Not so long ago, most people in the workplace received feedback once-a-year during a performance review. An employee didn’t expect a development plan, a career track, or anyone to take an interest in his or her professional growth. That responsibility was often a solo activity. In fact, as recently as a couple of decades ago, there wasn’t a great deal of help on the road to career success, and most people didn’t complain. It simply was what it was.
But times change, and norms evolve. The practice of once-a-year feedback is fast becoming an anachronism and as out of place in the modern office as the
The reason the average worker has evolved to expect a steady diet of attention and conversation is debatable and perhaps worth scholarly inquiry. In the meantime, however, a demand for dialog exists and must be answered.
So, why should managers take action, what does it take to establish and maintain an ongoing give-and-take, and how can managers balance the constant conversation with their own
How to establish and maintain a dialog
Once you’ve bought into the notion that routine conversation is a must, the next step is knowing how to guide interactions.
Take an interest. Very little builds engagement as well as a manager who seems to genuinely care for
There is no limit to the questions you could ask. The key is showing a sincere interest in the answers, withholding
Be observant. As a manager, your job is to focus on the work that gets done and how it gets done. When you pay attention and are specific with your feedback, you show you’ve spent
Finding the time for planned dialog
There is no clock fairy or magic solution to time management and fitting feedback and development conversations into a regular workload. It’s an effort that requires discipline. To ensure planned dialog happens, you need to put formal meetings on a calendar, schedule them at regular intervals, show up on time, and put the smartphone away.
While increased levels of informal feedback and scheduled conversation can seem overwhelming at first, the more often a manager engages, the easier it is, the franker the discussions become, and the greater the understanding between the employee and the manager grows.
With whom should you be having conversations?