Every one of my clients is experiencing the same thing: It’s almost impossible to recruit and hire strong team members. Because of this, retaining strong team members has become critical to enable on-going operations. So what can a leader do to not only retain, but excite strong team members? Listen to them.
What can a leader do to not only retain, but excite strong team members?
Listen to them.
With employees exhausted because of their excessive workloads, avoidable mishaps that create additional frustrations, misunderstandings, or missed opportunities are obvious places to focus your retention efforts. That sounds great right? But how do you actually KNOW what avoidable mishaps to avoid? Ask your team members. Conduct Stay Interviews with every team member. Ask every team member questions and listen to them no matter how hard or how jumbled their answers. With the right questions, they’ll tell you what they do and do not like about their jobs, their responsibilities, the work culture, why they stay, and why they may be contemplating leaving. What they tell you will provide you with real-time, relevant insights into how to keep or enhance what they appreciate and how to address what they don’t.
A 20-minute Stay Interview provides a break from the daily grind to reconnect, grab a cup of coffee in person or virtually, and to learn what matters most to each team member. As you begin to conduct the interviews, use the same questions for every team member and watch for common themes or disparities given team members’ responsibilities, work environments, supervisors, etc. Those themes and discrepancies indicate obvious areas of needed focus and action.
Sample Stay Interview Questions touch on job responsibilities, the work culture, the team members skill sets and aspirations, as well as their interactions with you or other leaders. Sample questions may include:
- Which aspect(s) of your job do you look forward to each day?
- What made you laugh recently while you were working?
- What has historically enabled you to laugh at work?
- Which aspects of our company culture resonate with you? Which do not?
- What do you currently like least about your job/responsibilities?
- If you could change one thing about your current responsibilities or work experience, what would it be?
- If I could take one thing away that would make your work experience better, what would you want me to take away?
- If you could change one thing about your job, how you have to do certain things, or how we work together, what would you change?
- What would you like to be able to do in your current role that you can’t?
- What have you done in a previous job/role that you wish you could still do?
- What have you done in a previous job/role that was more challenging than what you’re currently doing?
- What motivates you to do your best in your current role?
- What would you like to do or learn that hasn’t been made available to you?
- What would tempt you/cause you to leave your current role?
- What can I do to make your work world and responsibilities less frustrating?
Conducting Stay Interviews are not a guarantee strong team members will stay. However, they will provide you with the insight needed to refine and reshape your team members’ experiences in working with you. The more you know, the better prepared you can be to retain great talent – and – attract the right talent in the future.
Listen. Stay engaged. Retain your strong talent. Be willing to learn and grow as a leader.
Copyright MMXXI – Liz Weber, CMC, CSP – Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Get more ideas to help you and your team stay engaged from Liz on LinkedIn!