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Keep Valuable Employees By Understanding What Drives Them

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Every manager worries at some point that their best employees are eyeing the door. So, how can you assess whether your top talent is engaged? Are there ways to head off thoughts of leaving? Retaining valuable employees starts with having open and honest conversations about what they want and need. In your one-on-one meetings, ask how they’re feeling about their work and what they’re most excited about. If and when they ask for something — a raise, a new assignment, or a flexible work schedule — don’t make assumptions about what’s driving their request. Instead, just ask. You may not be able to give them exactly what they want, but understanding their motivations may help you meet their needs in other ways. Be transparent about what’s in your control and what’s not. For example, you can say, “I can’t guarantee that, but I hear that it’s important to you. I’m going to keep it in mind as we continue to navigate this uncertain future. You’re a valuable employee, and I’m going to do my best to give you those things when it’s in my control.”

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