Listening is one of the most important skills yet often neglected. Employees feel disengaged when their opinion is not heard, which in turn leads to lower productivity. Richard Branson, Founder at Virgin spends time talking to employees and customers and listening to them. This principle permeates the entire organization. Incorporating such a culture does not call for major policy changes, just initiate meaningful discussions with your employees through the 1 on 1 meeting.

 

Importance of 1 on 1 meetings

1 on 1 meetings are crucial to building strong relationships between managers and employees. Regular sessions ensure that all issues are addressed before they become unwieldy. It is also an opportunity for the manager to coach and mentor his team.

1:1 meetings bring the team together, communication channels open up and productivity improves. Managers gain a better understanding of his employees’ strengths and interests so that they can be allocated to tasks accordingly. As a result, employees are happy and are likely to stay longer in the organization.

 

Preparation

1. Create the right atmosphere

It is important to ensure that employees feel comfortable discussing issues and concerns during 1:1 meetings.

2. Make time

1:1 meetings need to be a recurring event. The frequency would depend on the size of the team and the experience level of the employees.

3. Prepare a one on one meeting agenda

The Manager and Employee must prepare a list of topics to be discussed. During the meeting they can agree upon which are the most crucial topics.

 

During the Meeting

1. A great beginning

Begin the meeting on time and with an open-ended question.This allows the employee to talk about what his troubling him at that instant. It is best to turn off all interruptions (phone and laptop included) and listen.

2. Facilitate solutions

One on one’s are a great place to focus on specific challenges and work together to find a solution. Offering constructive criticism is important even if it means addressing uncomfortable issues.

3. Get personal

Managers must share their experiences. Even though there are important work related issues to discuss, set aside some time to talk about the employee’s career and personal life.

4. End on a positive note

Thank the employee for their contribution Appreciate them if they have done something well.This will make him feel valued.

 

Pitfalls to Avoid

1. Cancel 1:1 feedback sessions

This gives an impression that you do not value this time with your employee.

2. Control the meeting

Let the meeting be about your employee, Allow him to run the show.

MeetNotes can help you conduct productive one on one meeting. The one on one meeting template allows you to review progress of action items from the previous meeting, create a list of topics to be discussed and also assign new action items. Managers can also provide input and feedback.