5 questions that help you retain employees

Do you believe one of your employees might be thinking about leaving?

Instead of waiting until they're gone, you should reach out to them and figure out what's on their mind, Mandy Gilbert, founder and CEO of Creative Niche, writes for Inc. The conversation will help you learn about what the employee's challenges and give you an opportunity to retain the person, she writes.

These stay interviews help managers improve trust, loyalty, and retention on their staff, Gilbert argues.

13 most common signs that an employee is about to quit

Gilbert offers several tips for conducting stay interviews. First, Gilbert recommends setting a date for the stay interview that is far enough away to give the employee enough time to prepare for the discussion.  Once you meet for the conversation, Gilbert recommends listening for a while without judgment or feedback. This isn't a performance review, she points out.

When deciding how to respond to the stay interview, Gilbert recommends trying to accommodate as many of the employee's requests as you can—and to provide explanations for the requests you cannot meet. Then, it's very important to deliver on any promises you make, she writes. The worst thing you can do is pretend the stay interview never happened.

In terms of questions for the interview, Marcel Schwantes, a speaker, leadership coach, and syndicated columnist, suggests several possibilities in a separate article for Inc. His suggestions include:

1: What do you like about your job? This question can also give you a hint about what your employee would like to do more of, Schwantes writes.

2: Could you describe a good day of work you had recently? According to Schwantes, the goal of this question is to find ways to replicate whatever made that day go well for that employee.

3: Do you feel your skills are being utilized to the fullest? This question helps you assign projects that give your employees opportunities to practice skills they feel are underutilized.

4: Do you feel you get properly recognized for doing good work? You may not like the answer to this question, but you've got to ask it and accept the answer, Schwantes argues. Studies have found that 37% of managers avoid giving positive feedback, which can hurt team productivity and engagement.

5: Do you feel like you are treated with respect? This is your way of taking a pulse on team engagement, Schwantes writes. If people are feeling disrespected or there's no trust among your team, then employees will continue to leave (Gilbert, Inc., 8/26; Schwantes, Inc.,5/16).

Also see: 10 boss habits most likely to make your employees quit, ranked

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