Ten Questions to Ask Your Employees

Aug. 31, 2007
Their responses will tell you whether they plan on staying.

Think of employee retention as re-recruiting your employees, advises Management Recruiters International (MRI). That means "applying the strategies and tools of external recruiting to your current employees," says Michael Jalbert, president of MRINetwork. "Adopt the policy that no one will work at a company longer than one year without being re-recruited by the boss."

To re-recruit workers, Jalbert presents 10 questions that can help a boss determine whether an employee will stay on the job:

  1. If you could make any changes about your job, what would they be?
  2. What things about your job do you want to stay as they are?
  3. If you could go back to any previous position and stay for an extended period of time, which one would it be and why?
  4. If you suddenly became financially independent, what would you miss most about your job?
  5. In the morning, does your job make you jump out of bed or hit the snooze button?
  6. What makes for a great day?
  7. What can we do to make your job more satisfying?
  8. What can we do to support your career goals?
  9. Do you get enough recognition?
  10. What can we do to keep you with us?

Consider using these questions to enhance communications between managers and employees. "You'll often discover things about your company culture or work environment that need fixing," Jalbert says.

The key to keeping employees, he adds, is promptly addressing issues that could lead to their leaving, and to make sure they clearly understand situations that can't be easily changed.

About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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