How best to handle one-on-ones

How best to handle one-on-ones

There’s no better way to check on individual members of your team than one-on-one meetings. It is up close and personal, allowing you to catch wind of issues that might otherwise not be brought up in a more crowded setting. It’s easy to set up a one-on-one session with your employees; pulling off a productive one is an entirely different story … 

A quick overview of one-on-one meetings

A one-on-one meeting is typically a discussion between a manager and one of their team members. It can take the form of a casual catch-up or a reporting session, and the whole thing often follows a questions-and-answers format.

A one-to-one meeting focuses mainly on the employee, with the host simply asking questions and taking notes. It discusses how the worker is doing within the team, addressing issues along the way. It can also double as a coaching session that aims to bring employees up to speed with their current tasks.

5 best practices to follow 

It’s vital that one-to-ones are actually worth a manager and employee’s time. The session has to deliver some kind of result, whether by bringing previously unknown problems to light or maybe getting clarifications on certain matters. For this to be possible, consider the following best practices:

  1. Be creative when checking in. You don’t want to start the meeting by asking your employee how they are doing – this will get you a vague answer, which is counter to the purpose of the meeting. Questions that reference the past meeting and getting updates, for instance, will get you a more accurate response.
  2. Be mindful of your meeting cadence. According to Steven Rogelbert, as referenced by Quartz, employees are more likely to pick weekly one-to-ones than biweekly or monthly meetings. Weekly meetings tend to result in higher engagement, as they show employees that the management values their work and wants to ensure that they are doing well with their projects.
  3. Ask more questions. You don’t need to hold a long interview, but it helps that you have a decent list of questions that elicit concise answers. This lets you generate more engagement with your team and get more feedback from each employee.
  4. Don’t dominate the conversation. The purpose of a one-to-one meeting is to get updates from individual employees, be it hard reports or subjective feedback. While injecting your insights into the conversation may be appreciated, you should avoid dominating the conversation and focus on what the other person has to say.
  5. Make in-person meetings optional. In this era of hybrid work setups, it is wise to consider your employee’s physical availability when setting up a meeting. Going to the office may be impossible or inconvenient when your employee needs to work remotely, so you should give them the option to meet with you virtually and at their most convenient time.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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