Many elements make up the formula for employee engagement, and using one particular element in your leadership repertoire could drive your employee engagement and productivity.
A national manufacturing company employing over 5,000 people saw their employee engagement increase by a massive 20% as a direct result of one program. They developed and implemented a leadership program of regular quality one-on-one conversations between team leaders and members over a 3-year period.
There seems to be great value to improving leadership by scheduling regular one-on-one check-ins between leaders and team members throughout the year in addition to performance reviews. Regular scheduled check-ins provide an opportunity for brief, yet quality two-way conversation where both employer/ manager and employee have an opportunity to give feedback.
Top 7 leadership benefits of regular quality employee conversations are:
- Employees feel more valued
- Greater employee engagement in their role and motivation to drive their own productivity
- Increase engagement of leader and employee in connecting their goals to team goals and overall company vision and strategy
- Improved tracking of employee goals and KPIs and breaking down of KPIs to monthly goals
- Better supervisor and team member rapport and working relationship
- Lower staff turnover/ churn
- Greater overall organisational productivity
Another bi-product of developing a program for leaders to engage in regular quality conversations with their team members lies within the actual training of your team leaders to be equipped to capably and confidently engage with their employees in a productive and purposeful conversation.
In the circumstance of the manufacturing company this was particularly useful as many team leaders had been promoted to their leadership positions based on their work performance and weren’t necessarily equipped with innate or learnt managerial communication skills. The manufacturing company delivered a comprehensive coaching program for their leaders. Each program ran for approximately six months.
Leaders were given tools to deliver the quality conversations with their team that included the more formalised bi-annual performance review but added at least monthly, quality conversations. Those in leadership positions were given templates for the conversations and for documenting their conversations. At the end of the six-month period leaders were fully equipped to schedule regular one-on-ones with their full team.
So, what does a quality conversation look like? Here are the 6 key leadership features of a scheduled employee quality conversation:
- The conversation has a Purpose
- Team leader does not have a pre-conceived idea of the conversation’s outcome
- Team leader utilises a coaching style and connect conversation to employee’s role, goals and KPIs
- Fosters a two-way conversation
- Include open-ended questions of team member
- Be scheduled to take place at least monthly
A program of quality conversations touches on all six elements of Harrison Human Resources’ Best Workplace Method; good leadership, great culture, appointing and retaining the right employees, managing performance, employee recognition and the wellbeing of your employees.
Book a Discovery session with Harrison Human Resources to find out how managing and motivating your employees will accelerate your business growth, or read Claire's book that covers this topic and more on leadership in greater detail, The CEO Secret Guide to Managing and Motivating Employees.