Are You Happy Here? The Question Every Manager Should Be Asking Employees

Last Updated on September 1, 2021 by EANE Web Administrator

Article contributed by Pam Thornton

The hotline calls are coming in like wildfire with organizational leaders ready to pull their hair out over the challenges they are fighting to recruit and retain talent today. The best recruitment strategy always includes having a strong retention plan. We know what can happen when we take our eye off the ball…ouch!

Between now and the end of 2022, we expect more than half of all employees in the U.S. to be looking for a new job. Employers are really going to need to assess the value that they bring to the reasons why their employees stay.

Gallup has provided us with the 12 most important factors that employees evaluate as they consider staying put or testing out opportunities with a new employer. Gallup’s Big 12 are:

  • I know what is expected of me at work
  • I have the equipment I need to do my work right
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day at work
  • I’ve received recognition or praise for doing good work in the last 7 days
  • My supervisor seems to care about me as a person
  • There is someone at work that encourages my development
  • At work, my opinions seem to count
  • The mission of my organization makes me feel my job is important
  • My coworkers are committed to doing quality work
  • I have a best friend at work
  • In the last 6 months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress
  • In the last year, I’ve had opportunities at work to learn and grow

All of this comes down to our culture and level of engagement. Do you know how your employees would respond to these statements? If you aren’t sure, now is the time to find out.

Here are a few ways that we can work to increase engagement with our employees:

  • Encourage managers to define and discuss the expectations with each employee they supervise on a regular basis.
  • Remember that employees use tangible and intangible resources to do their work well. Ask employees what would make it easier to perform their tasks – you might find out that you don’t really need the fancy new software, but you do need the entire team to be trained on how to use what is already in place with consistency and efficiency.
  • Encourage managers to “connect the dots” with the talents and interests that their employees demonstrate and even share in social conversations. Those elements of interest and excitement might be just what is missing from their job description today. Giving employees tasks that are a natural fit will increase productivity all the way around.
  • Learn which employees like which types of recognition – and give it! Workplace recognition provides a sense of value and accomplishment. It also shows other employees what success in your organization looks like.
  • Challenge employees, but give them the tools for success. Create learning opportunities and ask employees what they are learning as they go and give them the opportunity to demonstrate it. Talk with them about their short-term and long-term growth goals with an open mind about where those goals align with today and tomorrow’s needs within your organization.

We all know that compensation and benefits are the lure that can attract someone to your organization, but it’s your culture that can keep the top talent you’ve already won. Keep the lines of communication open and you might just find that some of the talent you have been trying to recruit is already on your payroll!