Involve Your Employees
Collaboration is another key ingredient of a successful one-on-one meeting. Involving your employees for the get-go gives them a sense of ownership, creates buy-in for the meetings, and keeps them engaged.
An easy way to collaborate with your employee and get them involved is to share your agenda ahead of time and invite them to contribute. This gives you both the opportunity to address the most important challenges your employees face.
During the actual meeting, you’ll want to keep the collaboration going. One-on-one meetings are a great opportunity to solicit feedback about yourself and ask what you can do to help your employees be more successful.
This will help you improve as a leader and show your employees that you are there to support them and value their opinions.
Work Together on Long-Term Goals
Collaboration also means working together on long-term goals. A TINYpulse survey found that employees who think they have a lot of opportunities for professional growth are happier than those who don’t.
Work together to identify professional growth opportunities and set short and long-term goals. During future meetings, make sure to follow up on their progress and provide additional support as needed.
Acknowledgement is one of the easiest ways to improve employee morale. TINYpulse has found that, on average, only 30% of employees feel that they are recognized when they do great work. This is a big deal because, when employees don’t feel recognized, they are less engaged and twice as likely to quit.
Take advantage of your one-on-one meeting and dedicate a few minutes to recognizing your employee’s recent accomplishments. You can also use the time to acknowledge when they’ve taken steps to meet their personal growth and development goals. This will show you appreciate their work and are proud of their commitment to meeting their own career goals.
After your first one-on-one meeting, it’s important to establish consistency. Employees need to know when they can expect these meetings and what you’ll be talking about during them.
You can do this by making sure you set regular, recurring meetings and follow a standard format for your agenda.
Set Frequent Meetings
While the frequency will vary for every team, ideally, you will want to hold your one-on-one meetings at least every other week. There’s often a lot to pack into your one-on-one meetings. If you have irregular or infrequent meetings, you probably won’t have enough time to cover everything you need to. This also means barriers may go unnoticed and your team can suffer.
Weekly or bi-weekly meetings are also more likely to keep your employees engaged. A recent Microsoft Workplace Analytics study found that employees who had twice as many one-on-one meetings as their peers were 67% less likely to be disengaged.
Your employees want to connect with you and need that one-on-one time to feel supported. The more often you can hold these meetings, the better. But at the same time, you don’t want to overdo it!
As your one-on-one meetings get underway, it’s important to build trust with your employees. If you need to cancel a meeting, give as much notice as possible and reschedule. Your employees might not mind one or two missed meetings. But if cancelling becomes a regular thing, they may lose trust and you’ll miss out on the benefits of one-on-one meetings.
Ready for Your First One-on-One Meeting?
One-on-one meetings can seem daunting at first. But they are a great way to engage your employees and can have significant benefits for you and your organization.
The most important thing to remember is that your one-on-one meetings are about your employees and about how you as a leader can support them.
To get started with one-on-one meetings, take the time to prepare a structured agenda. During the meeting, make the experience more meaningful by avoiding distractions and remaining present throughout your discussions.
Give your employees the opportunity to contribute and take a few minutes to acknowledge their accomplishments. After your first meeting, make sure to schedule regular recurring meetings to establish consistency.
These five ingredients will help ensure your one-on-one meetings are successful, and your company will be much better off for it.