How do you create a happy, productive work environment where everyone works effectively together? Start by understanding your employees’ work styles.
When you interview or conduct performance reviews, use these questions to identify individuals’ preferred methods of work.
1. What motivates you?
Motivation is the foundation of all work. Knowing how to motivate each of your employees—whether it’s with money, promotions or verbal recognition—raises enthusiasm and boosts performance.
2. How would you describe your work style?
Are you a fast-paced business that values speed? Do you have an open office floor plan and appreciate collaboration and teamwork? Your candidate has preferences, too. Match his answers to your workplace’s style to find your best-fit candidate.
3. Describe a typical workday.
Does the candidate dive in with both feet as soon as she comes in? Does she make lists? Does she schedule her meetings and check email in blocks of time? The way a person approaches her day says a lot about her work style—specifically, her level of planning, organization, thinking processes and ability to focus.
4. How do you prefer to communicate with others?
Not everyone communicates—or responds to communication—in the same way. Understanding a candidate’s preferred method—email, phone, instant messaging—can help prevent barriers that form between people with different communication styles.
5. Do you prefer working alone or with others?
If your culture is built upon teamwork, hiring someone who prefers solitary work can spell trouble. The same is true when trying to integrate a socializer into a work environment that requires largely independent work.
6. Describe your decision-making process.
Does the candidate avoid making decisions or face them head on? Does he carefully research all options or “go with his gut”? Once you understand his process, you can determine if it’s in line with the needs of the available person.
7. What hours are you accustomed to working?
Does she take work home with her? Stay late to finish up? Or is she only available from 9 to 5, five days a week? Make sure there’s a good fit between her work style and the job’s requirements—especially if overtime, evening or weekend work is required.