It’s time to give the 1:1 meeting a long overdue makeover. With many organizations shifting to ongoing performance management, there’s a growing awareness that regular check-ins between managers and employees are good for everyone. Unfortunately, very few organizations offer guidance to improve how they discuss challenges and give feedback. Here are three tips to help make 1:1 meetings the best they can be.
1. Ask Great Questions: Managers, use these questions to engage employees in a future-focused discussion about their performance and career development.
- What excites you most in your work?
- What skills do you get to use most?
- Are there any knowledge areas or skills you’d like to develop?
- What is one thing I could do to better support you?
2. Make Agenda Magic: The structure of an agenda can promote trust, raise fresh questions and encourage efficiencies. Employees should consult the agenda and plan their contributions. Managers, try to stick to the agenda to stay on track. For most meetings, an agenda will help define two important elements: the action plan and follow up.
3. Focus on the Bigger Picture: Help retain employees by giving them a structured opportunity to discuss their career aspirations.
Employees Should Think About:
- Where do you want to go?
- What are your aspirations?
- How do you get there?
Managers Should Think About:
- What skills does the employee need?
- What stretch goals might be valuable to support career growth?
- What are the employee’s most valuable talents and skills?
These questions can help make 1:1 Meetings between managers and employees more effective and can lead to learning and development opportunities. One-on-one meetings allow organizations to make learning a part of their culture, rather than an event that only happens in the classroom. Bringing a learning component into 1:1 meetings benefits everyone. Managers are able to discuss performance with employees on a regular basis and employees become more engaged because the organization cares about their success.