One on one meetings are one of the most important things that leaders can do with their employees. These meetings provide insight into how your employees are feeling. Additionally, you will learn what they think about the company and anything that needs attention within the work environment. One on one meetings also helps build trust between you and your employees. There’s a lot more to one on ones than just asking, “How are you?” or “What did you do today?”.
What is a 1:1 Meeting?
A one-on-one meeting is a scheduled time for you and one of your employees to get together. It’s not just about things that are going wrong or right in the work environment, but also about how they feel towards their job and any problems with other people within the workplace. Employees appreciate it when you ask them what they think and encourage feedback.
One of the fundamental ways to ensure you are getting the most out of your One on One Meetings is to follow through on action items from your conversations. It’s one thing to ask an employee what they think you could do better, but it’s another thing entirely to put their suggestions into practice.
Ideally, you should be scheduling your one on one meetings as reoccurring meetings for 30 minutes once a week.
However, the length and time of the meeting depend on several variables. Typically 30 minutes is enough time to discuss important topics but not so long that the employee is overwhelmed. You should adjust your meeting to the needs of your employee.
Some things to consider:
- Length of time the employee has worked for you. Newer employees, you may want to over-schedule and then adjust as the relationship builds.
- If you frequently go over your time, consider lengthening your scheduled time.
- Have a schedule and topics to cover that both parties can adjust. Having your topics set up ahead of time will make the meeting more successful and gives both parties a way to add and discuss important issues.
How To Conduct Successful One on One Meetings?
When conducting one on one meetings with your employees, here are some tips that will help the conversation go smoothly:
- Keep them short and sweet (about 30 mins)
- Be sure your tone is always positive and inspiring
- Keep topics focused only on work-related issues
- Don’t let one negative comment affect the rest of the meeting
- Ask for feedback about your performance and be open to discussing your areas of weakness.
The Importance of Building Lasting Relationships
As a leader, one of your most important tasks is to build relationships with those you lead. One on one meetings are one of the best ways to do this, and it will make work much more fulfilling for both you and your employees if they feel heard by their boss.
The Process To Follow Each Time You Conduct A Meeting
Begin the meeting with positive feedback from the previous conversation or anything that came out of last week’s discussion that was beneficial to them or the company as a whole. This sets up an open relationship where good information flows freely in both directions.
Give updates about top-of-mind topics. Top-of-mind topics are usually about what has been going on within the company, any changes made, etc. Ask your employee if they have any top-of-mind topics they want to talk about as well. These are usually going to be areas of concern – pay attention not just to the words they say but how they feel in any situations they bring up.
Next, ask about any roadblocks they need help with. This question alone can be powerful. The insights here help you understand what your employees are working on and any struggles they may be having. Some roadblocks can include challenges, responsiveness, and opportunities for engagement from others. Consider how this information impacts your company as a whole and whether anything should change to help them your long-term success.
End with successes (Celebrate those wins) and ask for additional feedback. This feedback loop is valuable and can help you become a stronger leader, identify growth opportunities, and provide genuine relationship-building trust to occur.
When you think about the importance of communication in leadership, it’s no surprise that one on one meetings are an essential part of this puzzle. But many leaders don’t know what to do during these conversations or how they should be conducted. It can feel like a waste of time to set aside 30 minutes for each employee because there is so much else going on in your day. However, if you take the time and invest this into yourself and others, employees will appreciate getting individual attention, and their work performance will improve.
These conversations give you the chance to get a 360° view of their experience and will provide insights into what challenges they face in their role; here is a template designed to help guide you through each meeting. Remember – it’s not about making decisions; this should be an opportunity for people on both sides of the desk to speak openly and honestly so problems can be fixed before they escalate.