With job-hopping on the rise, retaining top talent is a big focus for every business owner. 

And while it's often difficult to compete with companies making better offers, we often tend to forget the little things we can do to ensure employees feel happy, and engaged

A good example: Having regular communication with your people is critical for retention and for making sure they know you value and support them. But having regular check-ins is often pushed to the back burner when things are chaotic--especially when you're in a hyper-growth or startup environment.

So make it a priority to put these crucial meetings on the calendar, and make sure your conversations go beyond what's on both of your to-do lists. Here are 20 questions you should put in your management toolbox. Choose one or two for every one-on-one you plan to have throughout the upcoming year (which is hopefully at least once per month). 

Tailor the ones you decide on to what's going on with your employees. And truly listen to what they have to say--don't assume you know everything about people, even if you've worked with them for a long time. Then, make sure you take action. In the next meeting, follow up to see what you've both made changes on based on what you've discussed. Then, pick a few different options from the list that build on what you've talked about so far.

Ultimately, the key is to measure progress. Don't be afraid to ask the same questions every three to six months and make sure you're both taking the necessary steps to move the needle in a positive direction. 

Now, you can feel prepared for 2020 and ensure your team is as fired up about work as you are

Questions to Regularly Ask Your Employees

  1. What aspects of your job do you think are aligned with what you're best at? 

  2. Are there parts of your job that you believe you're not well suited to manage? 

  3. What can I do to support you doing your best work? 

  4. Is there any constructive feedback you have for me in regards to my leadership and management abilities

  5. How would you describe the impact of what you've accomplished in the past month? Is it the kind of impact you want to have?

  6. How would you explain the culture of our team and organization? What parts do you love the most? Is there anything that needs improvement?

  7. What's your ideal workday? How close is it to your current situation? What can we do to make it better? 

  8. Do you have enough autonomy? 

  9. What changes could you make to make you feel more autonomous, and how can I help? 

  10. At what point in the day do you do your best thinking? How can you restructure your time to increase productivity?

  11. Are you prioritizing your wellbeing? How can you do this more, and what do you need to do that?

  12. What's your career vision? What does your ideal next role look like? 

  13. Is there anything that our team or organization should be focused on that we're not already? How can you help us shift that?

  14. Are there any projects that you'd like to own or run that you currently aren't? 

  15. What do you think makes a great leader? 

  16. How do your personal values align with the company's?

  17. Can you share what your top performance goals are for the next few months? How can I support you in achieving them?

  18. What are some developmental goals you have? What kind of support do you need to work on them? 

  19. Do you have any suggestions for how I could do my job better?

  20. Is this job the best job of your life? If not, then what's missing?