Ask a Manager: 7 Things Employees Want To Ask Their Manager (But Don't)


All too often employees have questions that never get answered. 

To help managers be more proactive in seeking out employee questions, we asked employees and human resources professionals about the one question they want to ask their manager - but don't.

Here are seven things employees want to know from their managers.

  • What do I struggle with the most?

  • What can I be doing to get a performance bonus? 

  • How are you doing?

  • How did I interview?

  • How can I move up?

  • How can I get a raise?

  • Where is our company headed?

What do I struggle with the most?

My manager is my biggest cheerleader, and someone I truly love to work for. There really isn’t anything we don’t discuss in the open, but if there was anything I would want to know, it’s what things they think I struggle at the most.

Zack McCarty, Qwick

What can I be doing to get a performance bonus?

No one ever wants to talk about money. As a recruiting company, salary makes up a huge part of the recruiting and negotiation process, yet no one seems to ask about it. People that have been at the same company for over a decade struggle to ask their managers for bonuses or raises, even if they deserve it. Don’t be afraid to ask when you are expected to get your next raise or what you can be doing to ensure you get a performance bonus. 

Ryan Nouis, TruPath

How are you doing? 

Managing and leading are mentally and sometimes physically tough. Looking back at when I had managers to report to, I wish I would have asked them how they were doing more often. I’m sure most of the time I would have been met with a blunt “I’m fine - you?” type of response. But, I bet if I would have kept asking that question, my managers would have eventually opened up and opportunities may have presented themselves. Especially with all the stresses and anxieties surrounding the workplace, it’s always important to ask how people are doing. 

Brett Farmiloe, Terkel

How did I interview?

A question that most people never ask their manager is about how they interviewed. Obviously, you got the job, so there were probably several things you did correctly when being interviewed, but what areas could you have improved on? What were your biggest weaknesses when interviewing? Asking these hard questions to your current manager will only help you in your career for future interviews! 

Craig Rosen, InterviewFocus

Advice on how to move up

A great question to ask your manager is for recommendations or insights on how to move up in the organization. By definition, your manager has attained a higher role than you have and may have very practical insights into how you can follow in their steps. Asking this question can lead to promotions, pay increases, and similar. Some folks hesitate to ask this question, fearing that showing ambition may result in them being replaced, but I would recommend taking the chance. The potential upside is worth it.

Michael Alexis, Teambuilding

Asking for a raise at industry level

Most people are hesitant in asking their managers for a raise. The typical approach is one that is not researched properly nor rehearsed. One should research within their industry not only what is the salary range but also what are the responsibilities that other persons within the same career are performing. More often than not, just simply asking for a raise without having done your due diligence is not going to yield the outcome that the person wants.

Bianka Castillo, Recruiting Maven

Where is our company heading?

Working at a small business or startup, things change very quickly. 2020 has shown us the need to pivot and adapt to the digital world, more now than ever. It’s important to ask your manager or CEO where the company will be five, ten years down the road. Will we continue working remotely? Are we expanding to other cities? This not only relates to job security but also allows exploration of growth opportunities beyond your current position.

Thylan Le, Markitors


What question have you always wanted to ask your manager? Maybe today is the day!


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