Don't Wait Till the Exit Interview to Talk to Employees

Julie Shenkman
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Exit interviews can be a useful time to talk to employees and get some insight to their reasons for leaving the company. However, waiting until the exit interview to start communicating with employees means that you don't get a chance to improve the situation until you have already lost valuable members of your team.

A recent Forbes article revealed a shocking fact: According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of employees are disengaged while they are at work. Companies with a high number of these employees have an employee turnover that is between 30 and 50 percent higher than the average company. Communicating with employees is essential to finding out whether your employees are mentally checking out on the job or even thinking of leaving the organization.

Workplace communication is key to keeping employees engaged and finding out about any issues as soon as they arise. This can improve employee retention, as well as creating a more motivated workforce. Forbes reports that companies with engaged employees have profits that are higher by as much as 19 percent.

The benefits of communicating with employees are clear. The difficult part is knowing what methods to use to improve workplace communication. One strategy is to conduct one-on-one meetings every month. When communicating with employees in these one-on-one meetings, it's important to create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable expressing their true opinions and feelings.

As well as listening to employees and addressing their concerns, it's also important to communicate your expectations effectively. One of the biggest reasons for employees becoming disengaged is a lack of clarity over company goals and expectations. Each employee's job description should be clearly defined. These descriptions also needs to be updated whenever an employee's role within the organization changes.

Another aim of communicating with employees is to explain the company's goals. While it's important that your employees know how to carry out their assigned tasks, they should also understand why each task is important. When employees clearly understand company goals and the part that each person plays, their roles within the organization can seem much more meaningful.

When communicating with employees, use a method of communication that is effective for each individual. For example, younger employees might be more responsive to less formal types of communication. Millenials also crave feedback, as it helps them to know how they can improve their performance. Get to know each employee and learn how they prefer to receive feedback.

By communicating with employees more effectively, you can improve workplace motivation and retention. Taking steps to find out about and address employee concerns before your employees start leaving the organization gives you the chance to improve the culture before you lose valuable members of your team.


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