As a leader, you may often have to communicate with teams virtually or in conference rooms. While you probably realize the importance of having a one-on-one meeting and ensure that every month or so, you talk to your team members, a better understanding of the benefits of these meetings can enable you to conduct them more effectively.
Topics to cover in a one-on-one meeting
One of the reasons that would encourage managers to hold 1:1 meetings more often is to know what the talking points could be. Here are some agenda templates for such meetings:
One of the talking points with employees should be about general well-being. In this pandemic era, many employees may be dealing with unresolved issues related to their health or well-being. Getting employees to talk about it will make them feel that they are understood and that they are working in a safe environment. Providing a few ideas to help them deal with their problems may work wonders for employee engagement.
Ideas for the organization
Some employees can develop new ideas - both small and big - that can scale the workings of the entire organization. This process also helps in discovering some unutilized talent in the company.
Goals and status updates
Every employee is working towards certain goals that are necessary for the company. Weekly meetings and status updates can be one of the reasons to call for a one-on-one meeting. These meetings ensure that the employees remain alert about deadlines, client briefs etc.
Employees encounter various problems and roadblocks in their work. They can remain unaddressed and unresolved. Some employees may require a short coaching session to solve their problems. One of the benefits of 1:1 meetings can be about getting to know these problems. Helping them through a brief coaching and problem-solving session can boost their performance.
Key benefits of 1:1 meetings with employees
It becomes difficult for HR leaders in large organisations to talk to employees one-on-one, but the following key benefits will help it rise higher in the priority order.
1. Improves morale
One of the key fallouts of the pandemic is the loss of motivation, mental health issues, depression and so on. It is why many employees, distracted by the issues facing their family and loved ones, feel demotivated and quit. One way to improve an employee's morale is to have their seniors meet them one-on-one and talk about things that energise them. This will improve work relationships and have a positive impact on their morale. Many employees are used to only appraisal-driven one-on-one meetings and will find this to be a welcome change in approach.
2. Increases productivity
When leaders address a team member one-on-one, it becomes easier for the person to understand which of his outcomes are most critical to the leader and the organisation. Since leaders are grappling with the most urgent goals of the company, their sense of mission can effectively be passed on to employees by having a one-on-one meeting with them and making them feel part of the larger goal, thus achieving productivity.
3. Aligns an employee to organizational goals
One of the benefits of 1:1 meetings is to help an employee align better with the company's goals. Leaders can sit with employees and share their knowledge of the company's goals. This will enable them to work towards the organization's goals more precisely.
One of the problems that companies are facing is employee attrition. Various reports indicate that employees are quitting organisations due to various non-financial reasons. Employees are leaving certain organisations because they feel a lack of empathy. This can be fixed by one-on-one discussions with employees and by resolving the roadblocks they face in retaining their job.
5. Prevents and resolves conflicts in the workplace
Work relationships are always full of friction amongst colleagues. Managers need to ensure that these conflicts are not very intense, nor are there pent-up emotions going unaddressed. One of the benefits of 1:1 meetings is that they can play a vital role in getting employees to open up about their concerns. If there has already been a conflict, a one-on-one meeting helps to resolve them.
6. Fosters teamwork
Many things are required to get people to work as an effective team. One of the essential ingredients is talking to employees. Managers who want their team to work together and deliver better results can do so by talking to them one-on-one, addressing their insecurities, and making them realise that everyone will be rewarded if they do better as a team.
7. Evaluates skill sets and training levels
One of the core reasons to hold a one-on-one meeting is to train an employee. A supervisor can help them make corrections by assessing how they are working. A 1:1 interaction is one of the best ways to give employees a concrete roadmap to upskill themselves. Some employees may surprise the manager with the unutilised skills they bring to the organation.
8. Offers scope for new opportunities
In one-on-one employee engagement, HR leaders can communicate to employees the opportunities in the company - job profiles, promotions, perks, learning and training. This can help an employee understand his career path in the company and give him the necessary determination to do his best at this job.
Bad practices that can derail 1:1 meetings
There are many ways in which a one-on-one meeting can go wrong. The following practices should be avoided:
1. Being too appraisal-driven
Employees are used to one-on-one meetings being focused only on appraisals. This should not be the case in the present scenario. Mental health, opportunities, morale, well-being, and upskilling are some topics that can help a manager conduct a meeting that will open up the employee.
2. Dwelling on conflicts
Quite often, one of the ways to ease conflicts is to not dwell on them too much but to discuss inspiring subjects. An employee may feel demoralised if they have to listen to persistently negative feedback. An employee may not open up freely to a senior if the right atmosphere is not created.
3. Inadequate time to listen
It takes effort for a manager to get an employee to speak. However, this effort is extremely important, and a manager should not do a 1:1 meeting purely to speak. Managers get plenty of opportunities to speak. However, one-on-one is one of the few occasions when an employee can be allowed to speak.
4. Not documenting the meetings
While everything discussed need not be documented, meeting notes are a powerful tool to get follow-ups going. Meeting notes help ensure that any bright idea generated during the meeting does not get lost. Thus, employees and employers can create a habit of writing quick meeting notes after it is over. This will help both managers and team members prevent wasteful meetings.
One-on-one meetings should also reflect that it is an important way to train, motivate and ultimately get employees to perform better. This objective can help managers commit their time more readily to such meetings.
Mesh can help your organization have 1:1 meetings more effectively
While managers understand the benefits of 1:1 meetings, they struggle to plan, schedule, execute and document the outcomes from such meetings. This is where Mesh comes in. By providing a technology-driven, tried and tested platform for employee engagements, Mesh ensures that such 1:1 meetings gratify the organisation and employees. Mesh is designed for the hybrid and data-driven world. Book a free demo with us to know more.