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HR Building - SMART QUESTIONS... It's ok to ask

Ask SMART Questions
Ask SMART Questions

Posted on Friday, September 14, 2018
Categories: Human Resources

Whether you are new to the field, promoted within the company or a seasoned professional within your industry, chances are you’ve probably asked or been asked dozens of questions.

We’ve recently hired several new employees and typically questions will arise during the onboarding and training phase. I'd like to challenge you to continue asking questions throughout your career.

When questions are posed it creates an opportunity to bring clarity to a problem or it could be the catalyst for improvement and efficiency with a particular task or function.

The recent IRS ruling on allowing an employer to make use of nonelective contributions on behalf of the employee’s student loan repayments came about because someone was bold enough to pose the question to the IRS. The question came in response to someone listening to a problem with student loan debt.

This process starts with developing our listening skills to identify a problem or obstacle.

"If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes." ~ Albert Einstein

The next step is to pose SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-bound) questions when faced an obstacle or problem

  • Why are we doing this? 
  • Who is our audience? (customer/client, vendor, business partner, employee) 
  • What result do we desire? 
  • What is preventing us from achieving this result? 
  • Is there a better way to this result? 
  • How do we measure results? 
  • Using the 5 Why method

For smaller organizations, sketching a flowchart across a whiteboard, using tools like mind mapping, or the 5 Why method can be effective in helping to shape SMART questions to solve problems. Visual aids often help reveal problems in processes. Surveys, task forces, and subcommittees can be effective ways for a larger organization to dive deeper into complex challenges.

Are you ready to release your inner Einstein? Why not give it a try?

Tagged:hiring, personnel, employment, HR Building, jobs

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