17 Questions for a great Skip Level Meeting

What is a Skip Level Meeting?

According to Wikipedia, a skip level meeting is a meeting where the upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly with non-managerial employees. These meetings can provide insight into the functioning of departments and reveal issues that may not be visible at higher levels of the organization.

Skip level meetings are crucial for leaders who want to establish trust and transparency within their organization. They allow leaders to gather unfiltered feedback, understand the challenges faced by their teams, and identify areas for improvement directly from the employees themselves.

Purpose of a Skip Level Meeting

Before holding a skip level meeting, it’s important to define what you want to achieve. Whether it’s to gather feedback on a specific issue, understand employee sentiment, or simply to build relationships, having clear objectives will shape the conversation and outcomes. Let’s dive into how you can plan for a skip-level meeting.

Planning Ahead for a Successful Skip Level Meeting

Setting the Agenda and Desired Outcomes

A well-defined agenda ensures that the meeting stays on track and covers all necessary topics. Desired outcomes should be identified to measure the meeting’s success.

Identifying Key Participants and Scheduling the Meeting

Selecting who will attend is as important as the meeting itself. Make sure that the group is representative and that scheduling does not disrupt regular business operations.

Creating a Safe and Open Environment

For employees to speak freely, they must feel safe. Ensuring anonymity and emphasizing the confidential nature of the conversation encourages honesty and openness.

Now that we’ve talked about how to plan a skip level meeting, let’s dive right into the questions that you can ask.

17 Useful Skip Level Meeting Questions To Ask (And Why You Should Ask Them)

1. Daily Motivation

Question: “What motivates you to come to work every day?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question helps to understand what drives employees, which can inform how to create a more engaging and fulfilling work environment.

2. Personal Contribution

Question: “In what ways do you feel your work contributes to the company’s goals?”

Why This Question is Helpful: It allows employees to connect their daily tasks to the company’s success, potentially revealing alignment or misalignment.

3. Team Morale

Question: “What do you think about the team’s morale, and what can we do to improve it?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question can uncover underlying issues affecting team spirit and suggest possible interventions.

4. Recognition Preferences

Question: “How do you prefer to receive recognition for your work?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Understanding recognition preferences can help tailor approaches to appreciating employees in ways that resonate with them.

5. Time Management

Question: “What are the biggest time-wasters for you each week?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Identifying inefficiencies can lead to process improvements and better time management.

6. Recent Successes

Question: “Can you tell me about a recent success story or win for our team?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Sharing success stories can boost morale and provide insight into what works well within the team.

7. Work Simplification

Question: “What’s one thing that would make your day-to-day work easier or more enjoyable?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question can lead to practical changes that enhance job satisfaction and productivity.

8. Development Resources

Question: “How do you feel about the training and development resources available to you?”

Why This Question is Helpful: It gauges whether employees feel supported in their growth and can reveal gaps in training programs.

9. Effectiveness Barriers

Question: “What are some of the obstacles that prevent you from being as effective as possible in your role?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question identifies barriers to performance, allowing leaders to address them directly.

10. Management Transparency

Question: “How transparent do you feel management is regarding the direction and health of the company?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Transparency is key to trust and security; this question assesses how well the company communicates with its employees.

11. Cross-Team Collaboration

Question: “What’s your perspective on how well our teams collaborate across the company?”

Why This Question is Helpful: It highlights both the strengths and weaknesses in current collaboration processes.

12. Tools and Technology

Question: “Do you feel you have the tools and technology necessary to perform your job effectively?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Making sure your employees have the right tools is fundamental to their success and satisfaction.

13. Work-Life Balance

Question: “How do you feel about the work-life balance within our company?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question can lead to insights on whether current policies are supporting employees’ well-being outside of work.

14. Innovation Encouragement

Question: “How can we better facilitate innovation and creativity in your role?”

Why This Question is Helpful: It can uncover potential stifling practices and encourage a flow of new ideas.

15. Policy Change Suggestion

Question: “What’s one policy you would suggest changing, and why?”

Why This Question is Helpful: Employees may have insights into policy inefficiencies or issues that management has overlooked.

16. Stress Management

Question: “How does the company help you to deal with stress and pressure at work?”

Why This Question is Helpful: This question addresses the company’s role in supporting mental health and can lead to improved support systems.

17. Executive Decision Insight

Question: “What would you like to know about the broader strategic decisions made at the executive level?”

Why This Question is Helpful: It encourages a two-way dialogue about company decisions and can help employees feel more connected and informed about the company’s future.

These questions are designed to open up a dialogue that can lead to improved understanding and actionable insights for both employees and leadership. A skip-level meeting isn’t just a box to check off your leadership to-do list. It’s a strategic move that can lead to genuine connections and actionable insights.