2 conversations that improve employee growth & engagement

Few managers are comfortable giving their employees feedback, but frank conversations are critical for employees' growth and engagement, writes Ashira Prossack, a millennial- and Gen Z-engagement expert, for Forbes.

These conversations don’t have to be extensive or time-consuming. In fact, it's often more effective to have shorter, more frequent conversations, Prossack argues.

She outlines the two types of conversations that you should be having regularly with your employees:

1: Check-ins

Informal check-ins give you a better idea of any problems or challenges on the horizon, and allow you to "keep a pulse on your team and gauge things like employee productivity and team morale," Prossack writes.

She recommends scheduling these brief conversations with employees at least once a month, or weekly if possible. Begin with a question such as, "How are things going with the project?" or "How's work going for you today?" Expect these conversations to grow shorter as check-ins become more regular. 

4 mistakes you're making when trying to improve your relationship with your employees

2: Goal setting discussions

Asking employees about their long-term goals gives you the opportunity to help your employees achieve those goals. Prossack writes that goal-setting sessions not only give your employees a chance to tell you their desired career trajectory, but also allow you to understand your employees' preferences and strengths.

Unlike informal check-ins, goal-setting sessions should occur quarterly, with occasional progress checks between sessions. In these checks—which can be included in informal check-ins—ensure you're holding your employees accountable for whatever goals they set. After all, employees with managers who establish clear expectations and help them set goals are 3.6 times more likely to be engaged in their work, according to a recent Gallup report (Prossack, Forbes, 8/30).

Related: Half of your employees are thinking about leaving. Here's how to retain them.

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