Asking New Employees About Their Goals Isn’t Hard, Here are 7 Questions to Get Started

Asking employees about their goals is an important way to figure out where they fit in.

Once you’ve hired an employee, you need to get them settled and in sync with the company. Part of that process is establishing their goals: Are they looking to develop certain skills? Do they need certain resources to accomplish their tasks. To find out what questions elicit the most informative responses, we asked members from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) this question:

“What is the most productive question you can ask a new employee regarding their goals while at your company?”

Here’s what they had to say:

Asking About Employee Goals

1. What’s the First Thing on Your List?

“Once a new employee understands the scope and expectations of their new role, a good way to empower them right off the bat is asking them what they would tackle first on their list for the company. Their response reveals an opportunity to map out a strategic plan that is in sync with your expectations for them.” ~ Peggy ShellCreative Alignments

2. What Would You Like to Learn?

“Employees want to be engaged. If they aren’t being tested and aren’t learning on the job, their passion and work ethic will begin to drop. Asking a new hire what they’d like to learn will help you understand how to put them in a position to learn and remain passionate about their work. It’s important to keep that dialogue going as they grow as an employee and their interests expand.” ~ Abhilash Patel, Recovery Brands

3. What Would You Be Doing in Two Years If Our Company Didn’t Exist?

“If you ask someone their goals for the next year, they’ll give you an answer they think you want. Instead, ask them about their professional aspirations. You can take that discussion, and see if there is alignment between their goals and what they’re doing today. If yes, great. If not, have a candid discussion about how they can build skills they want while delivering the work the business needs.” ~ Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

4. What Do You Need to Accomplish Your Goals

“The most productive question to ask a new employee regarding their goals is what they need to accomplish them. For instance, if I was just appointed director of sales, I may request a digital marketing budget, an administrative assistant and an assistant director. I’d also like to make the request ahead of time for additional needs — such as more staff or increased ad budget — based on performance.” ~ Kristopher

5. How Will You Measure Goal Accomplishment?

“Companies are setting goals for their staff, but I found it was important to ask what each employee had as their own goal and how they would track accomplishment of those goals in relation to their work? It is a discussion that opens the door to help me understand what I can provide to help them, which, in turn, builds loyalty.” ~ Cynthia JohnsonIpseity Media

6. Where Do You Want to Go From Here?

“We believe encouraging employees to cultivate knowledge and expand their horizons can only be good for our company. I ask new employees how we can help them to grow in their careers — courses they want to take, areas of the business they want to learn — and make my best effort to help them achieve their goals.” ~ Vik PatelFuture Hosting

7. What Part of the Job Do You Like Most?

“After a new employee has been with the company for a few weeks, I like to ask what his or her favorite parts of the job are in addition to their goals. Some employees get nervous if their goals are different from what they think the company will need, but everyone talks about what they like doing. By asking both, you can get a more complete picture, and that can be valuable as the company grows.” ~ Ajay Gupta, Stirista

Asking new employees photo via Shutterstock

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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