A checklist is a powerful tool if you want to be efficient; they work in all situations from the routine to an emergency and can save a lot of time when procedures are standardised and processes are efficiently sequenced.

Here’s the 10Eighty checklist for how to conduct a Connected Conversations:

  1. Ensure the conversation is employee-centric – focus on career discussions that cover what employees need to think about when managing their careers, with the aim of nurturing and developing employees’ skills and confidence. Try to understand what makes your employees tick – what your top performers do, how your best managers create shared understanding and how the corporate culture drives productivity, innovation and agile performance in a super-competitive landscape. Think about employees and how to improve their lives at work and make the organisation more effective.
  2. Use open questions – a real career conversation starts with what is important to an employee, their personal and work values. Use open and probing questions that push the individual to develop their thinking and explore new perspectives.
  3. Use active listening – employee voice has been linked to outcomes including innovation, job satisfaction and improved organisational decision-making. Two-way communication is crucial in addressing employee engagement because it gives employees ‘voice’, making them active co-authors of their career story. On a deeper level, regular and better quality conversations between managers and team members are a simple and powerful way to communicate manager and organisational support, a critical determinant of engagement and buffer against work-related stress.
  4. Review progress or check in regularly – checking in regularly means that employee performance issues are dealt with promptly, problems don’t fester and team members can be more confident that they understand the big picture, while feeling they have a voice in the process. In essence performance and productivity improve when feedback is not held back for the annual review and managers deal with issues as they arise.
  5. Offer feedback that motivates – give regular feedback that allows employees to grow and improve and helps them to manage their career. Employees need feedback in order to improve their performance and enable personal development but don’t want a retrospective critique of past performance. Offer forward-looking guidance and encouragement that enables a proactive approach to career management. The Connected Conversations concept facilitates the evolution of performance review over time, rather than as a one-off annual event; as a concept this is in line with research on making the process more relevant and effective. Quality, relevant feedback improves employee learning and task performance. We think it is really important that all managers learn how to deliver effective and constructive feedback.
  6. Provide a space for reflective learning – self-awareness, or self-insight, is essential characteristic of success at work. An engaged employee uses reflective decision-making processes in building a career with realistic and meaningful career goals, identifying and committing to strategic work decisions and learning opportunities.
  7. Summarise – end each Connected Conversation session by summarising, not simply at the end to check on agreements and action, but at appropriate points within the session. Summarising again helps both parties to check understanding and to reinforce that active listening has taken place

If you would like to trial 10Eighty’s Connected Conversations e-learning course email info@10Eighty.co.uk alternatively to learn more click here. 

Michael Moran

Michael is CEO and Founder of 10Eighty. He is passionate about helping people maximise their potential and believes everyone should have job satisfaction and a successful career. He helps organisations design jobs and career paths that maximise employee engagement. As an avid reader/commentator on the world of work and sport, he regularly draws parallels between the two. You could describe Michael as a budding author with “The Guide to Everlasting Employability” already under his belt, and technophile who’s created 2 career management apps to help people manage their careers.


Feedback first

Regular, timely feedback conversations with employees to review performance covering role, goals, development are key to talent management.

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