Wherever HR leaders look, negative employee engagement numbers abound: 87 percent of workers worldwide feel disengaged, 40 percent of employees are considering moving on, and only 7 percent of people have the job they want. Managers and HR teams are appropriately worried about what they can do to engage, motivate and retain the top talent in their workforce.

Gallup’s Re-Engineering Performance Management, however, offers a clue as to what employees want, “an authentic relationship with their manager that includes talking with them about both work and life.”

Could the answer to the engagement crisis really be as straightforward as ensuring your managers have more of the right conversations with their employees? Yes! and here are a few of the most critical conversations they need to have:

1. Get Clear on Expectations

According to Gallup, less than half of employees know what is expected of them at work. Every manager needs to have regular conversations about what each employee needs to accomplish and, ideally, how their work is supporting the organization’s top priorities.

2. Give Timely Feedback

Gallup reports that 47 percent of employees only receive feedback a few times each year or less. This is far less than what employees want. Managers need to provide employees coaching and feedback in a timely manner to support learning and development  

3. Check-In Daily

The data shows that employee performance and engagement improves significantly when managers talk to their employees daily. These can be quick, informal check-ins and can address priorities, coaching or just the latest sports game. It’s the quick touch base that’s important – it provides a foundation for trust.

Technology solutions like Betterworks can help everyone in your org be better managers. Read our e-book on the 5 Conversations to Best Motivate Employees to learn more about the crucial conversations every manager needs to have with their teams.