Think about all the questions you ask an employee before they‚Äôre hired (also known as a candidate): questions to get to know who they are, what experience they have, how they might fit into your organization.
Now think about all the questions you ask an employee when they‚Äôve decided to leave your company (also known as a traitor‚Ä¶I kid, I kid): questions to figure out where they‚Äôre going, why they left, what you could have done differently as an employer.
But, how often do you ask questions to your employees when they‚Äôre just that: your employees?
And I‚Äôm not talking about just any old questions. Sure, you probably talk to your employees daily, or at least a few times a week. During those conversations you‚Äôre naturally asking questions about what‚Äôs happening in the workflow of the team, but what about questions that really get to the heart of how an employee is doing in their role?
My guess would be probably not very often.
As a manager you get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to have those conversations with your employees that get below the surface of how things are going with this client or that project. It‚Äôs unfortunate, because retention is largely based on employees knowing you care how things are going in their world besides checking things off the list. If managers cared (and showed that care) about employees‚Äô status as much as they do during hiring or exit interviews, everyone would be better off.
I‚Äôm not saying you have to have a full-out conversation every day with your employees about how they‚Äôre feeling about their jobs, but every once in a while, you should get a quick check in. It can start with something as simple as asking these three questions:
How are you liking your job?
This might seem like a question you would reserve for new hires, but au contraire. In fact, our company leaders have a knack for asking this question and it really makes employees evaluate how they feel about their jobs. It‚Äôs a loaded question, but because it is such a loaded question it brings up a lot of underlying things about what might be going right and wrong for the employees, and allows you as a leader to address them head-on.
What can I help you with?
This question is a nice reminder for your employees that, as their leader, you‚Äôre there to help them. Employees can get really wrapped up in the idea that they have to tackle things on their own, but asking them this questions lets them off the hook a little bit and lets them know they‚Äôre not in the job alone.
What can I be doing better?
Humility is important in a leader, and vastly underrated. This question not only tells your employees that you understand you can keep getting better at your job, it also is a backdoor way of getting them to think about struggles they‚Äôre having. Knowing these things can help you get ahead of problems before they become a bigger deal.
Show your employees you care‚Äîand not just as the beginning or end of their time with your company‚Äîby asking these questions every so often. You might just see your retention rates go up.