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5 Questions to Initiate Positive Workplace Conversations

happy_woman-918054-editedWhen talking about employee engagement, it can be easy to overlook the impact social and political issues can have on well-being. From controversial politics to ongoing gender equality discussions or even stressful local events, we take our emotional and mental reactions to work with us.

As part of our attention to employee concerns, it’s important to engage in conversations on these issues to demonstrate that employee wellbeing is essential to the company.

An effective means of helping employees cope is to ask questions and start conversations about positivity. Studies have consistently shown that focusing on the positive has demonstrable effects on well-being. Including positive thinking in your employee engagement strategy will encourage the delivery of successful objective and key results for you, your staff, and your firm.

Start the conversation with a daily or weekly question that redirects negative thinking into learning what makes your staff feel good.


1. How Was Your Day?

One of the simplest questions routinely asked to friends and families has an equal place in the work environment. Asking someone about their day shows interest and care, and prompts people to talk about their successes and frustrations.

From a human resources perspective, how someone answers this question can also identify potential problems employees are having. It will allow your team to offer support and services as necessary.


2. Are You Doing Something Fun This Week?

People typically look forward to upcoming social plans. Sharing their personal interest and enthusiasm with coworkers can bring that positive outlook into their daily work life.

Asking about life outside the office can send the message that we don’t view our colleagues as simply employees, but also as people with interesting lives. Connecting on common interests can be an unexpected resource that leads to bonding among teammates.


3. What’s Going Right for You at Work?

People take pride in their work, of course, and like to be recognized for their accomplishments. Understanding and acknowledging what makes your team members enjoy their work reinforces their positive view of their jobs. When people share their enthusiasm for their job, it can have a contagious effect.


4. What Are Your Ideas for an Upcoming Company Event?

Soliciting ideas from employees is a core tenet of engagement. Working with staff to make an event fun and enjoyable serves to elevate engagement while directing thinking in positive directions. Events are also opportunities for team-building, which can create further positive teamwork and deepen bonds among staff members.


5. What Can be Improved About Your Job?

In the context of positivity, this question might seem odd to propose, but the intent is to increase morale through improvement.

Checking in on difficulties can help employees open up about things that are bothering them. To increase engagement, you can help staff resolve issues directly, brainstorm on resolutions, or refer them to other team members that might be in a better position to help.


Encourage the Positive

As leaders, we need to remember our staff members are people first. They come with a myriad of emotions, challenges, and concerns that arise from beyond the workplace. By approaching coaching from a “whole person” perspective, management can better understand the ups and downs of individual contributors and work with them to reduce stress and frustrations.

The simple act of asking questions can solicit sincere responses that stimulate greater dialog about work/life balance. This type of engagement serves to increase morale and inspire loyalty, which results in demonstrable improvements in work productivity and personal well-being.




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