Before You Start Something New

Before you start anything new — a retreat, a job, a board commitment — ask questions like, “Why did you take this job?” “What would motivate you to stay?” “How would I know you need help?” etc. Only then should you talk about goals. That will improve retention.  In this video, Shari Harley encourages focusing on what employees need and want first, before setting goals, helps keep workers on board.

After viewing the video, answer a “Questions to Ask” and select an “Ideas for Action” to incorporate into your routine this week.

Ideas for Action

  • This week, choose someone on your team to get to know better. Ask that person about his or her work habits, likes, and dislikes. Take notes and then make good use of this information as you communicate with this person or work together on projects.
  • Make a point of finding out what each person you work with loves best and hates most. Where possible, tailor responsibilities so that each person spends the majority of time doing what he or she loves best.
  • Determine what type of communication works best for each of your team members. Write down how each person likes to communicate or receive information. Use that communication style going forward.
  • If you notice that an employee may be getting ready to leave the company or department, find out why. Ask the employee what factors are playing into their decision and talk about ways that it might be possible to improve the current work experience/situation.

Questions to Ask

  • How well do you really know your coworkers?
  • Do you feel like your boss knows or cares about your work likes and dislikes?
  • Do you have a relationship that is strained because of differing work styles? How can you repair it?
  • How can knowing someone’s work preferences make the office culture more agreeable?