When your team is engaged with their work, they’re more likely to be productive and dedicated to providing quality customer service. However, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace report, 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged with their work. 

While there are a variety of ways to engage the staff of your funeral home — incentive compensation, robust benefits, and growth opportunities, to name a few — no two team members desire the exact same things. To better understand how to engage your teams, leadership must regularly meet with their staff. 

By creating a schedule of informal check-ins combined with more thorough quarterly and annual assessments, managers can better understand their employees and how to engage them most effectively. 


One-on-one Meetings

Funeral home leadership should set aside time for casual, one-on-one meetings with each of their team members. Occurring on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis, these meetings offer managers the chance to check in with their team members on both the personal and professional levels. 

Unlike more formal review-based meetings, weekly one-on-one sessions allow team members to express how they’re doing, what’s currently going well, and what they might be struggling with. This information is valuable for leaders as it can alert them to potentially larger issues before they affect the business. 

It’s important to note that this one-on-one shouldn’t feel like a laundry list of tasks for the employee to complete. Rather, it’s a time to check in and address any issues that might be holding them back in the short and long term. 


Quarterly Check-in

While similar to weekly one-on-one meetings, quarterly check-ins require a bit more preparation, and they should be primarily focused on team member goals and their progress. To start off, managers should ask about each goal of the team member. These goals may be related to numbers, or they might consist of personal development. Regardless, managers should use this time to get up to speed on each team member’s status. 

Once updated, managers can then dig deeper and figure out what’s going well for the employee and what challenges are holding them back. This allows managers to adjust goals effectively and offer assistance as needed. 


Annual Review

The most formal variety of meetings, annual reviews should begin with written evaluations of the employee, both from the employee themself and from their direct manager. Once this information has been collected, both team members can use it as a jumping-off point for discussion, running through each goal, success, and challenge of the team member over the last year. 

During the performance review, managers should remind employees that these sessions are two-way conversations. If a manager notes that an employee struggled with a component of their role, an employer should feel comfortable to honestly express what contributed to this struggle. This way, both personnel can discuss the ways in which these issues can be addressed in the coming year. 

Overall, annual reviews should be future-focused. Through the process of retrospectively reviewing a team member’s performance, managers should help them build new goals for the coming year, goals that both challenge their strengths and encourage them to grow in areas of struggle. 


Develop Your Team with JCG

Regular meetings help you stay in touch with employee strengths, needs, and struggles. By using these meetings to inform your managerial practice, you can improve engagement and retention in the long run. While much can be done to engage employees by increasing pay and providing on-the-job training, in many cases, team members can benefit from outside learning. 

Top-performing employees are often rewarded with increased responsibilities and pay. To make sure these growing employees have the skills they need to do the job right, you can look to the help of outside funeral home training courses. 

Offered through Johnson Consulting Group, a leading funeral home consulting firm, JCG Academy helps equip death care professionals with industry-leading tactics. Currently, our consulting firm offers courses in leadership and customer experience. Led by experienced death care consultants, these courses augment employees’ skill sets.

By meeting regularly with your employees, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of how they perform and how they’d like to grow. In many cases, this growth requires some outside help, making JCG Academy a great way to refine your employees’ approach to work. Contact us today to learn more.