Twenty Questions Employees Should Ask

Should you stay or should you go?

Growing up, my friends and I played the game Twenty Questions. The premise of the game is that by the 20th question, everyone would have a deeper knowledge and understanding. As I reflected on my childhood game, it occurred to me there are at least 20 questions employees should ask when deciding whether to join, stay or leave a company.

If you are evaluating your current company, look around, review the employee handbook, or ask fellow employees. Take a gut check regarding your experience. However, if you are deciding whether to join a company, you will need to do a little more research to get the answers. This post highlights 20 questions that will give anyone, current or future employees, greater insight into the business, the culture, the people and the work at a company.

The 20 questions here are not exhaustive. I encourage you to make a list of the things that matter most to you. Be diligent in attaining the answers. Given that most of our waking hours are at work, you will be glad you took the time to ask the right questions. You owe it to yourself to work in a company that aligns with your values. Select a place where you can be successful and where you have a high degree of confidence that the business is successful and the people are treated fairly.

Twenty Questions:

  1. What are the prevailing values of the company and are they aligned with your values?
  2. Do employees feel free to express their ideas, even if they are different from a majority view?
  3. What qualities enable the company’s success?
  4. What is the company’s reputation for fairness?
  5. How diverse is senior leadership?
  6. What is the employee experience as described by employees?
  7. Does the company value and encourage work-life balance and flexibility?
  8. Are employees encouraged to contribute new ideas for products and services?
  9. Is there a commitment to employee growth and development?
  10. What is the company’s reputation in the marketplace as a business and as an employer?
  11. How does the company respond to failure?
  12. Do you trust the company’s leadership to lead and manage the company successfully?
  13. Is the workplace a respectful environment?
  14. Is the work sufficiently challenging?
  15. Does the company recognize employee contributions and celebrate successes at all levels?
  16. Is your manager competent and caring?
  17. Is it a culture of feedback, coaching and accountability?
  18. Is the company growing or at least maintaining its position in the market?
  19. Is diversity and inclusion valued as a key business driver?
  20. What would it take for you to leave; what would it take to stay?

© 2017

Tonya Harris Cornileus, Ph.D., The Social Scholar

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