Note: This article is part of the series on Management Problems You Can Fix With One on Ones. If you’re not getting what you want from your one on one meetings with staff then I invite you to register for the free one on ones mini-course to find out the 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1's (Includes a best practice one on one download).

Companies Struggle to Retain Top Talent

Employee retention is a problem for just about every organization, in every industry. According to research from Willis Towers Watson, over one quarter of employees are at a high risk for turnover. Many of which:

  • Possess “mission-critical skills”,
  • Are top performers or,
  • Have potential to become top performers.”

Losing a valuable employee obviously costs the company money but it’s the manager who bears the brunt of the change. Because it’s the manager who has to maintain performance with fewer resources at the same time as hiring and training new talent.

This is how this process of effective One-on-One Meetings with your employees will improve your employee retention.

While there are various reasons why people leave, there is one in particular that stands out...

Employees Leave “Bad Bosses”

Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. And the sad truth is that the number of employees leaving jobs because of their boss is on the rise. A recent Gallup study found about 50% of the 7,200 adults surveyed left a job "to get away from their manager."

The tricky thing is that you don’t have to be a bad person for your employees to think of you as a “Bad Boss”. Being a boss isn’t easy and most bosses never get any meaningful, formal training to do a difficult role. What happens is that your employees have expectations from you that you simply aren’t aware of. Ironically being “nice” doesn’t help because employees don’t respect you as a boss.

Your employees are people and people have some basic common needs. Fulfil these needs and your employees will stay.

Regular One on One Meetings With Staff Improve Employee Retention

As bosses we sometimes forget that our employees want:

  • A good relationship with their manager.
  • To add value and do meaningful work,
  • Recognition for their contribution,
  • Opportunities for growth and development.

And it’s these factors that drive employee engagement and employee retention. The beauty of having regular, high quality one on one meetings with staff is that you get the opportunity to address all of these issues in one quick and easy meeting.

One on one meetings are the ideal forum to:

  • Connect with your employees, to get to know them and build better relationships with them,
  • Help employees to find meaning and value in their work,
  • Recognise achievements and make your employees feel valued,
  • Grow your team and improve skills.

When you consider the costs in time and money to replace an employee (especially a top performer) then you have to have a contingency plan. But prevention is always better than cure and this is how you prevent high employee turnover.

Retention doesn’t have to cost you extra time and money

Companies throw money at retention because top performers are like precious gems on your team. They’re difficult to find and when you do, they’re well worth the effort to safeguard. But improving employee retention doesn’t have to be a costly, time-intensive process. Weekly one on one meetings with staff are a quick and easy way to boost employee engagement and retention.

And my favorite part of this is that a weekly One-on-One meeting is a basic manager responsibility. Your employees deserve to have weekly One-on-One time with you and these meetings are the best platform you have for managing day to day performance. When you do them right and they boost engagement too then this is like a free bonus.

Secret Ninja Manager Skill to Better Retention:

A Ninja Manager Skill is a management technique that turns something difficult into something easy. It’s like a judo flip: Instead of fighting against the opponent's strength & weight - use your opponent’s momentum against them.

And the way that you make it take even less of your time and effort is that you show them how they can have great One-on-Ones with their boss (you). And all you have to do is share this free, online video course with them. When your employees know how to have a great One-on-One meeting then you’ll have to spend less time making this happen.

Wrapping up

Let’s not sugar-coat this important issue. High employee turnover is a sign that there’s something wrong with how your employees are managed. There could be many different factors but the simple solution is to run high quality one-on-one meetings with your employees. Running One-on-One meeting like I show you in this mini-course is a proven method to reduce employee turnover. If nothing else these meetings are a platform for you to have the discussions you need to have to stay on top of any potential retention issues before it’s too late.

If you’ve never tried this one on one process before then I challenge you to try. One on ones don’t take a lot of time and the benefits far outweigh the effort. 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1’s will show you a good one on one meeting technique. (You’ll also get a best practice one on one meeting download)


Do you have any comments, questions or tips on how weekly one one ones with staff can improve employee retention? please help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.