If you don’t already hold weekly one-on-one meetings with your team members, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage with them and to keep them engaged.
You may be skipping private meetings because your days are already filled with endless meetings. Even so, making time for individual sessions allows you to stamp out fires early and get in touch with your team in an effective way. In short, they’re a must. Here’s how to conduct them the right way:
- Batch issues to discuss during your meeting. Keep a folder, either paper or digital – for each person you meet with. Throughout the week, drop in emails, documents or notes to remind you what needs discussing. The practice also eliminates interruptions, because your direct reports will be doing the same thing, rather than coming to you with each issue piecemeal.
- Meet weekly or twice a month. Less than that and you won’t be able to build a relationship or provide direction and feedback. Even if your entire group meets that often, it’s the entire group, which means you can’t truly know what’s going on with individuals.
- Don’t treat it as social time. Make sure you have an agenda, and keep it simple. Here’s one idea for an agenda template: project updates, challenges, successes, next steps and brainstorming solutions for an issue. Most topics should fall into one of those categories.
- Add it all up at the end of the year. Whether you’re keeping notes or you’ve asked employees to turn in weekly updates, compile the documents in a file, with folders for each person. At the end of the year, you’ll have a detailed history of successes and challenges to reference during employees’ performance reviews.