Some managers view regular (weekly, biweekly or monthly) one-on-one meetings with the same lens as they see quarterly income tax filings. But one-one-one’s have a powerful impact on employee productivity and morale.
A manager who effectively practiced one-on-ones said, “My purpose was to listen, learn and coach. I’d schedule about twenty minutes every two weeks with each of my eight reports.”
“Did you have an agenda?” I asked.
“Not an agenda but my meetings did have a routine. I’d start with, ‘Update me on what you are working on or struggling with,’ and I listened more than I talked.”
The manager further explained, “I asked employees for key metrics on what had been completed and the status of ongoing efforts. I almost always found something that I could appreciate.”
“I used our departmental objectives to prioritize employees’ efforts. If I thought an employee was spending too much time on a low priority, I explained how changing the focus could better serve our mission. My team wanted to succeed and I wanted to help.”
An employee who had experience with one-on-one’s reported, “They were great. I looked forward to them. I always knew what was expected and I believed my manager was there to help many any way he could.”