Most teams institute regular one-on-one meetings. But how many of these meetings provide benefits for both the manager and team member? Here are seven best practices for getting the most out of your one-on-ones.
The first rule of successful one-on-ones is to set a realistic schedule you can stick with, and keep it as consistent as possible. If you’re a leader who keeps cancelling or missing meetings, you’re not sending a very positive message. Missed meetings tell the story that someone doesn’t matter. And they do.
You don’t have to have a slideshow presentation, but at least establish a purpose for your one-on-one. If you’re a team member, these meetings are in many ways for you. Arrive prepared with a list of topics: ask those pressing questions, share your accomplishments, get any advice or direction you need to move forward or feel inspired again. For managers, know what you need from the meetings so you can do your job as a leader effectively, too.
One primary purpose of this regular meeting is for managers to evaluate a team member’s performance and progress, and for the employee to optimize strengths. It’s also a great idea for managers to set monthly goals or career milestones. This provides a motivating deadline and if it’s something the team member is excited about, it will increase job engagement.
With more people working remotely, virtual meetings are becoming a norm in many organizations. You might even argue that virtual meetings are more effective, since employees can have the meeting from the comfort of their own living room if they want. Video conference calls via Skype can provide much of the same benefits as in-person one-on-ones, with the sharing and analysis of mutual data made easy by Google Drive and other remote collaboration tools.
Teams work at a fast pace these days. Your one-on-one meeting is a way to get or give undivided attention—the kind that can really make a difference to your team, your career and your overall job outlook. Savor it!