Human resources managers are accustomed to asking and answering questions during job interviews. The hiring process involves lots of questions designed to elicit enough information to make informed yes/no decisions. But what about once the job candidate is on board? Most likely new and even established employees have questions that the HR manager should make certain are answered clearly.

This is a time investment that pays off with greateremployee engagement and retention. It’s only getting harder to find and keep top performers. No HR manager should, even inadvertently, drive away prized employees because they did not provide credible answers to questions that every employee worth retaining will have.

Where is this company heading?

Workers derive a great deal of motivation by knowing clearly where their employer is heading and what it will take to get there. Explain why the company can win, and the specific efforts it will take from each employee to come out on top. Draw an inviting picture, and keep reminding employees through multiple channels such as company newsletters or individual employee meetings.

What does the business expect of me so we can reach our goals?

All employees need to know how they specifically fit into their business’s objectives. This can be accomplished, in part, by regular feedback on their job performance. Lack of such input is one of the biggest reasons workers leave for other companies. Employees too often hear from their bosses only when they make a mistake. When employees know precisely how they fit into the company’s overall vision and goals, they understand the purpose of their jobs. Purpose-driven employees are an almost unstoppable asset for any company.

Where do I stand?

When employees show talent, initiative, problem solving or succeed with a project, let them know. Workers tend to repeat behaviors that garner recognition and praise. It is also important for HR managers to confront problems right away and provide honest, respectful coaching. Do not wait until an annual review to address performance and behavior problems.

While younger employees prefer frequent and informal feedback on their performance, at least once a year, formally sum up employees’ accomplishments and areas where they can improve. Use this time to discuss career development possibilities, too.

How can I challenge myself to improve?

The best employees always want to know how they can do better. Top performers also tend to become bored over time. If they do not have chances within the company to learn and grow, they lose their spark and depart for greener pastures. Consider onlinecareer management solutions to automate the process of reengaging employees by providing opportunities for short-term project management or temporary job changes. Remind these employees about why they were hired over other job candidates and review the qualities you saw in them that are important to the organization.

Does my work make any difference?

This question is especially important to the youngest employees. Millennials want their work to make a difference. Tell and show them on a regular basis how their work benefits customers, the community or the rest of the world. Remind them about the problems they solve via written or video customer comments. Share success stories that employees will appreciate because it makes their contributions real to them.

21 November 2013

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