“Why” Matters


Morag Barrett


2 min read

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LDR-PDF-download7 questions that make the difference between keeping or losing your talented employees

When was the last time anyone asked you what keeps you at your current company? Come to think of it, when was the last time you asked yourself?

In my experience, many of the leaders and managers I work with are good at asking questions when recruiting you to join their team or company.

This is to understand why you might want to join the firm, and why the company might want to hire you. To determine if you will be a good “fit”.

However, once you are through that door and at your desk, it’s a different situation. It’s an assumption that the job is done and it no longer matters why you joined, or why you stay.

Stay interviews

I’d argue otherwise. “Why” matters.

Finding out what keeps people at a company by conducting what are called “stay interviews” is critical and a manager’s responsibility, whether or not it is on your job description.

It helps you figure out what makes your company appealing, and how you can hang on to your talented employees. You don’t want the first sign that a top performer is unhappy to be them tendering their letter of resignation.

Plan on holding these conversations on a regular basis – at least twice a year. Be sure to make your interaction open and candid so the employee feels comfortable sharing any concerns.

An open conversation

Here are seven questions to ask (you don’t have to ask these all at the same time, of course) to help discover why someone chooses to stay with your organisation:

  • To what extent are you able to “be at your best” every day?
  • What would help you to be more effective in your role?
  • To what extent do you feel your work makes a difference to the company; our customers; the community; your colleagues?
  • How can we better leverage your talents?
  • What frustrates you about the company/your current role?
  • Have you received recognition or praise for a job well done in the last 10 days?
  • Do you have sufficient access to leaders and decision makers in the company?

Answers to these questions (you may think of more) will help uncover how you can help your employees contribute their best work, and in doing so help ensure they stay with your company.

Concluding thoughts

Here’s a bonus question: What’s one thing I can do (more of/differently) to help ensure your success?

My challenge to you: conduct a stay interview this week. Find out the “why” for your team members, and what makes someone want to come to work every day.

If you uncover frustrations and barriers to success, help remove them. In doing so, you will strengthen your team and ensure that talented employees feel valued, thus choosing to stay with your company!

Morag Barrett is the best-selling author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships and CEO of SkyeTeam (www.skyeteam.com), an international HR consulting and leadership development company. Morag’s experience ranges from senior executive coaching to developing leaders and teams across Europe, America and Asia. For more articles on leadership and personal development, visit www.leaderonomics.com

Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.

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