Questions you must regularly ask your employees if you want them to stay

If you’re a business owner, you really don’t want to have to have to recruit in this business environment if at all possible. So how do you convince your current employees to stay?

It sounds obvious but don’t neglect the basics. Pay incentives and complete redesigns of your hybrid work setup may be effective, but don’t neglect the basics. Simply talking to your team one-on-one regularly about their experiences and aspirations is a powerful way to drive retention. A survey or two can be helpful for giving data points of general sentiments–but when you sit down in-person or face-to-face with your team members, you capture the nuance for what is encouraging that specific person to stay. Rather than broad generalizations of your own projected assumptions, a conversation shines a light on what you can do for each particular person you want to stay. Only then can you understand exactly what steps to take.

So what should you be asking your team at your next one-to-one?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. In the past few months, when have you felt most motivated in your work (if at all)?
  2. Is it clear why the work you do matters to the business?
  3. Which of your skills do you feel is not being used in your current role?
  4. Is there any part of the team you wish you got to interact with more?
  5. How do you feel about the current level of social interaction across the team?
  6. How do you prefer to be recognised for work well done?
  7. Is there any aspect of the business that you wish you knew more about?
  8. What’s felt confusing or frustrating for you lately?
  9. To what degree would you say the vision of the business is clear?

One-on-ones aren’t some new management innovation. Every leader knows they should talk to their people. But when things are busy and chaotic, it’s too easy to neglect this leadership fundamental.


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