Employee engagement: 2 conversations to have with staff now

As busy administrators and managers, it's a perennial challenge to keep your team of employees happy and engaged. The frequent advice from experts is simply to talk with your staff, to keep the discussion open. Before your next one-on-one or meeting with employees, consider these questions to direct the conversation:

1. How well are we supporting your job functions? In a recent post for Physicians Practice, consultant Audrey "Christie" McLaughlin, RN, suggested that managers periodically survey their employees, either through anonymously, in-person or online. Key questions to ask include the following:

  • What tools could help you perform your job better?
  • In what ways could we improve communication between managers and staff?
  • What do you like best about working in your department?
  • Do you feel our patients are receiving the highest quality care? Why or why not?

2. What are your personal career goals? More often overlooked, according to Inc. Magazine blogger Scott Elser, co-founder of NY-based Launchpad Advertising, is asking employees what they personally wanted to accomplish in their careers.

"People work hard for a paycheck, but money doesn't buy loyalty. If you want your team to walk through walls for you, they need to know you will do the same for them--and that doesn't just mean raises and job responsibilities," he wrote. "Show you care not just about teaching them to achieve your business goals, but to help them achieve their own."

To do so, Elser suggests scheduling regular time to chat with employees about what they want to achieve--focusing on the employee, not the company--and how you can help build a foundation for aspirations that may even involve moving on from your practice.

In the post, Elser recounted a similar discussion had with a boss 20 years ago, noting that the content of the conversation wasn't what he remembered, but the caring his boss demonstrated by trying to understand his goals and offering direction for achieving them.

To learn more:
- read the post from Physicians Practice
- see the post form Inc. Magazine

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