Asking "why?" is a great question.

In doing a root cause analysis, try asking yourself "why" five times. Here's an example: You have an employee who is perpetually late. Here's how to get to the bottom of it so you can solve the right problem. Ask, "Susan, why are you always late?" Answer she gives you, "Because I'm a single mother of four young children." Ask, "Why does that make you late?" Answer she gives you, "Because it take a lot to get them ready in the morning." Ask, "Why does it take a lot to get them ready in the morning?" Answer she gives you, "Because I have to make their lunches and get them dressed." Ask, "Why do you have to do it all?" Answer she gives you, "Because I am a single parent and I don't know how else to do it." Why couldn't the children help you prepare the lunches and lay out their clothes before bed?" Answer she gives you, "I never thought about that. I can try that tomorrow." Tomorrow, check in with her and see if she is on a path to success.