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    Shannon Geis
    Shannon Geis

    In the recent on-demand webinar, Tracy Spears, vice president of Healthcare, Transworld Systems, Chicago, talked about important conversations that effective leaders should be having with their staff.

    Two conversations that many managers forget to have are what Spears calls the rock star reminder and the “You’re Important Please Stay” (YIPS) interview.

    The rock star reminder

    WHO: Someone on your team with amazing potential.

    WHAT: Check in with them to let them know what they are doing well, and if they are learning something new or improving, show them you notice their hard work.

    The role of the rock star reminder meeting is to check back in with new (and tenured) employees to ensure they are getting the help they need. “Nurture them along,” Spears says.

    YIPS Interviews

    WHO: A valued member of your team.

    WHAT: A formal conversation.

    HOW: Let the employee know he or she is a key part of your team and you want the person to stay.

    If you forget to remind people how valuable they are, you will lose them, Spears says. She recommends scheduling interviews and preparing for them as you would any other important meeting. These conversations should be pointed and emphasize specific recognition.

    Spears suggests asking the following questions:

    1. How are things going for you?
    2. Are you enjoying your work?
    3. What is the best part of your job?
    4. What part of your job do you enjoy the least?
    5. If you could change something about your job, what would it be?
    6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
    7. Is there something that you think we’re focusing on too much?
    8. How do you feel about our working relationship?
    9. Do you have any coaching tips for me?
    10. Do you know how valuable you are to this organization?

    These questions will help you gain a better understanding of the work environment you provide for your staff and how to improve so that you don’t lose any of your most valuable team members, Spears says. It may be awkward to ask staff for feedback but Spears believes it is worth it. “You absolutely want them to feel like they can come to you and say whatever they want to say,” she says. “This is really a way of saying your opinion matters to me.”

    Be open to change

    One warning Spears issued was to not let past assumptions cloud your judgment. It is easy to forget that people can change, but not recognizing change and growth can hurt you in the long run. She recommends taking time to reevaluate employees and their skillsets with these three questions:

    1. Who has been given a “bad rap”? Are you sure they deserve it?
    2. Is someone being overlooked or undervalued
    3. Is there someone on your staff that you need to rediscover?

    Regularly asking yourself these questions is the first step toward cultivating an environment where all team members are able to grow and learn new skills. “People rise or fall to the expectations that we place on them,” she says and adds, “When somebody thinks that you don’t have any confidence in them, that employee goes backwards – they never grow.”

    Shannon Geis

    Written By

    Shannon Geis

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