You know the old saying: Employees don’t quit companies – they leave bad bosses.
Today’s employees just don’t have the loyalty that earlier generations have had; changing jobs just isn’t a big deal today
The first line of defense to keep top performers is YOU – the manager
It all comes down to: how do we find out what do our employees really want?
It’s not that the right questions are so hard to find. The problem is, many times we don’t use the questions properly. We don’t dig deep enough to uncover what’s really on the minds of our employees.
Here’s a checklist of questions – and some insights why they’re important – from HR expert Timothy Augustine
How do you feel the company and your team is doing?
Many employees aren’t used to being asked big-picture questions. This one flips the traditional roles and shows that management sees workers as more than separate cogs in a massive machine.
If you could change one thing about our company, what would it be?
Augustine cautions that the answer might be painful, but the questions must be asked to keep top performers.
The answer could uncover some basic flaw in the operation that might be hurting not just morale, but the bottom line
What would you change about your job?
Certainly there are a lot of silly possible responses here (“I’d like to be paid a million dollars and not have to come in”), but the serious answers can help managers rethink job requirements.
And small tweaks can make for a big lift in job satisfaction and keep to performers.
Do you get enough training to do your job effectively?
It’s more common than a lot of managers realize – poorly trained workers don’t perform well, and then get disillusioned about their jobs.
Supervisors can often stop an employee’s downward spiral with some basic training – and keep top performers.
What’s most satisfying about your job?
Some managers use this query as a kind of “throwaway” question – it adds a warm and fuzzy feel to the discussion.
But the smart ones really listen to the answer. It can help supervisors to better understand workers’ motivation, and could open new possibilities for expanding an employee’s role in the department.
What’s least satisfying about your job?
Another “softball” question, but again, serious answers can give savvy managers a lot of useful info.
You may realize a certain employee would be a better fit in an another capacity – or even another department.
How do you feel I am doing as a manager?
Supervisors may have to dig deep to get a genuine answer to this one – and they need to be prepared to hear some not-so-flattering stuff.
Lip service about how great they are as a boss doesn’t cut it.
Managers need to look at themselves through employees’ eyes – to keep top performers. Without that perspective, they can’t make the appropriate adjustments.
How can I, and the company, help you fulfill your career goals?
This question serves a couple of purposes: It proves the manager’s interest in the individual’s success, and it can uncover interests and expertise the company will profit from down the road.