I was surprised to hear a client say that a downturn in the economy is good from a staff retention perspective as there were fewer jobs out there to tempt his team members away. Now I’m an optimistic, glass half full, kind of girl and the negativity in the statement made me go “whoa!!”
I’m a great advocate of creating great work environments and developing positive staff retention strategies. Fear however does not classify as a leading strategy in my book. I decided therefore to turn our discussion into more positive territory and shared with him the concept of “Stay Interviews”.
Most large organisations conduct “exit interviews” when an employee has decided to leave the company. At this point in time – when it’s too late to do anything about it – a great deal of intelligence is gathered about what could and should have been done differently in order to keep the employee there. Now I know we don’t always want to keep every employee but if you have shining stars in your team, isn’t it better to find out this information whilst they are still there and still happy.
Don’t just implement this in your performance review procedures. Think about who your key team members are, the ones you really don’t want to lose. Take them out for a coffee and a chat. Ask them why they come to work every day. What do they like about your organisation and their role? What do they like about your management style? And of course, ask the harder questions too. What can you do to make sure they stay engaged? Often employees leave an organisation and/or a manager because they feel they are not valued. Sometimes it’s a mere case of no-one asking them to stay. Don’t lose your people through lack of communication. Speak up… NOW! Happy chatting!