When conducting employee retention training, I always ask participants if they REALLY know their staff. At first, most participants will say “yes.” However, after further questioning, they don’t know the simple things that are critical to developing a bond with their employees. How many kids do they have, what activities do the kids participate in, how old are they, how are they doing in school, etc. Does this sound too personal? Some would say “yes.” I have to say a resounding “no” from an employee retention strategies perspective.
The items above are basic to understanding your employees and getting to know them as people. It is the personal touch that people, and particularly the millennials I know like. It takes you from the realm of being just the person who oversees their work to someone that knows them AND perhaps even understands what motivates them to come work or what is important to them. People love to share things about themselves. All you have to do is ask and listen. After all, look at Facebook to see if I am wrong. I have found that most people are not afraid to share but instead most leaders are afraid to ask, listen or simply don’t want to take the time out of their schedule.
As you get to know your employees, you begin to understand them. Understanding them is critical in any employee retention strategy. Beyond understanding them is the fact that people do like that personal touch. It’s what separates you from other bosses and organizations where they may be just another number or means of producing a profit.
I have found as an employee retention speaker, my audiences regularly express a reluctance to get “too personal.” I am not talking about prying into people’s lives. If people don’t want to talk about their lives, that is perfectly fine. If that is the case, respect that. That being said, what I have found is most people do like to talk about their lives and that they like it when they have a boss who takes an interest in them as a person. If you don’t take an interest, how will you ever really know if that’s what they want or not? So…on Monday morning, when your people are talking about what they did over the weekend, engage in the conversation so that you get to REALLY know your staff!