Managers: Here Are Tips to Make 1-On-1 Meetings Count
Apr 23, 2023 · 8 mins read ·People Management
Have you ever attended a one-on-one meeting and thought everything you discussed could have been one time-saving email?
True some managers do take up some time with unnecessary meetings. But one-on-ones especially when done effectively can benefit the team.
The operative word of course is effective.
In this blog post we give insights on how you can make your one-on-one meetings worthwhile.
What is a one-on-one meeting?
A one-on-one meeting is a scheduled check-in between two employees in an organization. It is used to provide feedback keep everyone updated address problems and assist the participants in advancing their positions.
What makes the one-on-one unique is its free-form employee-focused format that goes beyond status updates.
It's frequently regarded as the most crucial meeting because it establishes the basis for a reliable and effective working relationship.
Employees can meet with their mentors their boss's boss (a skip-level one-on-one meeting) or anybody wherever makes sense. The most common however is the manager-employee check-in.
The benefits of one-on-ones
One-on-one meetings allow your staff to receive the feedback and direction they require as an employee to excel in their position and develop in their career.
As their manager you become a partner in their achievement by paying attention to them and offering timely advice.
Employees might feel safe in one-on-one meetings since they constantly receive your feedback about where they stand.
They will be aware of any necessary course corrections and ideally have enough time to make them. Also one-on-ones give employees a place to discuss issues that are challenging to discuss during busy workdays.
One-on-ones benefit you as a manager in directing the growth of your team members resolving problems as they arise and enhancing employee retention.
You must connect and engage with each employee to maximize their potential. But unfortunately real connections cannot be made faster than other methods.
Focused one-on-one interactions foster the space and trust necessary to guarantee that you are aware of the concerns of your team members and can respond in a way that will keep them content and productive.
One-on-one meetings are also excellent for receiving prompt feedback that advances your management skills.
You can get vital information about what is expected of you as a manager and how to advance by asking your team members how to support them better.
The effort managers make to connect with their team members determines the company's success. Hence having a positive one-on-one meeting culture benefits everyone involved and your company's financial line.
Regular one-on-one meetings are a terrific way to boost engagement in addition to the link between manager success and business success.
Employees are considerably more invested in your company when they can speak with their manager about the company's direction and how their work fits into that larger picture.
Moreover engagement is a well-known predictor of productivity and retention.
Ensuring you're not wasting anyone's time
Below are some tips to help you have a meaningful one-on-one with your team:
Do it with the right attitude and mindset
The meeting is meant to be a dialogue so try not to overthink it. Your job as a manager is to coach and support while ensuring that your team members are the major topic of discussion.
The one-on-one should be adaptable enough to include subjects on both parties' minds at the time.
A shared collaborative space can help keep track of upcoming discussion topics. This will facilitate better discussion and preparation for managers and their direct reports.
Using open-ended questions to encourage conversation is also beneficial when you do one-on-ones.
Make one-on-ones a recurring event
The effectiveness of one-on-ones depends on their regularity.
Plan your one-on-ones once you decide on the best schedule for you and your team members. Don't forget to schedule a recurring meeting.
This is a subtly effective technique for leaders to demonstrate their commitment. Likewise it helps employees see the dedication to carving out time for them continuously.
Things happen and plans alter. But try your best to reschedule instead of canceling or attempting to cover off via email of your chosen communication platform.
When the meeting is the focal point of your connection with your direct report canceling can suggest that it is not essential.
One-on-ones are a two-way street so encourage your employees to speak up about anything they want to.
Giving people the resources they need to hold frequent fruitful meetings every week might be beneficial.
Sharing personal anecdotes or experiences can be beneficial in a one-on-one conversation.
By relating your experiences you can help others sustainably by offering advice and support. By being vulnerable you also urge your team members to communicate any issues they are unsure how to resolve.
Practice active listening
For productive one-on-one conversations managers should focus on improving their listening skills. Pay close attention to what is said as well as the feedback given.
Keep in mind that you're not merely paying attention out of politeness; instead you're doing it to help your direct report.
Managers should acknowledge and respect the background and viewpoints of others. Leaders that follow this advice are more likely to strengthen their bonds with their employees.
Have an open mind
In one-on-one meetings managers must lead by example by demonstrating that they are receptive to comments on their work and personal growth.
After one-on-one meetings with team members for a few months consider conducting a leadership evaluation to get their views.
A formal performance evaluation process can then include the results of a leadership review. Knowing what their staff thinks of them and their management style is crucial to a manager's performance and that of the company.
You can determine the following steps to keep iterating and enhancing your process once you clearly understand what is and is not working with the team.
One-on-ones can cover practically any topic.
If unsure of what to cover you can ask for ideas from your staff by establishing a meeting agenda in advance. Ask your team to submit questions if any so you can go ahead and prepare or ask the appropriate department for answers.
A one-on-one meeting is the most effective coaching method a manager can use.
These meetings are set aside for managers to gain crucial knowledge about their staff members and provide helpful comments at the moment.
Managers can improve their overall effectiveness and raise employee performance when one-on-ones occur regularly.
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