Conducting meetings, recording them and having them transcribed are a common practice in every business organization. Meeting transcription allows information retrieval and analysis of what went on. One type of meeting that is critical for modern organizations is the employee one-on-one. Meeting with each employee on an individual basis is the best way to understand your employees’ interests, strengths and weaknesses. Conducting one-on-ones build rapport and trust, and show your employees that you care about them.
However, there are some basic rules that you and your employee need to follow to make the meeting a productive one. Here are some tips to get more value out of the face-to-face with your employees.
- Begin on a positive note: Experts say that the best way to begin the one-on-one meeting is by celebrating a win. Sharing a win creates positive energy. You can compliment your employee on her role in a successful project. This will show that her work is appreciated, which will boost the mood and contribute to increased performance and productivity.
- Be ready with discussion points: A survey conducted by Business2Community found that adding an agenda was the most popular response on how to improve one-on-ones. Leading time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders says it’s crucial for you and your colleague to “collaborate on an agenda ahead of time”. You can both make a list of discussion points in advance and focus on the most pressing ones at the meeting. This will save time and create an incentive to focus on what’s important. However, it’s also important to be flexible and work together to see if there are items that can be scheduled for deeper conversation at another time.
- Make it a regular practice: You need to fix a dedicated time for one-on-ones. Marking them on your calendar as a regular event will make your employees realize that you are serious about open communication. They will also be less likely to constantly interrupt you with doubts and questions. And remember these golden rules: show up on time and don’t cancel the meeting at the last minute.
- Keep the schedule: Stick to the schedule by starting and ending as planned. Setting a specific and detailed agenda will help you cover everything you want to without repetition. Design each one-on-one to be a continuation of the previous conversation. Make use of audio transcription services to document the key points and action items so that you don’t end up covering the same topics over and over again.
- Avoid getting distracted: To create the right environment, both participants should refrain from checking mail or text messages during the one-on-one. Choose a setting and time that minimizes distractions. You will send out the wrong signal if you get distraction during the discussion.
- Focus on solving problems: The face-to-face meeting is an ideal platform to discuss important questions and problem solve. Listening to what the other person has to say will help you learn what their challenges. Listing out and studying problems in advance will help managers offer constructive feedback and guidance.
- Make an effort to understand your employee: The one-on-one is all about understanding your team members – what motivates them as well as their aspirations, challenges, and future plans. Show an interest in what they do outside of work. Getting to know your employee on a personal level will show you care, enable you to help them develop as individuals and as part of a team, and make you a better leader.
- Stress that one-on-ones are a priority: The Business2Community survey reports that what employees liked most about the one-on-one is that it allowed them to have a conversation with their manager that wasn’t possible on a normal day-to-day basis. So make sure that your team knows that one-on-ones are a priority.
In the digital age, you can also use other modes to communicate with your employees such as email, smartphone, and text. These forms of communication are useful to cover important things between one-on-one meetings. Finally, opting for meeting transcription services to accurately document and keep a record of your meetings and discussions with employees is important for the process of managing performance.