Why you should have 1:1 meetings
As a leader, you have plenty of priorities and most likely not enough hours in the day to accomplish them all. You have to lead your employees, lead your managers, manage your stakeholders and a million others tasks and issues that pop up. However, many leaders make the crucial mistake of neglecting one of the most simple and effective ways to increase employee engagement and business performance. Simply meeting with your employees 1:1 on a regular basis increases employee engagement and job satisfaction.
The 1:1 meeting is a dedicated time slot where you and your employee discuss together the business topics that matter most to the employee. Employees deserve feedback and a leader that is available for coaching, mentorship, advice or simply to blow of some steam. Having a regular 1:1 meeting is a golden opportunity to ensure alignment of priorities and to provide feedback and extra coaching.
However, these meetings do not always solve urgent matters, so many leaders tend to skip them to make room for more pressing issues. Postponing or cancelling a scheduled meeting sends the unfortunate signal that your other responsibilities are more important than your employees, so never cancel a 1:1 meeting.
The 1:1 meeting is the employee’s chance to get feedback, discuss priorities and other matters that are important to them. Denying the employee that opportunity dramatically damages employee engagement. Providing employees with that opportunity lets them feel important and like a valued individual rather than a drone in the cubicle farm.
How do you get better 1:1 meetings?
Whether you schedule your meetings on a weekly or monthly basis is not as important as sticking to whatever schedule you create. Here are 5 simple tips to help you stick to your schedule and facilitate better meetings:
- Book recurring meetings. If you need to reschedule, then do it well in advance. Keep your calendar up to date so you can foresee when you will be busy or when vacations or other meetings have been booked.
- Make the meetings sacred and openly communicate that you will not cancel these meetings.
- Prepare well in advance. 1:1 meetings are most productive when both people have taken the time to prepare. Ensure that the content of the meeting is driven by the employee and address any issues they mention.
- Meetings can be 30 minutes or 60 minutes and can take place in a conference room or your office, but challenge yourself to go for a ‘walk ‘n talk’ once in a while. A change of setting can often foster a more open dialogue.
- Create a relaxed space for open dialogue and mutual trust. Doing so will have your employees looking forward to their 1:1 meetings with you.
Having regular 1:1 meetings with your employees earn their respect and have your leadership peers envying your high employee engagement and business performance.