The 5 biggest questions employees dread to ask

From pay rises to promotions, here are the top questions your employees are too afraid to ask.

One in four working Brits are used to tip-toeing around their bosses when it comes to asking for a raise or step up. This according to new research from job site CV-Library, which surveyed over 1,000 employees in the UK on the biggest questions they fear raising with their bosses. Almost a third of millennial employees fear broaching topics regarding their own career progression, flexible hours, and even work-related help.

49.4 per cent of those surveyed agreed that they would feel less awkward asking these questions once they’re comfortable with their boss. When asked what questions they hate asking the most, 63.6 per cent cited asking for a pay rise, 34.6 per cent cited asking for a promotion, 32.7 per cent cited asking for flexible hours, and 27.6 per cent cited help with a task. The smallest group, 26.4 per cent, found it awkward to ask for time off.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of  CV-Library, believes the onus is on both the employees and employers, when it comes to work related help and for well-deserved career boosts. “There’s a fine line between being too passive, and too aggressive when it comes to your employees asking about pay rises or promotions,” he said. “It’s important that you create a culture where they feel comfortable enough to ask you anything, it’s then up to you whether or not your grant their request. If your employee rightly deserves that promotion or whatever it is they’re asking for, hopefully you’ll have already noticed and can reward them for their efforts. Communication is key in the workplace, and providing they approach you in a professional manner with a reasonable request, there is no reason why your staff should feel nervous about asking a question.”

For one in three employees, it can take around a month or so to feel comfortable with their bosses, but for 23.4 per cent, this takes as little as a week. For 8.5 per cent of the respondents said they’ll never feel comfortable with their boss.

“It’s worrying to learn that nearly one in 10 said they’ll never feel comfortable with their boss, especially if this stops them from asking important questions,” Biggins added. “It may always be nerve wracking asking for help, flexible working or for whatever it is they need, so as an employer it’s important that you create a friendly culture where your workforce feel that they can approach you if necessary. In the end we’re all human and your employees just want to do what’s best for their career. As a leader you should support and nurture this.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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