4 Important Tips for Conducting One On One Meetings
It is still surprising to hear about a company that does annual performance reviews – annually. I have worked and consulted with companies like this.
One company I worked for had a very small dedicated HR department and a CEO that stressed how important annual performance reviews were. However almost every manager in that organization only talked about performance during this annual one on one meeting.
Annual performance reviews should be all year. They should be a regular part of every one on one meeting with employees.
Here are four “must haves” for conducting one on one meetings that are guaranteed to improve performance all year. They are simple, but yet very important and effective.
1. Schedule regular one on one meetings. Sounds like a “no duh.” Right? But how often are you conducting regular one on one meetings?
My best advice is to use your calendar application. Go in there right now and set up your next one on one meetings for the rest of the year. 30-60 minutes is most likely plenty of time. I recommend a minimum of every two weeks, but more if you need to.
Send the invite to every employee as well, so it is on their calendar. This helps commit you and them.
2. Create folders. For every employee you are conducting one on one meetings for create a folder. Place your first one on one agenda that you have both agree to in the the folder.
At the top of every agenda should be the employees goals. (see 3 Critical Questions Leaders Must Ask: Improve Employee Goal Success).
Make notes on your agenda as you conduct your one on one meetings. When done with the meeting, insert the new agenda with its notes into the folder and file it away. This is called being organized (wink).
3. Review measurable goals and improve performance. In each one on one meeting, review the progress of each goal the employee has set.
If he or she has fallen short of a goal, then simply ask them to send you in the next day or two what they will do differently to meet the goal. Once you receive that, simply place it in the folder and make a note of it. Another organizing tip (wink and smile this time).
4. Follow Up. At the next one on one meeting with the employee, pull out their folder. Ask whether they made improvement towards the performance goal(s) and what difference it made. It is then important to listen, praise any progress and make any suggestions (if necessary).
Once a manager starts conducting regular one on one meetings with employees, creates plans to improve performance and follows up – performance most likely will improve. It’s all about follow up and accountability.
One of the best things about it is their jaw won’t hit the floor when you talk to them about their performance at the end of the year.
How do you manage and conduct one on one meetings? What tips might you have that help the rest of us?
Other related helpful posts to help you as a manager and leader:
What is Our Purpose? Do you know? 3 Questions
What do both Goal Failure and Goal Success have in common?
Leaders Beware! 4 Tips for Annual Performance Reviews
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