Would you like to:

  • Make your employees feel like a valuable, contributing member of your team,
  • Understand and manage their expectations,
  • Uncover potential problems, and
  • Find out what they like (or don’t) about their new position?

Then you need to start asking questions! Begin your conversation by letting the new employee know that you are happy to have them, that their input is valuable to you and that open and honest feedback is appreciated. Then dive in to get insight that will help you grow them into a valued and contributing member of your team.

Here are ten questions to ask in the first month:


What’s going well so far? Can you describe some of your best experiences?

Start the conversation on a positive, energizing note, you will learn what the employee enjoys, which provides insight into the employee’s strengths and interests.

Is the position what you thought it would be? How has it differed from your initial expectations?

Different is not bad, but the answer will provide an opportunity to manage expectations, correct any missed expectations, and clear up questions regarding responsibilities.

Are you experiencing any challenges in particular than I can assist you with?

The answer allows you to show the new employee that you are a resource – that you care about them enough to find out what items they are struggling with. It provides the opportunity to change course as needed and consider future training needs.

Do you have enough, too much or too little time to do your work?

A new hire can be overwhelmed or underwhelmed with their workload, and both can be an issue. Gauging an employee’s time versus workload can help you to provide more assignments or reassign tasks.

How can I help you learn and improve? How can the practice support your growth and success?

Employees want to feel like you are investing in them and that they have a clear path towards development. Be prepared to follow up with action. If you don’t, you can build false expectations and cause disappointment.

Do you feel you have the information, tools, and resources you need to do your job successfully?

Empower the new hire to succeed; nothing is worse than having talent wasted because they did not have enough information, the right tools or know the right resources to help them succeed early and often in their new role.

Are you comfortable asking questions about work? Whom do you ask?

This is a roundabout way of asking if the new team member feels comfortable with their trainer/mentor, and other team members.

Are you feeling comfortable within the practice in general? Do you feel like you have a good understanding of your role within the practice?

Clarification of the role is important. If a new hire does not know what their role is, the expectations of the role and how it fits into the organization at large, the employee is not going to feel as connected, engaged, or successful.

Is our practice’s mission clear and do you see how your job supports that mission?

Whether the employee can already see the relationship or if further clarification is needed, this is your opportunity to talk about purpose: the purpose of the company and the purpose of the role.

Do you have any suggestions for, or do you see any weaknesses in, specific systems, processes, and procedures that the practice can improve?

Fresh eyes can uncover ideas that will help you improve operations and become a better manager. This question represents a great opportunity for a new hire to feel they are contributing to improving the processes and procedures of the practice.

In the end, give your employee a chance to ask you a few questions. Remind the employee that your door is always open for feedback or to answer questions on any matter.

Follow Up!

Don’t jot down answers and walk away. Once you’ve got honest feedback from your employee, take action! You don’t have to act on every request but acting on a few of them shows that you care about your employee and their input.

Sheila Grosdidier, SCP
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