Updated: Mar 3
Are you assuming your employees are happy and engaged?
No news is good news, right?
Not when it comes to employee engagement.
The enemy of employee retention is the
powerful deception of assumption.
Employee engagement is the strength of the mental and emotional connection employees feel toward the work they do, their teams, and their organization. Employees who feel connected to their organization are more likely to work harder, stay longer, and motivate others to do the same.
If an employee is not connected to the work they do, their teams, or their organization, they are not working at their full potential and may leave.
According to Zippia, 54% of the U.S. workforce is not engaged at work. That’s over half of the workforce!
This staggering statistic begs us at Accompany Suite to wonder:
Do employers or leadership teams know when their employees are not engaged?
Do they know what makes their employees happy or unhappy?
What steps is the employer taking to re-engage with them? Do they know how?
If nothing looks broken, no need to fix it, right? People aren’t products, if you don’t have a strong relationship with someone, you usually can’t tell when they’re hurting or need more than a “hi, how’s it going?”
So often we hear business owners or managers say phrases like, “I had no idea they were going to leave” or “I wish I would have known”.
Have you ever had one of these responses when an employee left? What did you do to improve your communication with each member of your team?
Would you believe me if I told you, it’s possible to know your employees so well that they tell you they’re thinking about leaving well before they actually do?
I could share ideas all day long on ways to build out or improve your culture, but for today, I’m going to focus on how to remove assumptions by asking the right questions.
1) What is the most fulfilling part of your position?
Purpose: To uncover what the favorite parts of their job are and what drives them.
Tip: Don’t cut them off! If there’s silence, let them fill it in. Too often we’ll want to interject, but just smile and encourage them to keep speaking. You’ll learn a lot more when you allow them to expand.
2) What is the least fulfilling part of your position?
Purpose: You’re looking to find out what they least enjoy about their job and how much of it is involved in their role.
Tip: Acknowledge this is a tough question and thank them for answering; don’t take their surface answer as the only answer – press in and ask them to expand on their answer (i.e., “tell me more about that…”).
3) If you owned the company, what would be your top priority to improve?
Purpose: You’ll want to uncover what their top frustration is and who it affects. You’ll also want to listen to see if they propose ideas and ways to improve, or if they’re only venting about an issue.
Tip: If they have a great idea and explain the steps to achieve it, identify ways they can be involved in the process.
4) What about our company would make you want to stay?
Purpose: This question will reveal what makes your company special. This will also tell you what’s most important to your employees for them to want to stay (i.e., relationships, benefits, compensation, etc.)
Tip: Look and listen for excited body language and tone of voice. If you don’t see or hear a difference in their behavior, ask them to tell you more.
5) What about our company would make you want to leave?
Purpose: To identify what bothers them enough that would make them want to leave.
Do not go into solution mode. You are not here to problem-solve, you are here to listen and gain a better understanding of how you can improve.
Listen for patterns amongst your employees. If several employees are saying the same thing, this gives you insight into what you should address first.
Thank them for their important and vulnerable feedback – because of them you can build a better employee experience for everyone.
Whew! Give yourself a pat on the back because these are not easy questions and sometimes not easy answers to hear!
IMPORTANT: Do not leave the conversation here!
Take the information given to you from all the employees and look for patterns. You may be able to make some quick decisions to re-engage certain people, but some of the feedback may take some time to work through. Keep them updated and let them know you heard them. While you may not be able to make all the changes to make them all happy, you can make baby steps.
Employee engagement is a process, but it starts with intentionality and building strong relationships.
Was there something in this article that resonated with you?
At Accompany Suite, our desire is to help people communicate better to have more meaningful and productive conversations. We come alongside employers and leaders within organizations to help them troubleshoot issues, brainstorm ideas, and navigate decisions.
If you’re not sure how or where to get started, we’re here to guide you along the way.
Click the button below to schedule a 30-minute consultation and we can get started.
Hope to connect with you soon!