Retain Top Talent by Answering These Questions

Joe Weinlick
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It's not always easy to find the right employees, especially if you need workers with a unique blend of technical skills and personality traits. Once you find the right people, it's in your company's best interest to keep them happy. If you have trouble retaining employees, answer these questions to ensure top talent does not leave your company in search of greener pastures.

1. What Motivates Employees to Stay With a Company?

Don't make the mistake of assuming all employees are motivated by money. Some employees are more motivated by the prospect of advancing their careers or learning new skills. If you have trouble retaining employees, use surveys or exit interviews to find out why valuable employees keep resigning. Retaining employees is much easier if you understand why they are leaving in the first place.

2. What Are Your Employee's Personal and Professional Goals?

If you offer regular opportunities for professional development, top performers are less likely to leave your company. Unfortunately, it's not unusual for a manager to unveil a new program without checking to see if it's something employees really want. By asking top talent about their personal and professional goals, you can tailor development opportunities accordingly.

3. What Is the Best Training Style for Employees?

If your company decides to offer training opportunities to top performers, you must ensure the training program is compatible with different learning styles. Some people learn best by listening to lectures or watching videos, while others retain more information if they have the opportunity to perform tasks during a training session. Retaining employees is difficult if your company does not try to cater to different learning preferences.

4. What Type of Support Do Your Employees Need?

Valuable employees usually don't need a lot of supervision, but they do need support to advance their careers and excel on the job. Engage employees by finding out what type of support they prefer. Some people excel when enrolled in formal mentoring programs, while others need task support from other staff members. If you currently have trouble retaining employees, start researching ways to provide much-needed support to your most valuable workers.

5. What Do Your Employees Love About Working for You?

It's impossible to keep employees satisfied if you don't understand what keeps them coming back to your company day after day. Reduce turnover by finding out what employees love about their jobs and providing more of it. Compensation is always a factor, but some employees stay in their current roles due to the availability of flex time or the presence of an on-site child-care center. Use the information you gather to make positive changes to your company's retention program.

Turnover costs employers thousands of dollars per year and has the potential to hurt employee morale. If retaining employees has been a struggle for your company, ask these questions to determine the best way to slash turnover and ensure that productive employees stay happy.

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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks @Michael and @Rick for your comments. I agree that employers should heed this advice. I think it's a great idea for every employer to do a satisfaction survey of their employees to see where they stand and what improvements can be made. Maybe the majority would simply love to have an extra 15 minutes for lunch so that they don't have to wolf their food down. Or maybe they would like to have a little flex time for when their kids have a function at school that they want to attend. There are so many benefits that would make employees happier and wouldn't affect the company's bottom line. All we can do is to keep offering up suggestions. And, if the company doesn't have a suggestion box, be the one to suggest that they do!

  • Rick S.
    Rick S.

    Very good advice. I am surprised at the number of companies that advertise that people are their greatest asset but fail to keep them interested and productive.

  • Michael Lazarus
    Michael Lazarus

    Employers would be well advised to follow the suggestions made above. I have ... they generally work !!

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