A Step By Step Guide To An Effective Employee One On One Meeting

by Chandler Barr Dec 18,2021

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Effective and frequent communication with team members is a problem commonly faced by managers these days. Remote and hybrid working has added on to the problem. When employees do not see open lines of communication with their manager or do not understand what is expected of them, they tend to quit. One on one meetings are here to fill that gap; these meetings help managers build a strong team and keep them motivated at work.

Leading organizations that identify the significance of communication at workplace have started using one on one meetings software for effective communication between managers and team members.

Importance of one on one meeting

According to Gallup’s comprehensive 2015 study, ‘The State Of The American Manager’, 50% of Americans have left a job “to get away from their manager”.

The survey also says that workers feel like they’re given little guidance for understanding what’s expected of them. Only 12% of workers strongly agreed that their manager helps set work priorities.

One on one meetings can be simply defined as standard scheduled time for managers to check-in with their direct reports. These meetings are important for both managers and direct reports because they ensure that both of them stay on the same page.

1 on 1 meeting with managers helps employees in:

  •         Keep track of team goals
  •         Discuss action plan with their team
  •         Stay aligned with direct reports’ goals
  •         Sharing ideas and concerns

Face to face meetings are very useful but they often end up being more disorganized than expected. How can you prevent this and make your one on one more productive?

Also Read: 5 Offbeat Leadership Qualities Leaders Should Possess

Here’s a step-by-step guide for you to have effective one on one meetings with your team and help them stay productive!

Things To Do Before One On One Meeting

Step 1: Schedule It On The Calendar

Setting the right schedule is crucial for everyone in one meeting. You cannot use a one-size fits all approach; the frequency of one-on-one’s depends upon the size of the team, size of the organization and on how experienced your team members are.

Inform the meeting details to your direct reports and stick to it. If this is your first one on one, let your team know about one on ones and how they can help them. As a manager, it is hard to stick to a schedule every month or week, but keep experimenting with the frequency of one on ones until you find the right pulse.

Step 2: Communicate the Agenda

Agenda is very important for every meeting. Communicate the agenda clearly to your direct report. Be sure of what needs to be communicated in the meeting.

Remember not to make the meeting about yourself; always make it about your direct reports. Ask them to come prepared with what they want to discuss in the meeting. This makes employees feel valued and keeps them motivated at work.

Also Read: Do These 8 Things To Improve Employee Engagement

Step 3: Create A Questionnaire

Productive meetings take preparation, so prepare for the meeting ahead with relevant questions for your team members. Remember that this meeting isn’t about their performance issues, so add questions about their working style, their long- term and short-term goals, etc.

Also, come prepared with a list of questions about the improvement of your organization, manager improvement and their own improvement.

During One On One Meetings

Step 4: Make the Discussion Informal

Start the meeting by catching up with your direct report informally. Try to informally ask about their current project and the progress that they are making on it. Before going into the details, make them feel comfortable.

Step 5: Go Through The Agenda and Discuss With Them

Listen to what your direct reports have to say about the meeting agenda. Ask them questions about their career development. This makes employees feel that you are invested in their career growth. It acts as a motivator at work.

Step 6: Create an Action Plan & Make It A Two Way Communication

Actively ask questions and listen to the concerns of your direct reports. Give them suggestions wherever necessary and ask for their opinions. Also, discuss and create an action plan for them. This action plan will help as a guide to achieving their work goals for the next quarter.

Also Read: Why Healthcare Administrators Should Set SMART Goals

Step 7: Document The Details

Document the highlights of the meeting. As a manager, it is hard to keep track of every face to face meeting you have, so document the highlights of each meeting you have with your direct reports. This will help you get started for the next meeting you have with them and you will miss nothing important from the past meeting.

Post The Meeting

Step 8: Follow Up With An Email

Once the meeting is over with your direct reports, send them a wrap-up email with the minutes from the meeting. Highlight the points of action discussed in the meeting. This will act as a point of reference for them for next time.

Step 9: Set Up The Next Meeting 

Following up with your employees is important for effective one on ones. This will help them be on track and also help you stay updated with their progress. It will help them stay engaged and be more productive at work.

Also Read: Employee Performance Reviews: A Guide For New Managers

Step 10: The Process Should be Recurring

For one on one meetings to be useful and effective, set it up as a recurring activity. Prepare a quarterly or half-yearly schedule and set it up on your and your employee’s calendar. Experiment with the frequency of the meetings to check what suits best. You can also use 1 on 1 meeting software to conduct them seamlessly. It will make the process simpler and help keep a track of all your meetings in a single place in a structured and organized manner.

Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you with effective one on one meetings? Request a demo from our experts!

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Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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