by Robin Perry

We are mid-way through the year – it’s time for a mid-year check-in with each of your employees.  While you’ve been regularly talking with your employees about their job tasks and performance, now it’s time for a different conversation – time to “re-hire” them for the rest of the year.

Schedule an extra meeting with each of your team members.  Make it different: plan for it to be longer, go off-site or a different setting, send a message in advance so the employee can prepare for your conversation.  And then be ready to listen.

3 Questions to Ask

  1. What have you learned so far this year?   We want our employees to be learning and growing – and they do too!  One of the best retention strategies for top talent is to make sure they are regularly challenged and learning.  Oftentimes people don’t realize what they’ve learned until they stop and reflect.  Ask:  what have you learned?  How have you applied this?  What will you do differently because of this learning?
  2. What’s the biggest change you want to make for the rest of the year?  This could be in a work process, a team effort, how they manage their work, a communication challenge….anything.  Have the employee identify what they want to do differently.  This will give you insight into where they want to improve, and increase their commitment to change.  It will also give you a primary area to coach them as you move forward.
  3. What do I need to know?  Ask for feedback.  What have I been doing that has helped you?  What can I do differently?  What changes should we make in our meetings, how we are communicating?  What suggestions do you have in how our team is working?  Work processes?  Engage the employee in a conversation about what is working well and what may need adjusting. Show them you value their opinions and perspectives.

As you wrap up this conversation connect it with the goals for the remainder of the year.   Then keep reinforcing these messages by creating a “chant” – your key messages of where you want each employee and your team to be at year end.  Keep reciting this “chant” – your key messages – as you go forward. Remember people need to hear something 7 times 7 different ways to really retain the message!

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers

In addition to asking your employees these 3 questions, ask them of yourself:

  1. What have I learned so far this year?
  2. What’s the biggest change I want to make for the rest of the year?
  3. What does my manager need to know?

Strong leaders are defined by their ability to “self-develop” – spending time focusing on their own learning and development, and committing to making those changes. 

Be a leader – keep learning!

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