The conversations you have with employees are critical to building trust, morale and productivity. Grasp them to ensure that your team reaches its full potential.
Goal-setting discussions. Meet early and often with employees to discuss goals that will challenge them while fulfilling your organization’s mission. Work together to set performance standards and deadlines so that employees know exactly what is expected of them.
Recognition meetings. Employees should hear directly from you when they are doing something right. Take every opportunity to recognize and praise their good work, especially on tasks that are new and unfamiliar. Reinforce positive performance with specifics, acknowledging the exact contribution they made to the team.
Redirection talks. Occasionally, you will have to correct a performance issue or revaluate your team’s path. Be prepared to sit down promptly with your employees to outline what’s wrong and what needs to change. Remain clear and firm about expectations and consequences.
Wrap-up conversations. At the conclusion of an important task or project, meet with your team to discuss success and improvement areas, and to celebrate if appropriate. This approach also is useful when an employee masters a new skill. Let employees know when you appreciate their work, and remind them of how their efforts contribute to the organization’s success.
—Adapted from Communication Solutions April 2016 newsletter, www.communicationbriefings.com.
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