Note: This article is part of the series on Management Problems You Can Fix With One on Ones.

P.S Want to have high quality one on one meetings with staff? 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1’s will show you how. (Includes a best practice one on one form)

Do you sometimes feel as though your office is like Grand Central Station? Employees in and out all day demanding your time and attention to help them solve problems or ask you questions? Are these ad-hoc interruptions disturbing your focus and adding to your workload? Leaving you with a longer to-do list at the end of the day than when you started?

Well you’re not alone. Being accessible and helpful while balancing your own workload is one of the biggest challenges facing managers who care. And the reality is that your employees need to speak with you.

Managers who don’t have designated communication time end up suffering the worst. Because then employees are just going to “pop in” every time they need your input on problems or issues.

I don’t know about you, but personally I find interruptions very inefficient. An employee might only ask for a quick minute of your time, but the distraction always ends up costing you a lot more.

The key to improving your focus and personal productivity is minimizing interruptions.

Weekly One on One meetings With Staff Stop Interruptions and Save Time

You can turn this around by allocating set time for your employees to talk to you during weekly one on one meetings. This is the secret benefit of one on ones. At the outset, the thought of adding yet another meeting to your already busy schedule sounds like extra time and work. But once you start doing them you’ll find that they actually save you time.

One on ones create a virtual “communication bucket” for all matters that require your attention. When you do them regularly your employees will stop coming to you each time they have a question, problem or issue that they need to discuss. Instead your direct reports can save all their ‘bits’ of information, questions and problems for their weekly meetings with you. The more that you compartmentalize your management responsibilities, the more time you’ll have for your other duties.

Good For Employees Too

But it's also good for your employees because your direct reports won’t be left feeling like they don’t have your attention. For the shyer employees, regular contact helps them to come out of their shell. This is going to help them to keep you in the loop about things you need to know. And I can tell you that there are things you need to know that your employees are reluctant to tell you.

Secret Ninja Manager Skill to Better Time Management:

A Ninja Manager Skill is a management technique that turns something difficult into something easy. It’s like a judo flip: Instead of fighting against the opponent's strength & weight - use your opponent’s momentum against them.

The problem with managing is your time get’s sucked away because you feel like you have to do everything yourself. A Ninja Manager Skill you can do for Employee One-on-Ones is show them how they can have great One-on-Ones with their boss (you). And all you have to do is share this free, online video course with them. When your employees know how to have a great One-on-One meeting then you’ll have to spend less time making this happen.

Special Mention About Active Listening

Tip: You can use Active Listening skills to start coaching your directs to solve their own problems.

This is a super simple technique to deal with employee problems.  This is another one of my ninja management skills that I show you in WWW.BOSS.CAMP  because when you get it right it’s like magic.  What you do is that you catch their problem and then you give it back to them.

Wrapping up

Ever feel that employees interruptions run control of your calendar? Then one on one meetings are the best method to take back control of your work day.

Doing one on ones is better than not doing them, but the best way to do quality one on ones is to stick with a proven formula. If you feel your one on one meetings aren't producing any real benefits. Or if you've never been trained how to do one on ones. Then register for the free one on ones mini-course to find out the 3 Steps 2 Easy 1 on 1's (Includes a best practice one on one form)


What's your experience with weekly employee one on one meetings? Have they helped you with better time management? Please help the rest of us out by sharing your comments, questions and tips in the comments below.