17 Jul What questions should you be asking your employer?
Tips from an employment lawyer: What questions should you be asking your employer to become a proactive employee?
Understanding your role and responsibilities at work can sometimes be hard to determine. It has been described in your Employment Contract, but it may seem unfocused. You may know what your role is and how to describe it, but you may not be sure what you need to be doing each day to fulfill this role in the way your employer expects. You may be asking yourself, what do I need to be doing every day to be successful in this role?
Knowing what you need to be doing actionably each day gives you a point to measure your progression throughout your employment relationship. Only knowing a definition, or an expected result, can sometimes make it even harder to picture what steps need to be taken today to get to where your employer wants you to be.
If you know what conversations to have with your employer, you can avoid under-working and over-working. Proactivity does not mean doing more than everyone else. Being a proactive employee is having the knowledge of what you need to be doing now, and how you need to handle challenges in the future.
First, as an employee you need to get comfortable with asking questions. Sometimes, asking questions can be embarrassing, especially when you are starting a new job. But the fact is, asking questions is how you learn. Even when you ask too many questions, you learn how many is too many. Our advice is, if you want to ask a question, it’s probably worth it.
If your employer hasn’t made it clear to you, ask them what they expect from you daily. Knowing what an employer wants you to produce is necessary. You want to avoid situations where you don’t complete enough work, or even instances where you are overwhelming yourself with too much work. Knowing exactly how much you need to be accomplishing is important so you can assess how you can progress within the company or in your role more generally.
Once you know the expectations, you may ask: “what does the result of these tasks look like to you?” Asking what something looks like and not only how it is described, makes it easier to put into action. For example, if someone makes a goal that they will be able to do ten pull-ups by the end of the year, your next question would be, “how”? This is the same concept. To achieve ten pull-ups, that person will do ten or more assisted pull-ups every day, until they can work down to doing ten completely on their own. There is something every day that they need to do to accomplish the main goal. So, what are the steps to achieve the expectations your employer has set for you?
Once you have started working, ask for feedback. Feedback is a part of the process, and as an employee, you should welcome it. Sometimes, employees struggle with receiving feedback because it is pointing out what is wrong with their work. But that is not the case. Feedback is knowledge, because your work may be excellent – but just not excellent for what your employer specifically wants. Receiving criticism can help build a better relationship with your employer and provide the opportunity for growth. This may also allow you to expand your skills and become an overall better employee and hire.
If you are an employee that has questions about your employment relationship or want your Employment Contract reviewed, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.