One-on-one is a scheduled weekly meeting between the manager and the employee. It is essential for building an effective working relationship between the manager (employer) and the staff (employee). In addition, it creates an efficient workplace, which encourages a smooth avenue for a good communication channel between the management and employees.
During the meeting, the employee’s recent performance and short term goals are discussed (what’s going well and what needs a change). As simple as it sounds, many managers and employees still find it difficult to carry out this simple technique effectively.
I have compiled seven steps on how both the manager and employee can get the best out of their next one-on-one session.
Train new employees who are not familiar with the performance process and how it’s carried out in your company. They must be aware of its effect on the company and their productivity. The employee must understand that it is never a waste of his/her free time nor just another pressing responsibility for the manager, the process becomes very easy for both parties ones this mindset is instilled in both parties.
Prepare ahead for every one-on-one session. You can use a system that documents, and tracks all necessary information. With the system, you can create a survey and send it to employees to fill. That way both employee and manager is up to date on what will be discussed.
To make one-on-one sessions effective, encourage employees to ask questions, request feedback on their performance. Note that the meeting is about the employee, and they should make good use of it.
One-on-one sessions are usually over a desk in the manager’s office or the conference room. But you can tweak it a little bit, once in a while. Choose a venue where the employee will feel free to share. You can take a walk, go to a restaurant, or a coffee shop. Most importantly, there should be no external distraction during the session.
Keep to a time when conducting a one on one session. If it is scheduled for 30 minutes session, keep to it. If there are employees who talk a lot, make sure to keep them on focus. And if you are the talker, find a way to control that. Also, never go late to a one-on-one session with the excuse of an important issue; it is disrespectful. It says a lot and shows time is not essential and taken for granted. There’s a sense of trustworthiness and respect when you are punctual to the session.
Focus on the session and avoid distractions from emails, calls, and even your thoughts. Concentrate solely on what is being discussed, listen more, talk less. Understand the body language of your employees, especially those who do not speak out their minds, make efforts to understand what’s not said.
Before commencing with a session, congratulate the employee for their performance so far. It will create an amicable environment for both you and the employee. Compliment his job; this will create positive energy for the one-on-one session. A genuine ‘how are you’? will make him more confident. After this, you can dive deep into why you are meeting.
Take notes and observations during the session, but make sure it doesn’t distract you. Document steps or actions that should be made as it will serve as a follow-up. It will also serve as a reference during the next one-on-one session.
To wrap up the session, summarize what has been discussed and agreed upon. Clarify things you didn’t get right, to avoid misunderstanding. Don’t forget to express gratitude; you’ve both done each other a favor.
Tips: (What you need to know about one on one management)
1:1 session is all about the employee, and not the manager. It’s a time for the employee to express themselves with questions, complaints, fears, their goals, and sometimes, personal life.
Hold a regular 1:1 session. Do it weekly or bi-weekly, and keep to it.
Example of questions that can be asked before the one-on-one session are:
Other processes of performance and engagement management can be accomplished through some mediums but not one-on-one. It is so because the session builds a manager-employee relationship; a relationship that is fundamental to the growth of the company. There are several reasons why you should invest in one-on-one management. One of them is to experience organic growth and productivity in your company’s workforce.
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