommunication between workers and management could lead to poor job performance. On one hand, employees might feel they do not have the necessary tools to do their jobs properly. On the other hand, management might think it provides employees with the necessary resources through training and on-the-job educational opportunities. By asking employees, "What tools and resources do you need to perform your job duties?" managers can implement new training programs as well as provide workers with the appropriate tools to meet their needs.

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