How Often Should You Have Career Conversations With Employees?

The annual performance review is quickly on its way out, 1-25-17-man-woman-meeting.jpgshifting toward consistent and more frequent performance conversations. Should employee career conversations follow suit? Would discussing employee career paths more frequently have the same positive effects as more regular performance conversations — increased engagement, motivation, and performance? We did the research to find out.In a research study earlier this year, we found that employee engagement surveys should be conducted annually to foster the highest levels of employee engagement. This study was similar in that we put our philosophy to the test; do career conversations (where employees and managers discuss employee career path, opportunities for advancement, and ways to learn and grow in their careers) that occur on a more frequent basis positively impact employee engagement?

Why yes, yes they do! Results are shown below.

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We can see that discussing a career path and opportunities for growth more frequently than once a year leads to higher levels of engagement. This linear trend indicates that employees who have career conversations less than once a year (or never) have much, much lower levels of engagement than employees who have annual career conversations.


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There’s not a distinct difference between having quarterly or annual career conversations, which suggests that — from a resource and time management perspective — it’s better to have annual conversations. However, engagement spikes up sharply when moving from quarterly to monthly career conversations. And because the difference is negligible between “more than once a month” and “once a month,” these results paint the following picture: monthly career conversations are optimal for the best engagement results.

Now that you’ve uncovered the best frequency for career conversations, it’s time to get talking. Use career conversations and manager-employee coaching sessions to spark employee motivation and fuel employee growth. Download our free ebook, Coaching Employees for High Performance.


New Ebook! Coaching Employees for High Performance