1:1 meetings are a great tool for improving productivity and employee satisfaction. Their concept is fairly clear – regular talks between team leaders and their subordinates to discuss progress on goals, satisfaction and engagement, professional development and career growth and others. But in order to make the best out of them, there are several good practices a team lead could follow.
To demonstrate that you value yours and your direct report’s time make sure to be on time for your meeting and don’t re-schedule it in the last minute. Doing so would send the exact opposite message you are trying to communicate.
Prepare for the meeting in advance
Take a few minutes to think about the goals of the meeting and what you want to discuss at it. You could also write down a few discussion points. Some of the topics you may include are current goals and the progress on them, performance and career development, etc.
Be collaborative and inclusive
These types of meetings should be a collaborative effort. To engage your direct report even before the meeting you may share the list with topics you want to discuss and encourage them to also think of a few points, they would like to talk about. The meeting would have a better outcome if its agenda includes topics important for both sides.
Also, during the meeting make sure to ask questions not only about performance and results but also about opinion and suggestions. This will let your subordinate know they are not just reporting results at the end of the quarter but also contributing to the improvement of the work process.
To give a good start of the meeting try to begin with something positive. A nice word for a well-performed task or a compliment for some great results the person has achieved would give a positive tone to the meeting and will show your direct report you value their work.
Also, make sure to keep a positive tone during the entire meeting. Even if there are some unpleasant topics you need to discuss, try to serve them with understanding. The goal here is to find a solution to a given case or situation, not to find who is to blame.
Ask for feedback
As we mentioned, the aim of these meetings is to be collaborative and have a positive outcome. They are a two-way process where you could also learn and improve as a team lead. Therefore, ask for feedback and make sure you hear It.
In these troubled times, when social distancing and remote work are a significant factor in our lives, 1:1 meetings are more important than ever. As a team lead you can use them not only to track down the progress of current goals and ongoing tasks but also to keep the human touch and make your subordinates feel their work is appreciated. In case you are looking for good practices to implement while managing a remote team, you can borrow some tips from here.