In a recent study by Training magazine, employees across multiple industries said they wished they were meeting more frequently with their boss.
One-on-one meetings are the lifeblood of employee engagement. They play a big part in job satisfaction, performance, development and motivation. If you are somebody’s boss, it’s imperative that you set aside regular time to meet with them one-on-one. I would argue there are few responsibilities in your job that are more important.
It should be noted that this is not project update time. While you may do that briefly in the first few minutes, commit to making this time about THEM. 69% of employees indicated that they wanted to set the agenda for meetings with their boss. What do they want to talk about? Ask. You may be surprised to find that they want to talk about goals, get performance feedback, enlist your aid with problem solving, or process through conflict with a co-worker. These were the topics Training magazine found employees most want to talk about with their boss.
If possible, set aside at least 30 minutes for each employee twice a month. For managers with larger teams (more than 15) a minimum of 20 minutes, once a month may have to suffice. This is a small amount of time, but it’s better than nothing.
Think you don’t have time? That’s bunk. Let’s assume you work 40 hours per week (a luxury for many of us!):
40 hours per week X 4 weeks per month = 160 hours per month
15 employees X 20 minutes each = 5 hours per month
Time remaining for everything else: 155 hours per month.
The math is similar for smaller teams meeting twice a month. This is a miniscule amount of time. Many leaders spend significantly more time in one-on-one meetings with their employees because they recognize that they are the most powerful weapon in any leadership toolkit. Coaching, feedback, aligning talent to tasks, strengths-based management, goal-setting, stretch assignments, and professional development all start with one-on-one conversations.
Leaders vote on what’s most important to them by how they spend their time. Are you spending enough time with your employees? If not…they’re waiting.