6 Tips to Keep Good Employees and Reduce Turnover

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In May 2019, the U.S. unemployment rate hit a record-low 3.6%. With that tight of a job market, high-quality and smart employees have endless opportunities. 

Employee retention and profitability are inseparably linked, says Mel Kleiman, president of Humetrics, a human resource consulting firm. Therefore, you need a strategy to retain valuable employees.

Kleinman suggests employers do “stay conversations.” During these discussions, which are the opposite of exit interviews, you ask employees intentional and effective questions that demonstrate to your employees just how respected and highly valued, he says.

“There’s no better way to ensure employee retention than that,” Kleiman says. 

Here are six of Kleiman’s favorite questions to ask employees and minimize turnover.

1. What satisfies you most about your job? Ask your people what motivates them to deliver such consistently great results on a daily basis, he says. Once you know the answer (be it pride or the paycheck or what a great boss you are or to earn a promotion), then be sure each person gets regular doses of what they each need.

2. Is there anything we might do that would make you even more satisfied with your job? If it’s doable, make it happen. If it’s not, explain why not and offer a compromise of some sort, if possible.

3. Do you have any suggestions as to how I might become a better manager? With the fierce competition for quality employees these days, it’s often not enough to simply meet expectations. “Giving more service and value than your people expect will earn you their undying loyalty,” Kleinman says. “Ask your people for their advice and opinions to start a dialogue that will serve you well in the future. If your team members feel invested and involved in your company, they will be that much more motivated to want to see you and the organization succeed.”

4. If you owned this company, what would you do differently? Of all the questions on this list, he says, this one is the most likely to receive surprising and honest responses.

5. Have we resolved the problem to your satisfaction? No one runs a trouble-free company, but one way you can distinguish yourself and improve employee retention is by ensuring that you resolve problems effectively. “If your people feel you’ve taken their gripes seriously and done everything you can to make it right, they will be more likely to stick with you,” he says. 

6. Do you know anyone else who would be a good fit here? It’s likely the family and friends of your most valued people have the same values and work ethic they do. Don’t miss any opportunity to ask them for referrals.


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