Want loyal employees? Here are the conversations you need to have

26 June 2019

When was the last time you sat down with your employees, one to one, and had a good ol’ catch up?

Regularly touching base with your employees is a chance to find out how they’re getting on, talk about progress and address concerns. This helps to keep communication strong between you and your team, ensuring a good working relationship and boosting overall morale.

If you’re specifically looking to drive loyalty among your team, a Forbes article outlines the types of conversation you need to be having. They are:

1. Career goals

Leaders are in the best position to help employees achieve their career goals. According to Paul Petrone, this is because they “can tell them exactly what they need to improve, who they need to get to know and what career options are available within the [organisation].”

Petrone says leaders need to create a “safe zone,” so employees know there will be no repercussions for discussing their goals with you. The important thing is that you only deliver honest feedback – which won’t always be easy. However, what can help is to create a ‘culture of feedback,’ say David Rock, Jay Dixit and Barbara Steel from the NeuroLeadership Institute, where staff are inspired to ask for feedback rather than waiting to receive it.

2. Core strengths

Halelly Azulay, author of Strength to Strength: How Working from Your Strengths Can Help You Lead a More Fulfilling Life, notes that “every person has a set of core strengths (defined as “talent + knowledge + skills”). “When we work from our strengths, we contribute our full potential and are at our most satisfied and engaged.”

Research shows that focusing on building strengths, as opposed to improving weaknesses, boosts engagement and loyalty. So, make sure these conversations are focused on employees’ self-identified strengths and how they could be used more in the workplace.

If an employee finds it hard identifying their strengths, ask questions like: What do you excel at? What inspires you? What do you enjoy doing?

3. Building relationships and limiting conflicts

No one wants to work in a toxic environment, and leaders need to be aware of the issues that exist between staff members. You should feel confident enough to ask how to improve relationships and/or talk about the conflicts that need resolving. It can help to ask for employee feedback on how to manage conflicts.

4. Energy

“Energy is a limited resource that fuels everything we do,” Kristi Hedge explained to Forbes. “The greater our energy level, the more we can accomplish. Energy elevates our mood, and infuses positivity.”

But how do leaders bring up a conversation about energy? Hedge says they need to regularly gauge energy levels, so they know when they are low and take proactive steps to build it back up.

5. Praise

A simple ‘thanks’ goes an incredibly long way, and is a good trade-off for employees who may find it awkward to receive a lot of praise.

Don’t be afraid to ask your team if they feel recognised for their work – if they don’t, it’s time to ramp up your praise! Something as simple as walking around the office, personally thanking staff for their hard work, can be an incredibly effective tactic.

Hopefully, having these types of conversations with your team will inspire loyalty. Where we can help is in designing and building a workplace employees enjoy working in, which itself could inspire your team to stay put! Get in touch today to find out more.

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