During periods of change and uncertainty, morale and engagement are always key points of concern for HR Managers. One key tool for rebuilding team confidence is to shift the focus away from the past to the future through positive career conversations. The following are a few good questions or conversation starters

  1. Motivating Strengths: What are the aspects of your job that energise you at work? What is it about these interactions or aspects you enjoy? How can we work together to find ways to generate more energising moments like these in your work
  2. Positive Challenge:  What challenges you in a positive and enjoyable way in your role currently? What area would you enjoy focusing on to master and cultivate further? Where are your emerging strengths do you think?
  3. Meaning:  What makes you feel good about what you do at work? What makes your work meaningful or satisfying? What is important to you?
  4. Environment:  What does the workplace look or feel like when you are doing your best work? What conditions help you perform at your peak?
  5. Team: Who do you enjoy working with? Who brings out the best in you in the workplace? Who is a greater counter to your weaknesses?  Who are you able to assist and collaborate with?

The important aspect of a quality career conversations is to really listen. Career conversations require an individual to share highly personal information and feelings so its critical they feel the conversation is genuine and comes from a real desire to collaborate together toward effective career development.

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Following change there may be a natural response for some staff to use these conversations as a chance to vent their unspoken feelings about the workplace and managers should be prepared for this and gently steer these conversations back into positive territory. When staff talk about roadblocks to their happiness or success, try to re-navigate the conversation to take on a solutions-approach.

Career conversations should be seen as ongoing conversations and not singular formal events. With ongoing coaching and communication, staff will feel more engaged and supported. Career conversations are great ways of steering the team’s focus toward the future and help you as a Manager to get the best from your team.