Struggling with retention? Try regular check-ins

Why are regular check-ins important for employee retention? 

Employee engagement and satisfaction lead to greater fulfillment and commitment to a company. Retention is critical to maintaining and building a successful organization. So, you want to keep your employees highly satisfied and your turnover to a minimum. 

What’s your first step? By identifying the problems that an employee is facing through having consistent check-ins. This’ll  also help you keep a productive team member and prevent other employees from jumping ship.

What are the benefits of employee retention?

Just like competing for a market, companies must also compete for the best talent. Turnover is a huge expense, including the searching and hiring process, training costs, and overall lowered productivity and damage to company culture. 

On the other hand, employee retention not only saves your resources (like time and money), but improves productivity and quality of work, and boosts morale. Ultimately, placing a focus on employee retention means investing in employee satisfaction.

So how can you start achieving high retention? 

First, with the recruiting process: choose candidates who align with your company culture, have long-term potential and value their position with your organization. Try looking for candidates who are team players and who stick with activities and roles that they care about. 

After a new hire is on board, it’s then up to management and company policies to ensure that employees stick around.

Meeting employee expectations and monitoring satisfaction

Once you’ve made a hire, you have to continue to ensure their satisfaction within the company. One great way to monitor employee satisfaction is through regular check-ins or 1:1 meetings

In addition to creating space to air out potential problems, it is also a forum to give feedback, encouragement, and praise the success of your employees. Here are just a few reasons why quality check-ins lead to greater retention:

  • Helps to set expectations and clarify individual goals
  • Employees feel seen, heard, and valued
  • Check-ins create a sense of trust with leaders
  • Employees feel part of a greater whole
  • Create opportunities to resolve conflicts early on
  • Employees are engaged and connected
  • Ongoing communication and direction
  • Promotes continuous learning

Communicating directly with your employees through managers or team leads can also help you quickly identify and resolve issues to ensure higher employee satisfaction.  

Why do employees really stick around?

In addition to feeling valued, employees also want to know that they are moving towards a goal. With regular check-ins, they can identify what advancements are possible. Are there new educational paths? What in-house positions could open in the future? These are some of the questions they can explore. 

Promotions and learning incentives can give employees a much-needed sense of accomplishment and forward momentum. Employees value a commitment to education and training, offering them a sense of investment. Furthermore, identifying educational interests and opportunities can be best explored in a one-on-one setting.

Communication and transparency from the top down

Clear and transparent communication is often overlooked in organizational planning and policy. What happens in the boardroom or between managers is not always disclosed to employees. 

Therefore, giving employees an honest look at the goals and creating transparency leads to a sense of belonging and trust. Regular check-ins offer opportunities for any employee to ask questions, establish a regular expectation of honest communication, creating an open-door policy that will make employees feel valued and heard.

How often should employees have check-ins?

Employees shouldn’t have to wait or wonder about their next performance review. Regular discussion offers your team members the appreciation and engagement they need to remain satisfied with their employment. Most employees would admit that they would perform better with more frequent feedback regarding their current work performance and status. Ideally, you should have a 1:1 about once a week.

 What is the long-term value of 1:1s?

More than even a paycheck, regular check-ins can improve employee job satisfaction and increase company-wide retention. Studies show that employee satisfaction is deeply tied to feelings of contribution, usefulness, growth, and personal development. In addition to employee satisfaction, you will also be aware of any potential conflicts, so that you can make adjustments or change course when necessary.

Allowing employees to present challenges, ask for support, and better understand how they fit into the organization’s bigger picture can be highly engaging and fulfilling. While every company may have its own approach to 1:1 meetings, establishing trust and open communication is guaranteed to increase employee retention, and thus, organizational success.