Productive 1-on-1s can help lead to higher employee retention, a more collaborative company culture, and improved overall team morale. By taking the time to connect with each employee consistently, you can resolve problems faster and build lasting relationships throughout your team.
Here are five things you can do to lead more effective 1-on-1s:
1. Meet regularly
Employees are less likely to feel comfortable offering feedback and addressing problems when you don’t meet regularly. This gives small issues more time to grow into unresolvable tensions and frustrations, which may cause you to lose valuable employees. In fact, employees who rate their manager’s performance badly are nearly 4x more likely to look for jobs elsewhere.
Instead of giving frustration a chance to build, make it a priority to meet with employees at least once a month. Setting up a recurring time will give everyone enough of a heads-up to prepare. By holding regular 1-on-1s with team members, you can create an open line communication and build working relationships that allow for honesty.
2. Include time for personal chat
Showing genuine interest in employees’ personal lives can go a long way in helping them feel valued as a team member. Take time in 1-on-1s to learn more about what the other person likes to do for fun, check-in about their family, offer help where you can and share about yourself.
Most employees are more likely to feel happier working with a team that truly values them as a person. Taking a moment to connect with everyone on your team can help boost team morale and motivation. Building healthy working relationships establishes a culture of empathy and helps employees feel more comfortable opening up during 1-on-1s.
3. Allow for a mutual exchange of feedback
While 1-on-1s are a great time to provide feedback to your team, they are also a chance for your team to provide feedback to you. Welcoming employees’ feedback will show that you value their input. Further, implementing changes in response to the input will demonstrate that your team is one of collaboration and growth.
You should also set aside time to offer positive feedback by recognizing what the other person is doing well. If you only criticize what is going wrong, employees will likely walk away from the meeting feeling frustrated and discouraged. According to a Gallup survey, employees who don’t feel like they’re receiving the right amount of recognition are twice as likely to quit in the next year.
Regardless of the meeting type, it’s always best to show up prepared. Come with prepared questions and notes so you can guide the discussion without getting derailed. Without an outline, the meeting may feel dull or pointless, or worse, you might forget something important.
5. End on an actionable note
To help encourage growth, make sure both parties walk away with actionable next steps, even if simple. Having something to work on in the meantime can ensure that neither you nor your employees become stagnant at work or miss something that was said in the last 1-on-1. It also makes for an easy jumping-off point at the next meeting to help you both discuss goals and personal growth.
1-on-1s can be intimidating for both parties, at first, but they ultimately help strengthen and grow your team. Get started with Crystal to get personalized recommendations for running every 1-on-1 on your team.
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