If holding 1-on-1 meetings with your direct reports was “best practice” pre-Covid-19, in our current remote work environment those meetings have been elevated to an almost “mission-critical” status.

How you use your 1-on-1 time with your direct reports can make or break their desire to deliver the results you expect from them.  Are you spending all your time reviewing your employees’ to-do lists or are you also allocating some meeting time to inspiring and engaging them in a manner tailored to their specific needs and wants?

Below are some suggestions for your 1-on-1 meetings so that you and your employees can get the most out of your time together.

  • Build some rapport – begin your meetings with some small talk. You may want to ask your employees how they are feeling, if they did anything fun during the weekend, or how their family is.
  • Set the agenda – briefly highlight what you want to make sure you cover during your time together. Check for agreement by asking if the employee wants to add anything to that agenda.
  • Review projects and/or tasks – ask your employees how they are progressing against their assigned work. What worked well thus far? What may be challenging or falling behind and what are next steps? What are the priorities and objectives before the next 1-on-1 meeting?
  • Check on teamwork – if they work on a team project or your group’s results depend on teamwork, ask your employees what is their impression of how you are all collectively doing as a team? Are they getting what they need from their team? Do they feel heard and that they make a meaningful impact?
  • Inquire about how they are doing in their role – ask your employees how they think things are going for them in their role. Do they feel happy and engaged in their role? What is something that energized them in their role since you last met? What about something that was not so great?
  • Touch on professional growth and development – check in with your employees on how things are going in terms of their professional development goals. Suggest some relevant articles to read or podcasts to hear or potential future projects to be thinking about
  • Ask for feedback – ask your employees what you can do differently or better to be helpful to them. What would they like to see you do more or less of? How can you best support them in being successful and grow as professionals?

Although day-to-day priorities change and not all of the above topics are (or will be) equal in terms of time that you need to devote to them, it is important to make room during your 1-on-1 meetings to at least touch upon areas that go beyond a simple status review of their to-do lists.

For those of you who use the PI Behavioral Assessment™ to measure your employees’ behavioral needs and drives, or if you are familiar with the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment’s four factors (i.e., dominance, extraversion, patience and formality) you can click here for a template that is customizable based on your individual employees’ behavioral profiles. If you are not familiar with the Predictive Index and would like to try it out, click here to take your free assessment and learn about your behavioral profile.

Today’s environment requires all of us to connect at a level that transcends the purely transactional day-to-day, narrow, task-based focus of years past. Regularly checking in with your employees, and deepening your understanding of what they need from you and your company to be successful is the only way to ensure your team stays engaged and inspired to deliver their best work. Make every minute you spend with them count!

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