Why should employees be encouraged to ask questions at work?
Are you a go-getter at work? Are you constantly asking questions, seeking answers or trying to learn new information? If you are, it’s okay. It’s a good thing.
What is the real benefit of asking questions at work?
According to a recent study conducted by the Harvard Business School, asking questions in the workplace may cause others to view you as more engaged and intelligent. Although some may fear retribution or being seen as annoying, an inquisitive nature is often a sign of great competence.
“Information sharing is very important in organizations. If everyone sat in their separate silos and never interacted with each other, they wouldn’t learn anything from each other. By not seeking advice, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to learn from your co-workers,” said assistant professor at Harvard Business School Alison Wood Brooks in a recent New York Times article.
How can employers inspire more questions from their team?
To increase both knowledge and collaboration in the work environment, management teams should encourage employees to voice their opinions readily. In order to expand and further a completely open space for sharing ideas, keep the following three tips in mind:
- Be willing to make a change: Questions often spur change, which can be hard for some to grasp. If employees feel as if their questions are falling on deaf ears, they will be less likely to ask more in the future.
- Create a vision: For some employees, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly where to begin when it comes to questions in the office. Get your team started with an open discussion of work practices, future goals or past mistakes. This can more often open up the floor for better questioning.
- Take action: When questions are presented, be ready to address concerns that are brought up in a timely and efficient manner. This demonstrates to your team that a change can be made when issues are present.
With a more open work environment, employees will be more willing to express themselves in the best manner possible.