Group meetings definitely have their place, but if you’re not also prioritizing 1-1 meetings with individual team members, you’re missing out. Here are a few reasons that all managers should conduct 1-1s on a regular basis, along with some tips for structuring them.
Discussing Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Every employee is an individual on a personalized career path. But how can you know where your workers are trying to go and how you can help them get there if you don’t check-in? An incredibly important part of each 1-1 meeting is discussing the employee’s short-term and long-term goals.
Checking in Personally and Professionally
Have you ever met a friend for lunch after not seeing each other for a few months? You probably spend most of that time catching up on what’s going on in each other’s lives. Your employees also have a lot going on. Making time for 1-1 meetings helps you keep up with anything that could be affecting their work, from childcare challenges to frustrations with coworkers.
Authentic professional relationships are the backbone of any company. Especially in this era of the Great Resignation, strong relationships with your staff can help keep them engaged and loyal. A 1-1 meeting is a fantastic way to build these relationships. These type meetings go hand-in-hand with established mentorship programs where on going communications is key to staff development.
How to Structure Your 1-1 Meetings
Like any other meeting, a 1-1 can spiral off track if you don’t have a plan. For the best results, create a shared agenda with the employee ahead of time in which you each list your top priorities to discuss. Make time for those priorities upfront, but be sure to leave space for natural conversational development.
Always open with a question such as, “How are you feeling today?” or “Is there anything you’re excited or worried about?” Listen closely to the response without judgment, and steer the early part of the conversation toward solutions. Then move on to your agreed-upon priorities, followed by a few open minutes for further discussion. Conclude with a promise to follow up on what was discussed, and then make sure you actually do that follow-up.
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