You’ve heard it a million times – managers who spend more time with their teams perform better. It’s not hard to understand why the importance of one-on-one meetings is such a hot topic in the business world.
For example, a Gallup study found that the boss drives at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement in a team. In turn, employee engagement drives growth, productivity, and profitability. The benefits of having regular one-on-one meetings with your team are countless and companies of any size or industry can take advantage of them.
One-on-one meetings are one of the highest leverage activities for a leader. They are the most effective way to communicate, learn about your people, get them on board with your mission and create a strong culture. Even if you’re a first-time leader, talking frequently with your team is a must. If you are not doing any one-on-ones, read on to convince yourself it’s time to start.
Five reasons to build the habit of one-on-one meetings
Here are 5 reasons why every leader needs to have frequent one-on-one meetings with their teams:
- Build a relationship with your team. – A good one-on-one meeting is all about the manager getting to know their employees as people, learning what’s important to them, and understanding their true motivations within the company. One of the key aspects of a great manager is being able to relate to and connect with their team – both professionally and personally.
- Get quality input on your team. – A one-on-one is a chance for a manager to get real, accurate feedback from each team member. It’s generally a lot easier for someone to share their true feelings and opinions in a private conversation rather than in front of the entire team.
- Build trust and psychological safety. – It’s hard for a team to feel comfortable and open up to someone they just met or barely know. A one-on-one meeting is a perfect opportunity to get to know your employees on a deeper level, creating an environment where everyone can talk openly to point out problems, suggest ideas, solutions, and ultimately feel that they are part of the team.
- Focus on problem-solving together. – In many cases, one-on-ones are where you and your team solve your greatest challenges. It’s a safe space to talk about the issues you’re facing and get advice from your leader. To build a culture of innovation and creativity, it’s important for managers to create safe spaces where employees can take risks and share their ideas.
- Align goals and priorities. – One-on-one meetings are the best way to align goals and priorities with your employees by reviewing objectives and key results, checking for gaps, areas of improvement and even ideating on different goals together. Getting clarity on what your employees are working on and how they are performing is essential for leaders in order to be effective in their jobs.
As we’ve seen, having regular one-on-one meetings with your team is not a new concept, but it is a necessity. It’s the best way to keep track of your employees’ development, communication and productivity. Not to mention, it’s an empowering way for managers to learn about what their people, solve challenges together and create a culture where everyone feels they are part of the team. This small habit will make all the difference in your team’s engagement levels and overall performance as a company.
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