Retain Your Employees in 2019

This is the time of year that a lot of employees start thinking about leaving their jobs or at least questioning what other opportunities are out there. As a recruiter, I talk with candidates every day about their reasons for leaving. Candidates bring up a variety of reasons for leaving such as a lack of advancement or growth opportunities, lack of a connection/relationship with their leader, their manager hasn’t shown a direct interest in their career path, or their manager isn’t approachable and as a result they don’t feel comfortable going to them with concerns or ideas. There always seems to be an increase in candidate inquiries around this time of year. I’m not sure if it’s due to a lot of hours being put in at work for year-end, or tax season is coming, or just that it’s a new year and it could be time for a change. But one thing is for sure…if you haven’t been meeting with your employees regularly, NOW is the time to start.

employee retention

This is the perfect time of year to sit down with your employees and discuss how they’re doing and how they’re feeling. By investing your time you could significantly increase your employee retention. It can be really hard and time consuming to have these discussions and to cultivate solid relationships with your employees, but I believe that they will make all the difference in your employee retention and the relationships that you have with your staff.



Here are some great questions and items to discuss with your employees one on one:

  1. How are you doing?
  2. What is your satisfaction in your current role on a scale of 1 to 10? If not at a 10, what would make it a 10?
  3. Are you where you think you should be in terms of level and position?
  4. What are the goals that you have set personally and goals that we have set together?
  5. Where are you at with those goals?
  6. Are there things you feel are getting in your way from meeting your goals?
  7. What are you currently doing to meet your goals or to get where you want to be?
  8. Mention anything you see that might get in their way from obtaining their goals.
  9. What can I do to help?
  10. What do you love about what you’re doing right now?
  11. What is something you would change to make this your dream job?
  12. What can we do better as a team?
  13. What do you think you can do better as a member of this team?
  14. What do you think you are doing well?
  15. Set goals for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months and have follow ups planned.
  16. All things from job performance, attitude, and relationships with coworkers/you should be discussed.

Tips for before, during, and after these discussions:

  1. Send these and any other questions/talking points you want to cover before your meeting so you and your employee have time to process and prepare. You could even have them send you the answers beforehand so that you can get right into the discussion.
  2. Seek to understand and make sure to have an open mind. These questions can dig up some pretty deep feelings and issues. Empathizing instead of getting angry will be helpful. Poor reaction will only shut the door more with your employee.
  3. Don’t interrupt each other. It shouldn’t be a one sided discussion, but make sure they get their thoughts out before you jump in. You don’t want to come across as defensive.
  4. Be honest. This should go without saying, but don’t give an employee a wrong sense of hope if this isn’t going to work out in the end.
  5. Be clear with goals and expectations.
  6. Practice active listening – repeating questions, answers, and goals helps make sure that everyone is on the same page.
  7. Take notes that you can refer back to during your follow up meetings.
  8. Follow up. These meetings mean nothing if there isn’t accountability and follow up. We won’t be taken seriously as leaders if we don’t follow through on what we say.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that not everyone’s employee should be retained. There is such a thing as good attrition. However, my goal in this blog would be that you wouldn’t lose out on really great employees because there was fear of having these conversations. I am always here to listen and help you prepare, too. Feedback is a gift. We are all human and these conversations can lead to really great ways to help you improve as a manager, employees improve, and companies improve. I am a firm believer that our biggest assets are our people. Why wouldn’t we invest in them? What is the best way you can invest in your people? Your time.

Chelsea Liska, Aureus Group Account Manager

Chelsa Liska

Chelsea has been with Aureus Group since September 2011, and currently is an Account Manager for the Iowa market. Chelsea works with clients to discuss their staffing needs and assist in finding them the perfect candidate to join their team. She loves when she is able to use her skills to help someone and give them an amazing experience in their candidate and career search. Every day Chelsea gets to be a part of a company that is building into her so that she can build into others. When she isn’t working, she is active in her church. Chelsea loves being active and playing volleyball, golf, softball, snowboarding, working out, and hanging out with her friends and family. Binge watching her favorite shows is definitely a notable skill! She is personally and professionally committed to being an “Energy Ambassador!”



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