4 Essential Tips For Effective One on One Meetings With Employees

by Srikant Chellappa Jan 5,2019

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

A one on one meeting is not any of the following things.

  • A status update
  • A formal discussion
  • A staff meeting or various other iterations of meetings that take place at organizations.

A one on one meeting rather is a space for a manager and direct report to meet and talk. The discussion can revolve around any pressing issues the employee is facing, any solutions the manager has to offer or even just a simple discussion of what the employee plans to do or what the employee did.

The essence of the one on one meeting is that it is short, and informative, both for the manager and the employee. But there’s a lot that goes into making a one on one effective and it’s not just marking a date on a calendar. Of course, there are some basic tips that everyone is aware of and follows, such as documenting the meeting, preparing for the meeting ahead of time etc. However, there are a few other tips that might not always be evident to everyone right from the start.

Here are 4 tips that can make a one on one meeting successful for everyone involved.

Aim For 10, Don’t Go Over 30

We are talking about the time duration. The sweet spot for one on one meetings is 30 minutes. More than that, the issue is more serious than a one on one and merits a bigger meeting or review. Any lesser than 10 minutes and the one on one meeting is going to feel like a meeting that everybody fast-forwarded through.

Bi-Weekly Is The Right Cadence

Every week might feel too frequent, and once a month is too long. More than a month is something you shouldn’t even consider because it’s not even a one on one meeting then. However, a bi-weekly meeting gives employees and managers enough time to discuss what they would like to, without feeling overwhelmed by it, which is what happens during weekly meetings. Alternatively, some managers and employees might feel comfortable meeting on a weekly basis, which is fine as well. It all depends on finding a rhythm that is comfortable for both the employees and the manager.

Also read: A Step by Step Guide To An Effective Employee One on One Meeting

Not A Status Update

A one on one meeting should not be a status update or even a formal discussion. Rather, it should be an informal chat about what the employee did, the challenges they faced, or even their thought process behind following a particular method. The manager’s role is to not dominate the meeting, but rather ask leading questions that can further the conversation.

Let The Employee Lead

In most meetings, it is clear who leads the meeting. And more often than not, managers are used to leading meetings. However, in a one on one meeting, it is important to let the employee lead. The one on one meeting is an opportunity to grow and develop, more than anything else. An employee needs to feel comfortable enough to interact with their manager in order for the meeting to be a success.

Do you want to know more about how Engagedly can help you conduct effective one on one meetings? Click below for a live demo!

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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