Employee conversations are key to every part of team life.

Employee performance conversations that matter


Communication is an essential skill for anyone managing a team. However, organising daily roles and responsibilities is a completely different task to one-on-one performance conversations with employees. This requires bravery and skill in order to produce a positive outcome, but first you need to identify which employee performance conversations matter most.

1. Checking in

You shouldn’t wait for a problem to occur before you check in with staff. This can be an opportunity both to encourage employees to speak up on any issues they’re facing, while also letting them know how they’re faring in relation to their aims and objectives. Giving regular feedback is a key indicator of good leadership, and will generally be well received by your team.

2. Future development

The logical follow-on from a check-in conversation, is talking about next steps. Whether or not an employee is fulfilling every expectation, they’ll want to know that you as a leader are looking to the future.

This often involves setting up goals for them to aim for, giving a basis for future check-ins and allowing both you and them to monitor how they’re doing.

It requires good leadership skills to get a positive outcome from an employee conversation.There is a technique to a productive employee conversation.

3. Conflict management

In my experience even well managed teams will experience conflict, it’s a natural occurrence when people feel under pressure. It’s, therefore, key that you as a leader know how to manage these situations when they arise.

A conflict management course is a great way to learn the most effective ways of dealing with tension between work mates. It’s important to remember that your role requires you to quickly identify the problem, remain impartial, and deliver an effective response.

When managed correctly, conflict can be an important learning curve for those involved, and for the team as a whole.

4. Potential recognition

Totally opposite in nature, but equally important to conflict resolution, is recognising potential. This is a particularly rewarding aspect of people management, as it’s your chance to show your employee(s) that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed. When delivered in the correct way, this conversation can inspire even greater productivity, and bring you and your staff closer together.

Knowledge of these four important employee conversations will help equip you to become a better leader. To learn more about communicating with colleagues, or for team leadership courses, get in touch with an ICML representative today.

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