One of the biggest reasons people leave jobs is to seek opportunities for growth. Here are five growth conversations that every manager should have to engage and retain their employees.
#1: Career Ambitions
This should be one of the FIRST conversations a manager has with their employees and should be returned to regularly. All other growth conversations stem from this one.
If an employee does not have a clear picture of their future, a manager can serve as a mentor and help them in painting that picture. When employees have a vision of what they can become, it becomes easier for them to deal with less exciting parts of their jobs.
#2: Strategic Goal Setting
During this conversation, the manager should gain understanding about the competencies, skills, and experiences the employee needs to ultimately achieve their long-term ambitions.
The conversation is future oriented, but focuses on what we can do now. Together the employee and the manager figure out what skills can be learned over the short term that are both applicable to the employee’s future direction, and what the organization is trying to accomplish.
#3. Opportunity Alignment
Depending on the employee, some tasks that need to be completed may be viewed as an opportunity or as an obligation. Some of that perception will be guided by an employee’s vision for his or her future.
The alignment conversation is a regular check-in to understand what tasks have emerged that the employee finds attractive. Managers who know the goals of their employees are better able to match them with the right opportunities. The increased engagement your team experiences from variety and new challenges will counteract any loss in efficiency.
People make different choices when facts are presented with a positive frame versus a negative frame.
You shouldn’t manipulate employees, but managers should understand and articulate not only how the challenge benefits the employees in their current positions, but also how it will benefit them in their future endeavors.
#5. Temperature Check
The temperature check is a conversation to be held frequently to understand where the employee is between boredom and burnout and to adjust accordingly. If a task is not providing the challenge it is intended to provide, add complexity with tasks or responsibilities and push them to achieve better results.
Overwhelmed employees find it difficult to engage over the long term. In these situations, a manager should apply additional training, guidance, support, and resources to help the employee.