Regularly meeting with your staff can easily drop to the bottom of the list, especially with how many responsibilities supervisors have these days. The professional development conversations and regular check-ins with your employees have multiple benefits for your department and the company, including improving employee engagement. Knowing what is going on with your employees helps with challenges they are facing, it can deter any “issues” that could arise and helps build the supervisor/employee relationship. All these items help keep the focus on department, and ultimately company goals so that they stay on track.
Employee Performance Feedback
Regular check-ins allow for you as the supervisor to discuss any performance feedback in a timely manner. If an issue has come up, positive or negative, you can discuss the issue with your employee close to when it took place. Timely feedback keeps the issue relevant. If you allow too much time to pass before feedback is given, then any effects caused may have less impact on the employee. Having your staff understand the implications of an error or mistake on others, the department, and the company is a learning lesson in itself. Checking in while everything is still fresh helps everyone remember and discuss steps taken, which helps everyone learn where something may have gone awry. Of course, we have to remember it is important to provide positive feedback, not just constructive. Regularly providing positive feedback helps provide recognition to your employee and let them know how their hard work is valued.
As you regularly meet, you begin to build a rapport with your employees. Discussion about their career goals and areas they would like to work on developing can occur in a more relaxed setting. Your relationship with your employees becomes more than an item you check off a list, rather it becomes an opportunity for you to take time to learn about what motivates them and how you can help them achieve their goals. You can include any performance-related issues as ideas to include in their development plans, turning something that can be seen as negative into something they can focus on in their overall development plan.
Routine check-ins allow for you to know what is going on with your employees, helping you understand what help they need and when a project may be late or if something may not get done at all. All these challenges affect not only your employee’s performance but the department and ultimately the company’s. As head of a department, you are ultimately responsible for the performance of everyone. You are not expected to do all the work, but you are expected to make sure it gets done. These check-ins allow for you to empower others with the work while still ensuring it gets done.
We all know it is easy to push things down the list when you have your own work to get done, but a simple conversation can have a lasting impact on those around you. If a meeting has to be canceled, drop by your employee’s desk for five minutes for a quick hello and see if they need help. Remember, a check-in doesn’t have to be a formal meeting with a set of prescribed questions, they can be a simple “hello, how are you?”. Ultimately everyone wants to feel valued, heard, and like they have someone who is there to listen to what is going on and to any issues they are having, and ultimately what they want to do can help improve morale.