We have been creating and building high performing teams for over 15 years. As leaders of people, we have asked ourselves, and coached our managers to ask themselves, these 12 questions. 

The result of a Gallup research study into excellence, including interviews with more than a million people, the 12 questions are distilled from commonalities found wherever exceptional performance occurred in both individuals and teams. They are not intended as a job satisfaction survey where you sit team members down and have a nice chat.  As a leader you need to ask yourself these questions and ask your managers to ask themselves too. 

If you think the answer is, “no” to any of the questions, it’s a call to action to make changes towards a culture of excellence.

1. Do I know what is expected of me at work? (Do my team members have clear job descriptions and clarity around projects, tasks and expectations?)

2. Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? (Have they got the resources they need to succeed in their role?)

3. Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? (Do you have people in the right jobs, where they can use and build on their strengths?)

4. In the last 7 days, have I received recognition or praise for doing good work? (When was the last time you gave praise to the individuals in your team? If it wasn’t in the last week, it’s not regular enough. People crave recognition – your role as leader is to encourage and cheer-lead your team.)



5. Does my supervisor or someone at work seem to care about me as a person? (Do you know who your team members are as people, not employees?)

6. Is there someone at work who encourages my development? (Do you provide opportunities for your staff to learn new skills and feel like they are moving forward?)

7. At work, do my opinions seem to count? (People leave managers, not jobs. What structure do you have in place for your team members to provide their feedback? And do you listen when it’s given?)

8. Does the mission / purpose of my company make me feel my job is important? (Also, do your team members know how their role fits into the bigger picture?)

9. Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work? (Are you letting poor performers set the standard or are you encouraging people to lift the bar? The standard you walk past is the standard you set. Good performers can be demoralised if poor standards are accepted in others.)

10. Do I have a best friend at work? (Are you providing opportunities for your team to grow supportive relationships at work? Work is a big part of their lives, so it’s vital for people to have fun and friendship.)

11. In the last 6 months, has someone talked to me about my progress? (Are you providing regular reviews and feedback to help people with a sense of direction at work?)

12. This last year, have I had the opportunity at work to learn and grow? (Are you providing opportunities for personal advancement?)


If your team would honestly answer each of these questions with a ‘strongly agree’ you will have a very motivated, productive team who will always be striving to achieve more and better; and you will have proved yourself to be a truly great manager.

Download a PDF of the 12 questions here