One of the things great managers do well is finding out each employee's unique talents and strengths. 

After all, when you know what motivates your employees from the neck up, how each person naturally thinks, feels and behaves, you can better design job roles around those strengths.

Sometimes a team member may not be fully aware of what he naturally does best, or how to use his natural abilities to perform best for the job he's assigned.

This is when a good manager with a deep understanding of a team member's natural gifts will come alongside him and support him in finding new ways to use his strengths at work.

A hot tip for managers worried about losing their employees.

Let's agree that what one managers does exceptionally well may not even be a blip on another manager's radar screen. If your employees are losing focus, are disengaged, or are bored at work, it's every manager's duty to get fresh knowledge and insight about what you can do to improve and retain those valued employees--today--not after they have emotionally disconnected and stopped caring.

One of the best approaches to re-engage disengaged employees and energize them like never before is to conduct "stay interviews." The idea is based on honest two-way conversations where each side gets to listen, ask questions, and agree to follow-up on ideas and action plans. 

The stay interview builds trust in leaders because you're basically telling your valued team member, "Hey, I'd like to get a feel for what's working and not working for you, and learn how best to utilize your natural talents."

In other words, what a manager is really saying in this case is, "Hey, I really need to get to know you better." What employee doesn't want this?

Ask employees 5 questions

Gallup recently published an article to help managers clue in to the natural talents their employees bring to the table. Their "five clues to talent" framework helps managers to have meaningful conversations to "better shape roles and responsibilities to fit individuals' best chances to succeed." There are five questions a manager must ask: 

1. What do you know you can do well but haven't done yet?

2. What sorts of activities do you finish and think, "I can't wait to do that again"? Or what are you doing -- inside or outside work -- when you're truly enjoying yourself?

3. What have you done well that you didn't need someone to explain how to do?

4. What have other people told you you're great at doing?

5. What activities are you doing when you are unaware of time passing?

According to Gallup, "Employees' answers to these questions and the resulting conversations should be the foundation of any exceptional manager's efforts to energize and empower people to perform better by doing what they naturally do best every day."