Employee Retention: Build Better Connections Through Conversation | Fierce

Organizations and leaders have long sought to keep employees happy and satisfied with their workplace to increase retention and lower the costs associated with attracting, hiring, and training new employees.

In a recent article by Rinkal Choudhary, it was noted that the employee attrition rate in India skyrocketed from 6% in 2020 to 20.3% in 2022. (Further investigation shows that that number hit a high of 28% in 2022 before declining to 18% in 2023.) Those numbers would cost any leader many sleepless nights with the constant worry about how to encourage employees to stay.

In their efforts to gather essential data to determine why employees are leaving, many organizations conduct exit interviews.

Famed organizational psychologist, top-rated professor at Wharton, and best-selling author, Adam Grant, suggests we should rethink this practice and consider entry interviews to explore an ongoing relationship with newly hired employees.

“You should check in with employees periodically to ask them these questions so you know what’s going well and what’s going badly. It’s your job to invest in making this a place that they would want to stick around at,” he says.

For years, Gallup has helped organizations and managers assess the current level of employee engagement by deploying twelve key questions, half of which managers should be regularly discussing with their people:

  • (1) I know what is expected of me at work.
  • (4) In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good at work.
  • (5) My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
  • (6) There is someone at work who encourages my development.
  • (7) At work, my opinions seem to count.
  • (11) In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.


The work we have been doing at Fierce, Inc. with leaders at organizations of all sizes around the world focuses on building ongoing connections with people through conversations. Companies, careers, and lives are transformed when we connect with others at a very deep level, recognizing that the conversation is the relationship.

Employees stay or leave, gradually then suddenly, one conversation at a time.

Employees are savvy individuals. You have to do the work – invest in your relationships with them through ongoing, robust, fierce conversations – every day. Look for meaningful ways to provide intrinsic rewards that each individual finds valuable. In the hierarchy of needs, you have to get base compensation packages right before you start looking at reward systems. The benefits of non-monetary incentives are that you can reward people almost immediately, they are memorable due to the emotional chord that they often strike, and they help with attraction and retention.

Some of the top ways to incentivize employees without money, according to an article by the Academy to Innovate HR, are to provide extra opportunities for professional and personal development and through one-on-ones. Also on the list is the reminder to ask your people what they want. The best way to do that, of course, is to have the conversation – today.

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