Year-End Reflections: 9 Questions Business Leaders Should Ask Their Teams 

Year-End Reflections: 9 Questions Business Leaders Should Ask Their Teams 

The year is coming to an end, and we encourage you to reflect on the highs and lows you experienced with your team.  

In this article, we aim to guide business leaders in conducting meaningful year-end reflections by providing a list of questions you can ask your team members. Through these questions, gather feedback and gain valuable insight into your team’s performance, challenges, and successes throughout the year.  

Discuss Year-End Reflections: The Importance of Your Employees’ Points of View 

There is only one reason why we need to reflect—to make ourselves better. The last month is the best time to look back and see how our actions have affected the company’s productivity, performance, brand image, employee retention, and many other metrics.  

To achieve this, it’s best to go to your own employees and ask them about their current situation, how the year started, and where they want to be. This allows you to realign your goals and see if there’s anything that needs adjustment. It’s about growing and developing as a company, starting with every individual in the company. 

Here are nine questions you can ask your employees to help you start the next year: 

1. What is something you are proud of this year? 

According to Great Place To Work, workplace pride is found in three levels: job, team, and company.¹ It is ideal that your employees feel proud of all three, but what makes pride so important? Taking pride in one’s work and involvement in the company can help create stronger, better, and more engaged teams. 

Great Place To Work’s research found that employees who feel proud of their work are twice as likely to stay loyal and longer in the company and six times more likely to recommend their employer.  

It’s important to ask employees this question to understand what they are experiencing as employees. Knowing what makes them proud in their roles can help determine which part of the culture you should maintain, and which should be changed. 

2. What challenges did you face this year, and how did you overcome them? 

Asking this question lets you see if your employees work collaboratively with their teams. Most people can go through challenges and overcome them, but be mindful of those who ask for help. Workplace relationships are vital as they foster collaboration, improve results, and help people feel they belong. By knowing the answers to this question, you can provide avenues where they can work together and encourage team collaboration. 

This also gives you an idea of who can step out of their comfort zone or think outside the box through the strategies they came up with. This means that your employees are trustworthy and can find innovative solutions.  

3. What new things have you learned this year? 

Asking this question can help promote a culture of learning and development within the organization, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce. It also recognizes and celebrates your employees’ achievements and contributions to the organization. 

If an individual says that they didn’t learn anything new this year or they feel uncertain about what they’ve learned, consider providing more learning opportunities for them the following year to help them grow. Ask what skills they wish to develop or acquire, then find areas where they can apply these strengths. 

4. What or who are you grateful for? 

Gratitude can strengthen relationships, improve the workplace atmosphere, and increase job satisfaction. Asking this question may inspire your employees to be thankful for what surrounds them, like having accessible resources, reliable colleagues, supportive managers, and career growth.  

Also, you can take this time to show appreciation towards your employees. Thank them for their hard work and contributions to the company. It’s the perfect time to conclude the year with inspiration and gratitude toward each other. 

5. Did you feel engaged at work? 

According to Gallup research, employee engagement in the US is declining. It dropped from 34 percent in 2021 to 32 percent in 2022.²

While this is not a significant drop, employee engagement is a leader’s responsibility and should be prioritized. Finding out what your employees are going through can give you insights on how to support them better in the next year and improve their engagement with their teams and the whole company.  

6. Were you able to keep your commitments? 

Keeping commitments is essential to build and maintain a person’s relationships with the people around them. Were there any hindrances or challenges that prevented them from accomplishing their responsibilities? 

These could be heavy workloads, miscommunications, or poor time management. Offer solutions on how you can improve their situations and address these issues in the future.  

7. How did your priorities change throughout the year? 

Our priorities can change over time, affecting our work responsibilities and practices. Routines can get disrupted, and things people thought were most important suddenly don’t matter as much anymore. 

Ask your employees what shifted their priorities and provide the support they need. By learning these changes, you can help them pursue this new priority. This could mean adjusting their roles, career trajectories, or core responsibilities. The goal is to find new ways to help them thrive in the company by being flexible toward their new aspirations and commitments.  

8. Are you living a purposeful life? 

According to McKinsey, people who live serving their purpose are more productive than those who don’t.³ Every individual’s purpose can vary from personal goals, company alignment, and familial responsibilities to career aspirations and life circumstances. 

Discover what truly drives your employees and try to empower them as you align it with the company. When one’s purpose aligns with the company’s, they can be more resilient, healthier, stay longer, and more likely to recommend their company to their peers.  

You can offer them a flexible schedule if they value quality time with their families. Or if they want to prioritize personal growth, open doors to different career paths, and provide training and development that can boost them.  

9. Which role do you aspire to have in 2024? 

This question reveals your employees’ goals and what they want to accomplish. Take this time to plan how they can reach their goals. 

You can provide the tools they need or give them tasks to hone their skills. If they want to attain a higher position in the company, this is the perfect time to teach them the necessary skills and key responsibilities needed to achieve this role.  

FOCUS PEOPLE CAN HELP YOU BUILD GREAT COMPANY CULTURE WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE 

We understand that you want to provide your team with a great company culture and meaningful employment, so why not let us help you find the right people who share your ideals? 

Focus People can help you find members who will enjoy and excel in their roles, as we are in the top 7 percent of staffing firms in the United States. We do our best to understand what you need, and we can match you with exceptional candidates through contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire setups. 

Get in touch with us today. 

References 

1. Hastwell, Claire. “The High Value of Building Pride in the Workplace.” Great Place To Work, 14 Jul. 2022, www.greatplacetowork.com/the-value-of-building-pride-in-the-workplace. 

2. “Employee Engagement.” Gallup, www.gallup.com/indicator-employee-engagement. 7 Nov. 2023. 

3. “Help Your Employees Find Purpose—Or Watch Them Leave.” McKinsey & Company, 5 Apr. 2021, www.mckinsey.com/help-your-employees-find-purpose-or-watch-them-leave. 

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