Time spent one-on-one with employees is a potential engagement goldmine. It is time to ensure employees feel respected, understand their purpose and to build relationship with them. Using a one-on-one to connect with employees can save tons of time and frustration in the long run. Use this list to help you build a more collaborative, effective and interesting plan for employee one-on-ones.
- Listen more than talk.
- Consider the best location. Should you try a “walk & talk”? Where might you hold the meeting so it feels different than other meetings?
- Prepare a standard agenda or list of topics (e.g., successes, workload, colleagues, projects, etc.) and have a place where you take notes to get ready for each one-on-one.
- Ask about employees' lives outside of work (e.g., “How was your weekend?”). This helps build the relationship and may give insight into personal events that may impact their work.
- Take time to celebrate successes. Give employees time to share what they are feeling successful about and provide your positive feedback as well.
- Ask, “What concerns or questions do you have?” (Asking, “Do you have any concerns?” is less likely to elicit a response.)
- Be consistent and have the meetings. Don’t just wait until you NEED to meet. Consistency allows employees a time to address concerns and allows you a natural space to coach the employee before concerns escalate.
- Occasionally do a "Continue, Stop, Start" exercise with the employee around their specific role and around you as their manager to collaborate on what's going well and ideas for improvement.
- Take notes on the topics you cover so you can follow up on discussions as necessary.
See also: Resource: Performance check-in conversation
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