Research suggests that the best way a manager can show they care about their employees is to show interest in their career plans. A practical strategy for managers is to conduct frequent, short 'stay interviews'—conversations with questions that can help managers learn more about the people they manage to drive retention, engagement, productivity, and results!
In their book, Hello Stay Interviews, Goodbye-Talent Loss: A Manager's Playbook, authors Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans recommend asking these key questions:
- What about your job makes you want to jump out of bed?
- What about your job makes you want to hit the snooze button?
- What are you passionate about?
- What's your dream job?
- If you changed your role completely, what would you miss the most?
- If you won the lottery and didn't have to work, what would you miss?
- What did you love in your last position that you're not doing now?
- What makes for a great day at work?
- If you had a magic wand, what would be the one thing you would change about your work, your role and your responsibilities?
- What do you think about on your way to work?
- What's bothering you most about your job?
As a manager, can you imagine how your employees would answer these questions? How would it make them feel to have your focused attention—listening to their likes and dislikes?
What better way to thank them for their ongoing contributions to the company than by tailoring work projects and roles to be more fulfilling to their potential, values and future visions? It may not take more budget or the power to promote. It may simply require being more strategic to individualize work.
Research suggests that employees don't leave jobs–they leave managers who don't care.
Be a manager who shows gratitude for great employees by asking them to stay and grow, not go!