Key Questions to Improve Employee Retention

Key Questions to Improve Employee Retention

Improving employee retention may seem like a daunting challenge to both employers and managers. After all, the only place most companies find out how they could have improved retention is during an exit interview, as an employee is already moving on to a new job. Gallup research shows 70% of the variation in employee engagement is solely due to the manager. The key drivers of employee retention and engagement are development, a caring manager, ongoing conversations, a sense of purpose and a focus on strengths. These key questions can help your managers establish ongoing conversations with their direct reports. Reaching out with these key questions can make your existing employees feel more valued and less likely to leave.

How would you like to grow within our firm?

Career development is the most critical factor to employee retention and engagement according to Gallup. Two-thirds of people, regardless of career level, leave their employer due to a lack of career-development opportunities. However, employee development is not a one-size-fits-all prospect. Some employees will respond well to mentorship or coaching. Others will want to build their visibility within the firm. Others will respond to being given more challenging assignments. Asking “What role would you love to do and what can I do to help you get there?” is a great way to find out what each employee is looking for in their growth.

Some managers do not like to ask how their direct report wants to grow, because they worry that the person might leave for a different department. However, asking this question might allow the manager to adapt the role or find a different way for the employee to grow within their department. If the employee knows that their boss will not help them grow within the firm, they will look outside of your commercial real estate company.

What do you need from me to do your best work?

On its face, this seems like a simple, straightforward question. However, this question does several thing simultaneously. It shows employees that their manager wants to support them and help them succeed. Employees also feel more engaged when they feel valued and like they are a part of a team. It also helps create an environment where honest feedback is a vital part of the organization. A manager asking this question is showing their employee that they’re also trying to grow as a manager and in their career path. Other great ways to get at the heart of this conversation are to ask “What is your biggest frustration and what can I do to help?” and “What have you been trying to tell me that I have not helped you with?”

What can we do better as a company?

Creating an open dialogue with your employees can help build a stronger, more nimble company. Getting feedback and opinions from a wide range of employees can bring out ideas for increased efficiency or new ways of handling problems. This question also shows employees that their ideas can have a real impact on the business. Asking what opportunities the company might be overlooking lets employees give feedback on what they are seeing or hearing from their customers. Additionally, they might have ideas of how to leverage the firm’s resources better. This question can be left as a broad question or narrowed to address more specific policies. Either way, giving employees a chance to bring ideas to the table helps make them invested in the firm’s success and their own position.

Checking in with questions such as these is a great way to improve engagement. However, if managers only check in during the formal review process, that is not enough. These questions need to be part of ongoing conversations with employees so that small frustrations do not rise to the level of leaving the firm.

If you need help hiring great managers throughout your commercial real estate firm, let our recruiters help. We have connections throughout the country to help you find and hire great employees at every level.