What questions to ask employees
It's important to have a methodology, across the organisation, to identify when these problems arise, quickly. The best way is to ask staff directly what is troubling them.
Developments in psychotherapy can provide guidance. Increasingly practitioners use questionnaires for personalised self-assessment by each client to identify specific symptoms and issues, such as the GAD-7 for anxiety and PHQ-9 for depression, or the CORE (Clinical Outcomes Routine Evaluation) system to get an overall picture of mental health.
Naming and measuring a problem empowers the person concerned, bringing a new focus and direction to the conversation. Also, repeated use will give an overall picture of subsequent progress.
So, consider the use of questionnaires for employee assessment.
The principal concerns that might trouble staff - in any organisation - can be listed, which can then form the basis for one-to-one reviews and a new culture of coaching. Questions for staff members can cover such matters as:-
- Clarity of understanding about the performance that is expected of them
- Adequacy of resources, training and attention from supervisors
- Levels of anxiety and feelings of achievement about control of their work
This strategy makes it easier to uncover the causes of workplace stress before it creates mental health issues for staff, turning an embarrassing and expensive problem into a practical working agenda for positive change.