It may be difficult to maintain relationships where employees are opposed to potential changes, but keeping open and frank dialogue is important. You therefore need to engage your employees on proposed changes and try to convey the case for change in a way that brings them along. Transparency is key: be consistent in your messages, act with integrity, and be open about risks.
Good relationships build trust
Trust builds engagement
Engagement leads to increased productivity
Tools and resources
To have meaningful conversations that build engagement, here are five must have areas of conversation:
- Establish a trusting relationship. This is the cornerstone for all that follows, as trust is both the fuel for and the output of the conversations. It requires a positive intent and can be as simple as asking employees: "What would you like to know about me that would help us work better together?"
- Agree on mutual expectations. You can raise the conversation by focusing on mutual aspirations—for example, by saying: "Tell me about what you are seeking to achieve and why, and what expectations you have of me in helping you to achieve it."
- Show genuine appreciation and use appreciative inquiry to understand and build on strengths.
- Challenge unhelpful behaviour. Negative behaviour needs to be addressed promptly. By focussing on the behaviour itself and the impact it has on others as opposed to the person, you can reduce the "threat" felt by the person and increase the likelihood of your feedback being effective— learn more here .
- Talk about building for the future. Learn about where the employee wants to be in 1-to-2 years. This will enable you to work out how you can meet the employee's needs and retain valuable talent in the organisation.
Where employees are working remotely or even when everyone just seems 'too busy' to have a chat, make use of technology. Call, text or skype employees and check to see how they're going.
These resources include practical tips on communication and change management: