9 Tips to Conduct Effective One-On-One Meetings: Online and Offline

Published On
Mar 9, 2022
Read Time
5 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

One-on-one meetings are an excellent way for managers and team members to stay informed and build healthy relationships. However, these meetings can sometimes become an ordeal, lacking focus and forethought. It’s essential for managers to regularly schedule one-on-one meetings with their teammates to discuss important issues.

This article will help you decode an effective 1:1 meeting.

Why are 1:1 Meetings Important?

A 1:1 meeting is a regular check-in between a manager and an employee. It serves as a way for the two to discuss issues, develop strategies, and share feedback.

One-on-ones are rooted in the belief that they lay the foundation for a productive and trusting relationship. As a manager, 1:1s help you develop and understand the team members. They can also help you resolve issues early on and thus, improve employee retention.

These meetings are instrumental in making your teams feel valued. They are an excellent way to gather feedback to help you become a better manager. Managers can also use the opportunity to ask their team members how to improve their support.

How to Make a One-On-One Meeting Effective?

In a year, team members and managers sit together in various meetings. One-to-one meetings are one among them. Though they are often informal, it requires some planning to make them productive. Managers should get started with the following practical tips.

1. Set the agenda: Every single meeting has an agenda. Similarly, a one-on-one meeting should have an agenda. Being clear with what is expected as the outcome of a meeting will help managers save time and energy. A crisp and clear plan should be ready in hand before scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your team member.

2. Keep a schedule: There may be time zone differences or work calling in between a one-on-one meeting. Prioritize things and plan well in advance for the one-on-one meeting. Before the meeting, write down what you want to discuss and what you would like to achieve. Inform your teammate that they should be prepared for the meeting and schedule works accordingly.

3. Employees first: Let your employees talk first. This will help them and even reduce the task to a greater extent. During a meeting, you may ask the employee for suggestions on how to solve an issue. Keep the emails, texts, or calls turned off during the session. If the employee is new to the job, ask them to contribute their ideas. If they’re more experienced, schedule a follow-up meeting with everyone involved.

4. Appreciate them: It is important to celebrate employee achievements. Make sure to acknowledge their recent accomplishments or milestones and recognize their hard work. Appreciating employees during one-on-one meetings can boost their morale and accelerate their interest to work better. Better performance will be the byproduct.

5. Get personal: Getting personal can help you understand the employee better. It can also encourage direct reports to share their concerns and suggestions. Sometimes, sharing personal anecdotes or experiences can help improve the 1-on-1 conversation. Instead of discussing company updates or team concerns, utilize the time to ask if your teammates have any workspace issues and listen, advise, and take action if necessary.

6. Be clear: Give the employee a clear idea of the project’s objectives and goals to visualize what they should achieve. This will allow them to focus on the end result instead of how they started. A good manager asks the employees how they would like to be supported.

7. Focus on the future: Most of the time, talk about the near-term goals and events that are already happening. If the employee is new to the team, help them figure out how to approach these topics efficiently. The most productive meetings are when they have clear action items. These are usually assigned next steps that will keep the team accountable. Having a shared agenda makes it easier to keep track of all topics discussed in the past. It also allows you to keep up with all of the latest updates.

8. Try not to reschedule: One thing to bear in mind when it comes to meetings is constantly rescheduling them with your direct reports should be avoided. Unfortunately, employees tend to feel like they’re being neglected when their check-ins get bumped. This is not the ideal situation for them.

9. Get feedback: Setting an example in 1-on-1s is also key to developing effective feedback culture. After an employee has given you feedback, you may share what you have learned from them. It’s important to show them that they are valued and can be relied on. A leadership review can also be used to create a performance review process. It’s vital to know what your team thinks of you and your actions to improve the process.

Remote One-On-One Meetings

Great managers understand that establishing a communication cadence is significant for effective remote team interactions. One-on-one meetings help establish a personal connection between team members and their leaders, leading to robust discussions and creative problem-solving even if they are far away.

Sort out the obstacles: Remote workers face many challenges that can prevent productivity and create a new level of stress. Supporting high-quality internet and network is also essential to ensuring good connectivity throughout the meeting.

No distractions: You may keep in mind that multitasking (such as checking emails or messages) while attending a one-on-one meeting can be detrimental. Being present for a meeting with your mind and body is essential. Keep all your concerns and duty aside and be fully present for the meeting.

Be prepared: Reviewing the person’s work before the meeting is also an effective way to keep the meeting on point. Being ready with stats and work logs will save you time and jump directly to the discussion. Employees can dive into the concerns, ideas, or projects only if they are well prepared.

Talk to the point: When it comes to remote meetings, it is essential to remember that these sessions are only to discuss and improve the team’s work. Also, be aware of the time you set for the meeting and try to end it on time. This gets your employees to gain productive time for their duties.

Be constructive: The meeting should entirely rely on productivity, and hence a positive tone is inevitable. Experts suggest avoiding blame games during any one-on-one sessions. Focus more on solutions to problems, ideas and innovations.

Summing Up

One-on-ones are often short and informal, but they’re also valuable opportunities to connect with your team. To avoid cultivating an environment of isolation and frustration, managers should also schedule one-on-one meetings with remote workers. These meetings are small yet effective efforts to ensure that everyone in the team works without a glitch.

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