Good Questions = Good information!

Nancy Anderson
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Any successful employer knows that the only way to be successful is through and with his people! Show me an employer in any business with happy, productive people and it is almost a guarantee that the business and obviously the employer will enjoy quintessential success! Employee happiness can not only be achieved by offering good wages and benefits, but also by a fun atmosphere and an employer that shows interest in the employees and is always interested in their opinion(s)! It has been proven that happy, contended employees will rarely abuse company assets or pilfer from the company. Conversely the best way for a malcontented employee to “get even” with the company is to malinger and or pilfer from the company.

One of the keys to finding out what is going on beyond the office of the “boss” whether it is the CEO, President or Owner, is to ask good questions to get good answers! Depending on the size of the company these types of questions can be asked via an employee questionnaire to be put in the company suggestion box or “one-on-one” during employee reviews. Again, showing the employees that the “upper echelon” has empathy and values their opinion is the key to making them feel important. Some of the “right questions” are:

>What caused customer complaints today?
>What was misunderstood by you or by the customers?
>What process should we shorten?
>What is too complicated to execute?
>What upsets our customers?
>Where are we wasting staff time with too many people working on the same thing?
>Where do we need more help?
>What materials are we wasting?
>In your opinion, in what area of your responsibility, do you need more training?
>Is there a better, more efficient way to do your job?
>Do we do anything that doesn’t make sense or is just plain silly?
>If you were in my job, what is the first thing that you would do?

I am sure you will notice that none of these questions can be answered with a yes or no. If you have decided to circulate this via an employee questionnaire, do not require that they must sign the response and you will get more honest, forthright answers from the less assertive employees.
It is always important to remember that the way to learn the most about a situation is to get input from the people that control the situation and the employees are the ones in control of your customer relations and they are the ones that know how to make it better! If you haven’t ask them lately about what changes need to be made and are relying strictly on revenue and income figures as the pulse of the business, you are most likely not enjoying optimal results!
The only dumb question is the one that doesn’t get asked and the same applies to answers to those questions!

By: Randy L Snyder

Randy Snyder is a seasoned retail professional with vast experience in all aspects of specialty retail. Snyder has held high positions in a variety of chains encompassing over 28 years in the Specialty retail arena. Also involved as a consultant in a franchise based in Panama. In addition, my Snyder has been involved in consulting, training, logistics and quality control for both national and international retail organizations. His has written training manuals as well as a college level module program and articles for sporting magazines. Some of his areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, customer service, buying, selling, merchandise presentation, store design, staffing, store security, vendor relations etc. He will be available by emailing him direct at and will respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.


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