Best People To Learn From In Your Organization

If you are a manager or a leader within your organization there are two groups of people that I think you can learn the most from as far as making your team run better.

First is the new people, fresh into your organization, without the baggage and history clouding their judgement and decisions. I make it a practice to talk with my new employees after they have been with the team for 90 days and get their insights. It doesn't matter if they are an experienced veteran changing companies for a new opportunity, or someone entering the workforce as their first real job. The information they have can help you see things with a new perspective since you are one of those people with a clouded view.

  • What do you like that we do?
  • What do you understand now that you wish someone would have explained earlier to you?
  • What is one thing you would change?
  • What do we do well you think we should do more of?
  • Who are the individuals that have been the most helpful to you? What did they do that was so helpful?
The second group of people are those that are leaving your organization voluntarily. People leave companies for a variety of reasons, sometimes they have a genuine better opportunity, sometimes family issues cause them to have to move. There are plenty of good reasons that people leave a company, but there are often some reasons that they don't like something and just have to make a change. I believe that every organization has a culture that some people fit into and some people don't. Doesn't make a person good or bad, just means it isn't the right fit. No matter the reason that someone is choosing to leave your organization, you can get some valuable insights from them as they are more likely to be honest with you.
  • What should we tell your replacement to make them successful?
  • What changes would you make in your role?
  • What changes would you make to this department?
  • Is there anything I should do different as a manager?
  • Who are the people that you are most going to miss working with? Why?
Too often I see managers bitter when someone leaves their company. They react in a "fine, we don't need them way" and act like they don't care. This is a mistake because there is a lot to learn from them and it is unreasonable to expect anyone to work their entire career for the same organization, it is extremely rare these days. Remove your own pride from a situation and truly listen to what they have to say.

Of course, you should also think about asking the rest of your team these questions from time to time as well. There is benefit to that, but these two groups I feel offer the most insight to take action on that can help you lead your group to greater heights of success.

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