Earlier this month we held a 10Eighty session on the importance of ‘connected’ career conversations. Why connected? Because a sense of connection in the way we talk about careers helps employees feel cared for, listened to, developed and stretched when they discuss career paths with employers.
Let’s face it – everybody hates the annual performance review process. And recently we’ve been seeing a lot of articles about companies who have replaced the annual review with more regular feedback sessions. There are a number of problems with the traditional performance review – managers are not trained to do them well. Many managers prefer to leave well alone, if they don’t mention career progression to the staff perhaps they won’t ask for development opportunities! This is short-sighted at the very least because most staff want development and growth and will leave to find it elsewhere if necessary.
A big issue for many mangers is that they believe staff always want more – either in terms of promotion, salary or power – and when they have more they will still want more. In fact, many employees don’t want any such thing but they do want recognition and to make best use of their skills and talents.
Focus on the person, not the job
Reward and recognition need to be relevant to the individual otherwise it won’t have the desired effect; some employees need regular reassurance and positive reinforcement and some need only the occasional pat on the shoulder and a ‘thank you’.
A sense of a “connected” series of conversations reaps dividends for the employer, as well as the employee. Apart from anything else this is about making effective use of your resources. If you don’t understand the basic motivations of your people you are not likely to be making best use of their talents.
Using a connected conversation to understand what staff want, what motivates and drives them, what values underpin their workstyle and what aspirations and ambitions they nurture is crucial to building an effective team and a collaborative working culture. The aim is to inspire staff to reflect on their role and commit to a career pathway that benefits individual and employer.
We have a serious problem with employee engagement and productivity in the UK so reviewing the nature of your career conversations to ensure effective career pathways and talent management pays dividends long-term.
Our belief is that every employee is entitled to job satisfaction and career success – and every employer will benefit from helping them get there. Talking to employees about the work they enjoy doing and committing to helping them with personal development and opportunities to meet their career aspirations is the starting point of a more connected conversation – and a more connected business.