We’re in an age where workers don’t tend to stick around quite as long—and that’s not a bad thing. Perhaps many of us cut our teeth on toughing it out, working through less-than-optimal conditions and accepting less than we were worth, but pushing through as an investment in our futures. But…was that really the right move? Should you feel okay leading a team of workers who feel undervalued and underappreciated? There are many possible explanations as to why employees seem to be leaving workplaces more frequently and quickly, but one thing’s for sure: keeping your workers around is better for everybody. It’s better for team morale, it’s better for workplace culture, it’s less expensive for the company, and it’s at the same time more efficient for the business. Paychecks simply aren’t cutting it anymore, so what is?
The full answer can be rather complex, but it starts with knowing how your workers feel. Unless a great opportunity sprung up out of nowhere, an employee that leaves has likely been searching for another opportunity for a while. Having regular status interviews is a good way of finding out more about how your employees feel, but only if you ask the right questions. Clint Pulver, author of I Love It Here, affirms that there are three key questions to a successful status interview. Let’s look at those three questions next.
What Can We Do To Keep You Here?
Paychecks aren’t enough, so what are workers looking for? Out of many things, two important ones are: they are looking to be valued, and they are looking to grow. Holding these interviews at all and asking this specific question is a great way to show that your workers are being valued, because it shows that you are going out of your way to make sure that this position is the best option for them. If it isn’t, then you’re learning what you can do to make it that way. However, asking and listening is not enough, of course. You can ask this question all you want, but if that’s as far as you get, it’ll just turn into another empty morale-building exercise—and your workers are going to know. So, not only do you need to know the things that can help differentiate your brand from other places that might be looking to hire your workers, you also need to know specifically how to act. That brings us to the next question.
What’s Getting in the Way of Reaching Your Maximum Success Level?
Everyone has their own concept of success, or their own goals that they want to achieve, and there’s no reason your employees’ concept of success has to align neatly with the goals of the business. Just like you and me, workers are trying to further their own personal goals and professional careers. While we all ultimately have to climb the ladder to reach those goals, some paths are more cumbersome than others.
Unless they’re absolutely out of options (which isn’t a great sign for your brand culture either way), there’s no reason that an employee should be working at a place that doesn’t help them grow in their own concept of success. If they are in such a position and an opportunity for better growth shows up, it’d be a bad decision not to take it. If this is happening to your team, you can’t blame them!
Not only is there no reason for your employees’ concept of success and your brand’s concept of success necessarily having to align, they probably don’t align very much at all. This means that, if you aren’t careful, some of the responsibilities and duties that your workers have might be getting in the way of their own personal progress towards their own concepts of success and growth. If something about working with your business is getting in the way of their success, that’s critical information for you to know, since that means they’re only one great opportunity away from (rightfully) jumping ship. Asking what’s getting in the way is a great follow-up to the previous question, and a perfect lead into the next.
How Can I Help You Get Where You Want To Go?
This is essentially how you tie the last two questions together. Like we just mentioned, you can’t just ask and be done with it, you have to act. Asking what you can do to keep your workers around and what you can do to help them reach their maximum success level are questions and goals that are certainly intertwined, but only if you act on both of them. These are both the perfect questions to start better investing in your workers, and when you do invest in your workers, they can grow and invest back in their work. Some requests might be bigger and more difficult to implement, but often your workers are going to have a better and more streamlined idea of what they need in order to feel more comfortable and better valued. Asking this question is a great way to show your workers that you are valuing them, but also a great way to show that you trust in their abilities and problem-solving skills. After all, you hired professionals for a reason.
Living Pono is dedicated to communicating business management concepts with Hawaiian values. Founded by Kevin May, an established and successful leader and mentor, Living Pono is your destination to learn about how to live your life righteously and how that can have positive effects in your career. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or contact us here. Also, join our mailing list below, so you can be alerted when a new article is released.
Finally, consider following the Living Pono Podcast to listen to episodes about living righteously, business management concepts, and interviews with business leaders.