Are You Actively Retaining and Attracting New Talent During the Great Resignation?

John R. Stoker is the author of  “Overcoming Fake Talk” and the president of Dialogue WORKS, Inc.  His organization helps clients and their teams improve leadership engagement in order to achieve superior results. He is an expert in the fields of leadership, change, dialogue, critical thinking, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence, and has worked and spoken to such companies as Cox Communications, Lockheed Martin, Honeywell, and AbbVie. Connect with him on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. 

12 Questions for Assessing the Employee Experience

Some contend that the lack of employable individuals is not real. And yet, the results from the pandemic have given rise to a huge shift in the way people desire to be gainfully employed. During the pandemic, many people saw friends and loved ones become extremely sick or die. This led people to reflect upon or to question their own legacy and the purpose of their lives. Because of the shutdowns, many people were forced to spend more time at home with family. These positive family experiences have led individuals to place more emphasis on work-life balance.  Many people also want more physical autonomy—they want the freedom to choose what medications they will or will not be subjected to. People are also looking for better paying jobs and are willing to take their time to find the best fit. These concerns have led employees to seek fulfilling work that satisfies these criteria.

Additionally, employees are focused on the type of work they are doing and the quality of their relationships with coworkers.

Here are 12 questions to help you assess whether you are actively and deliberately working to retain and attract talent given the current demands in an evolving work environment.

Have you shared the company’s vision as well as your own?

Taking the time to clearly articulate the company vision and how individual contribution supports that vision gives meaning and purpose to the work that is to be accomplished. People want to know that what they do makes a difference. Knowing how their contribution positively affects the company, potential customers, and their coworkers is a huge motivator that directly affects the quality of work being performed.

How well do you know each individual on your team?

You might ask yourself how well you know each person, their families, their goals, their spouses, their strengths, and weakness. Being able to respond to these questions requires that you spend time with them, asking questions, listening to their answers, and learning about them. Making the time to learn about a person will help you to establish a relationship and forge a connection with them.

Have you assisted each member of your team in crafting an individual developmental plan?

People want to grow and develop–the opportunity to learn and do new things that will enhance their career is important. People are excited for their future. When such growth opportunities are non-existent, people look for other employment that will help them to achieve their goals.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you assess the quality of your professional relationship with each of your people?

If you don’t know, then you need to muster the courage to ask yourself. If the assessment of the relationship is low, then it would be appropriate to ask what could be done to improve your working relationship. After assessing the quality of your relationship with each person, consider asking them to do the same regarding their relationship with you. Then take the time to compare and explore differences of perception in any gaps that have been identified.

What part of each individual’s job are they passionate about and why?

Taking the time to identify what excites each person about their job will help you to know what motivates them to give their best effort. It’s also important to identify what part of an individual’s work they like the least. Identifying what is challenging for a person will help you to know how you might support them in strengthening any weak areas, improving their expertise and confidence, as well as increasing satisfaction in the work they do.

Does your organization offer the type of development each person is seeking?

This question should have been explored during the hiring process, but if it has gone unaddressed, now is the time to explore opportunities for professional development. Sometimes there is a misalignment between the types of training an individual needs to be successful and what training is available. Identifying and discussing possible training opportunities will help identify and bring into alignment individual needs and company offerings.

People are also looking for better paying jobs and are willing to take their time to find the best fit.


How often do you provide constructive feedback?

People want to know how they are doing. If you give feedback so infrequently that people start thinking that no news is good news, then you are missing the opportunity to recognize positive efforts as well as provide them with some areas to improve. When performance deficiencies are addressed immediately, people can make the needed adjustments. Offering specific feedback reinforces the importance of what they do, as well as your interest in their success.

Do you express appreciation or gratitude weekly for what your people are doing?

This question is closely related to the previous question. Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. To answer this question, you must constantly be on the lookout and notice what people are doing. Catching people doing the right thing, doing great work, or going the extra mile will require deliberate effort on your part. Then create the opportunity to express those observations to the person.

Do you celebrate success?

Whether you do this on an individual basis or with the team, celebrating will reinforce the importance of the work that is being done. It will also help to create a more positive culture around successful performance, providing positive reinforcement for a job well done.

Is your company’s compensation and benefits plan commensurate with what is being offered in your industry?

You need to be aware of your company’s offerings and have this information readily available. Potential candidates and even current employees are out in the marketplace gathering this information about your company and others. To be competitive, you need to offer comparable compensation, regardless of any other perks, or people will end up going where they perceive they will be valued and paid accordingly.

Do you or your company offer work flexibility?

Ideas about how people work shifted during the pandemic; most people now want flexibility in how, when, and where they work. Taking the time to explore potential options can help you address the importance of work-life balance for employees. If location and work-hour flexibility are not a possibility, then taking the time to discuss and agree upon a plan that will address work-life issues will help you attract and retain valuable employees while meeting both their needs and the needs of the company.

Are you the type of leader that people would like to work for?

You might consider if people ask for your advice, support, and assistance when things go wrong. Do people readily approach you to discuss their failures or deficiencies? Being able to identify how you are contributing to the employee experience is important to understand, as well as considering the type of culture that your leadership style cultivates.

This list of questions is a great place to begin when assessing your ability to attract and retain valuable talent. You will notice that some of these questions identify the role that your organization plays in addressing current employee issues and concerns. Other questions are a direct reflection of the effectiveness of your leadership and how you interact with others. Taking the opportunity to address and influence these types of issues will help you to attract and retain those who will contribute to the success of the enterprise.

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