As people management functions increasingly are digitized and automated, it’s not surprising that many of the most successful organizations see value in regular one-to-one (1:1) meetings between managers and team members. Face-to-face discussions create great experiences that people love, boosting loyalty, productivity, and performance in the workplace.
1:1 meetings boost employee retention
1:1 meetings may be the single most valuable interaction for engaging and retaining employees, according to a number of studies. For example, in a recent report on the impact of managers in the workplace, Gallup found an employee’s interaction with their manager is one of the most important factors for success in all stages of the employee journey, from attract and hire through departure. According to the report, 52% of exiting employees say their manager could have done something to prevent them from leaving their job. Yet only 51% had a conversation about their engagement, development or future with their manager in the three months prior to their departure. How many of those workers would have stayed if they’d had regular (and meaningful) one-on-one meetings with their managers?
1:1 meetings boost employee performance
From the team member’s standpoint, 1:1 check-in meetings present an opportunity to voice concerns about their role in a confidential and non-confrontational setting. During this uninterrupted chunk of time, they can ask questions about the work they are doing, its role within the greater organization, and how it could be done more efficiently. More importantly, it gives them time to think about and map out their employee journey with their manager’s guidance. Meanwhile, team members build rapport with their manager on a more personal level. Finally, it ensures the team member is aware of any sticking points in their performance. This continuous feedback loop allows them to address issues immediately, with coaching from their manager, in a way that is satisfactory to all stakeholders.
1:1 meetings save managers time
From the manager’s viewpoint, 1:1 meetings may seem like a tremendous time drain, depending on the size of the team being managed. In truth, regular check-ins help managers keep projects on track, proactively gather data, and avoid wasting time in endless email exchanges and fly-by hallway conversations. Additionally, team members feel they receive equal time with their manager and that there is no single favorite confidante. It also allows managers to provide meaningful feedback and set actionable goals toward concrete deliverables and achievements. Finally, rather than focus on transactional tasks, 1:1 meetings are an opportunity to coach and mentor team members to focus on long-term, sustainable achievements that could impact the company’s bottom line.
Prepare for your next 1:1 meeting
While 1:1 meetings are a good start, it’s not enough to simply schedule a weekly check-in for team members. Both participants should do a little prep work and arrive ready to ask direct questions and map out next steps. But that’s easier said than done, right? How can both managers and team members prepare for the next 1:1 meeting? What should they aim to accomplish? How should they conduct the meeting?
Check in here next week when we’ll discuss strategies for taking control of your next 1:1 meeting with your manager. These tips will help produce results that will align your individual goals and performance with the company culture and purpose.