One on Ones  - the Management Practice of Effective Managers

Regular One on One Meetings With Staff are the heartbeat of your management practice. Effective managers know that when you do them right you can take care of almost all your management duties in one go. And it doesn’t stop there because your one on ones are the best way to keep your relationship with your employees in rude health.

But the thing is - no-one shows you how to have awesome one on one meetings with staff. You know the sort of one on one meetings that get things done. Like everything in life there are good and bad ways of doing things. The little known secret of managing is that successful One on One meetings bring you success in managing.

Tip: Have you thought about what an improved one on one meeting technique could do for your career? The free short, manager training course: 3 Steps to easy 1 on 1's, will show you how to have great one on ones that get things done. (Includes a one on one meeting agenda).

Related Content:

The Ultimate Guide to Effective One on Ones

This article will show you tips for the best One on One Meetings With Staff. Don’t waste your meeting time: use these tips to transform your management practice:

#1 Why you Should Schedule Them in Advance with a Recurring Invite

Some bosses swear by their One-on-One meetings. Fast Company Magazine featured it as "The one meeting I never miss" which clearly means it's working for them. But a lot of managers miss out on some of the great benefits of one on ones because they don’t schedule them regularly, in advance.

Here are a few reasons why scheduling regularly and in advance is a small technique that works:

  • Saves time: If you don’t have a time slot booked then time consuming, ad-hoc interruptions will take over. If you have an appointment booked then both you and your employee can channel discussions into a single, fast and efficient time slot,

  • Progress: Regularity keeps thing moving forward,

  • Ease & simplicity of sticking to a routine. Same time, same place works a charm,

  • Pre-empting problems: Reactive managers book one on ones when issues have already snowballed. Pro-active managers have already nipped the problem in the bud in last weeks One on One meeting

All you need to do is to make a recurring one on one meeting booking in your calendars. Of course there will be times when you need to re-schedule. This is natural, but you can still keep the benefits if you re-schedule instead of cancel.

Resource: One on One Email Invite

Bonus Tip: How often should you have one on one meetings? There’s a wild variety of opinions but based on testing by other managers, you’ll get the best results when you do them weekly. That’s because 30 minutes every week is better than 60 minutes every two weeks

#2 Use a Best Practice One on One Meeting Agenda

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to One on One Meetings With Employees or if you’ve had hundreds. The key to fast, effective One on One Meetings with Employees is sticking to a tried and tested agenda.

The way to make sure that you don’t leave anything out, but still keep moving fast, is to stick to these 4 sections. They are:

  1. The Employees Agenda,

  2. The Manager's Agenda,

  3. Deliverables for the Week Ahead and

  4. Employee Growth and Development (as needed).

Now this sounds like a lot, but with a bit of practice managers can get it done in 30 minutes. Remember 30 minutes every week is better than 60 minutes every two weeks.

Tip: The best way to prepare and keep track of your one on ones with employees is a Best Practice One on One Form. Get your free one on one meeting agenda here.

#3 Ask the Right Questions

Keep the momentum moving forward by asking the right Employee One on One meeting questions. Before you start, ask yourself what you want from your One on Ones:

  • What have your employees been up to?

  • What are your employees planning to do? Have you aligned priorities?

  • What are your employees struggling with?

  • Are there any potential issues that Might “blow up” that need immediate attention?

  • What performance areas do you need to work on improving with your employees?

Make your one on one meetings with staff work for you by asking the right Employee One on One Meeting Questions: Read the article over here.

#4 There are Two People in a One on One Meeting

Highly effective managers know that they need their employees to come onboard if they want to have the best one on one meetings with staff. Just imagine trying to tango with a partner that doesn’t know the steps, or worse, doesn’t even want to dance. It doesn’t matter how good you are, your dance routine is going to suck.

Now I can share with you that your employees feel apprehensive because they:

  1. Don’t know what to expect,

  2. Don't know what they are supposed to do,

  3. Don’t know what they should prepare and,

  4. Don't know how one on ones will benefit them.

That’s why I made a free training resource that you can share with your employees. One on One Meetings With Your Boss will show your employees everything they need to know so that your One on One meetings work like a well choreographed dance.

Super User Tip: If no-one ever showed you what to do in your One on One meetings with your boss then don’t let your own dance routine suck, find out what you need to know about your own One on One Meetings With Your Boss

#5 Polish Your Practice

Managers are vital to business success. According to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. What’s more, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them.

Put another way: managers who know how to have one on one meetings with staff improve employee engagement and therefore business success. This is why One on Ones are a management practice that is worth polishing. How do you polish your practice? Use the resources in this article and get better with every one on one meeting.

Resource: The Best One on One Meeting Template

What no one showed you about One on One Meetings

Did anyone show you how to run a one on one meeting? No one showed me and so when I started managing I just kinda made it up as I went along. And this is what most bosses do because running a great One on One Meeting is a Manager Skill that they just don’t teach you in school. That’s why I made a free, online course so you don’t have to make the same mistakes that I did.

Improve your Manager Skills with 3 Steps to easy 1 on 1's. In this short course I show you how successful managers deliver results in less time. Improving your manager skills is the best way to boost your career and give you peace of mind and confidence in your work