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Conversations to Engage, Develop and Challenge

Talk is cheap... or so the saying goes. But when it comes to what matters most to employees today, talk is one of the most valued commodities organizations have to offer.

In a recent survey by Career Systems International, a vast majority of Human Resource and Talent Management professionals said career development conversations are the types of conversations employees most want to have with their manager. On the flip side, these

same professionals report they are not happening. Too often the conversations are only about tasks and daily operations.

And while every employee needs to know the “what and how of their job today”, they

are thinking about a whole lot more. Can I see my future in your future? Do I really like it

here? What’s next for me?

The simple truth? Talk is exactly what employees want... we’re just not giving it or

giving the kind they want. Conversations to engage, develop and challenge employees

are the bedrock of strong relationships between employees and managers. These

conversations can and do create an environment where employees feel valued, respected and heard.

So, why aren’t we doing it? Turns out, talk may not be cheap, and it can be hard. For

some, that is. Common fears from “what if I can’t give or get what I want” to “I don’t

know what to say” hold all of us back from having meaningful, authentic conversations

at work. What if it wasn’t that hard?

Turns out, it doesn’t have to be. It’s up to you to make them happen. Pick three questions from below and let your curiosity to understand lead the conversation.

Conversations kick-starters you can use in your team today!

Conversations to Engage

  • What makes for a great day at work?

  • What makes you stay?

  • What might entice you away?

  • How do you like to be recognized?

  • What kind of support do you need from me? What are you not getting?

Conversations to Develop

  • What opportunities are available for your continued growth and development?

  • What skills do you most want to develop in the coming year?

  • What career option most appeals to you in the next three years?

  • What do you most want to learn about?

  • What is the most enriching aspect of your work?

Conversations to Challenge

  • What is holding you back from taking the next step at work?

  • What is your reputation in the organization?

  • Who do you enjoy collaborating within the organization? How are you building that network?

  • What can you improve on?

  • What feedback do you need and from whom?

“Let your employees surprise you and don’t be afraid to surprise others.”

Article by Career Systems International & Flame Centre | Future Skills Institute


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