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Constructive Conversations

Constructive Conversations

Replacing our Performance, Review and Development (PRD) process, Constructive Conversations places the wellbeing of staff at the centre of how we manage performance by removing unnecessary steps, increasing flexibility, and bringing the entirety of staff/manager interactions to the centre.

It’s all about ensuring that staff are engaged and supported in their work at the Council.

Who is Constructive Conversations for?

Constructive conversations is for everyone. As it focusses on three key areas – wellbeing, work and development, it can be used both as your main process for staff performance management, or as a means to having more focussed discussions which might supplement existing processes (such as supervision in Social Services, or ERD in Education Services).

The key is that everyone has the opportunity to be engaged in this process. We know that having good conversations is the foundation for a positive organisational culture, and that’s what constructive conversations is all about.

When should meetings be undertaken?

The constructive conversations timeline runs from April – March every year, and you can have as many meetings during that period as you wish to. Some may choose to replace their 1-2-1 meetings with constructive conversation meetings, others may choose to use them in a more formal manner such as what many will be used to with the previous PRD process.

Constructive conversations gives managers the framework, and flexibility, to have focussed conversations with staff which mould around service demands. We know that giving a 6 week period to complete all your meetings doesn’t always work, and we have listened to that feedback.

How will we ensure people have had a meeting?

Managers will be asked to note the dates of when meetings are completed on iTrent. We don’t expect meeting details to be uploaded, just the date that they happened (although if you want to upload agreed actions or meeting notes we’ve given you that functionality too).

There is a clear expectation that managers engage with this process (it’s about the wellbeing of our staff after all) and as such we will run reports of who has and hasn’t had a meeting on a regular basis throughout the year, and offer support to managers where we identify gaps.

Can I do this with a group, rather than individuals?

Yes, the process can be used with groups, but only where the individuals share the same role, and the same objectives. Managers will still need to ensure that meeting dates are recorded on each individuals iTrent record.

Will training be offered to help me have these conversations?

Yes. We will be offering manager briefing sessions on how to have a good conversation in the coming months. Please continue to check the CONNECT intranet, and the Clacks Academy for course availability.

Is there guidance I can look at ahead of having my first Constructive Conversation meeting?

Absolutely. You can have a look at our short guidance document and our optional meeting template via Connect if you wish. If you're unable to access Connect, please ask your line manager to have the documents printed/emailed for you.

I have some more questions to ask

As with any major change we expect managers will have questions. Please just drop us an email at for a chat.