How To Communicate For Employee Retention

How To Communicate For Employee Retention

AHEAD Human Resources How To Communicate For Employee Retention

Communication is the key to better Employee Retention!

On September 16, you’ll find an article on “How to Keep Your Best Employees From Leaving“! In this article I’ll talk about how to communicate with your employees so they stay!

Communication is more than a daily greeting or weekly memo. It’s beyond the blanket e-mail to the world with no request for response. Communication is a two-way street. The listening and response component are every bit as important as your message-if not more.

Lack of Communication Case Study!

Polly Right was a well-respected vice president at a large corporation. Her manager asked her to lead a division-level project on employee retention and recognition. Project management was one of her greatest strengths although she was used to leading projects at the corporate level. She managed the project with minimal effort or stretch. During the several month process of leading this project, it became clear that she was having doubts about her employment relationship with the corporation. Although she participated in regular meetings with her manager and their team, she was not clear on her future with the company or if she was even recognized by the senior leadership as being a valuable contributor. She felt undervalued and underutilized.

Before the project ended, she decided to leave the company. Her manager was shocked. Nevertheless, the manager never really asked her why she was leaving. Do you see the irony here? She was leading a project for this manager on Employee Retention, yet the manager never bothered to take a few minutes to really investigate, really connect with her to find out what was going on inside.

Listening for Employee Retention!

AHEAD Human Resources Green Bay WI Lack of CommunicationListening is more than using your ears; it’s using your eyes and your other senses to really connect with your people. Do they seem distracted, bored, worried, concerned, or upset? Take the time to really find out. Take them to lunch; ask them if they are happy or if there were something else they would rather be doing. Ask them their dreams and goals.

When it comes to Employee Retention – some questions to ask yourself:

  • What makes your employees happy?
  • Are you helping employees achieve their goals?
  • How are your soft skills?
  • How do you ensure the team has enough freedom to work?
  • Which team members do you mentor?
  • How often do you provide feedback?
  • How do you encourage risk-taking?
  • How do you address conflict?

Some tips for opening up the lines of communication with employees:

  • Meet individually on at least a monthly basis. Ask, “What one thing can I do to better support you”? “What one thing would you really enjoy doing”?
  • As you talk, keep these tips from Entrepreneur magazine in mind to show empathy – even if you have a difference of opinion:
    • Use body language to show that you are listening
    • Show interest with your facial expressions
    • Affirm your understanding verbally

Ask for clarification

  • Use “we” and “us” rather than “I” and “you”
  • Ask for feedback “how am I doing”?
  • Have periodic meetings where you allow the employee to set the agenda; tell them this is their meeting and you’ll just show up.
  • Treat employees like Customers
  • Create a Motivation Profile for Employee Retention – What is motivating your employees to stay with your company – or prompting them to leave? Motivation stems from our unmet needs – and they can be a moving target. To keep abreast of where your employees are headed, do a periodic “motivation check-up” to see what their unmet needs are. This can alert you to potential retention issues so you can address them.

Is any of this a guarantee that you won’t lose some of your best employees? Of course not. It is, however, a guarantee that if they do decide to leave, you understand why and have a strong sense of your impact on their decision. Make a decision today to improve your employee retention by knowing your employees and understanding their motivations. The only way to do that is to talk to them, and more importantly, LISTEN.

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