Regardless of the size of the company or workgroup, supervisors must be aware of the needs and opinions of employees to ensure efficiency and productivity.
The most effective tools of a good manager to do that is a one on one meeting. It also allows to know the opinion of employees about their own work, and clarify any doubts that may arise about what needs to be done.
If the manager meets with the employee on a regular basis and these one-on-one meetings are carried out correctly, teamwork is strengthened. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare and conduct them well, because after all they are carried out during office hours and time must be used wisely.
Understanding and planning a one on one meeting
The topics to be reviewed in a one on one meeting must be prepared in advance. Due to the private nature of this meeting, one-on-one meetings allow the employee to discuss issues that are not discussed in public, but that contribute to improve the team's work.
A one on one meeting should last between half an hour to an hour maximum. Within this time, the employee will receive information from his supervisor but will also have the opportunity to express himself. Therefore, the manager has to lead the conversation to the topics to be dealt with the appropriate questions.
Thanks to this type of meeting, it is possible to explore in depth the problems or conflicts that the worker has, his ideas, needs and opinions on issues that concern the company.
Therefore, it is necessary for the manager to have at hand a series of questions about the issues on which he needs feedback. Here are some of them, but only as examples of where to draw inspiration for your own one on one meetings.
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The one on one meeting questions you need to ask to…
Depending on the specific objectives of the interview, here are some questions that it would be important to ask the employee.
Trust and sympathy establish a good relationship between the manager and the employee, and for this it is important that the worker feels that his supervisor knows him and is truly interested as an individual.
These questions establish a foundation of trust to initiate an effective and profitable one on one meeting. At the same time, they allow to know about the worker's personal environment.
- Are you happy with your life outside of work?
- How about your vacation? Did you go to an interesting place?
- How is your child doing in school?
- What hobbies motivates you?
Knowing if the team is happy
The dissatisfaction of any worker affects the productivity of the team, so it is very important to find out if your employee is happy within the company.
Knowing about their work concerns also helps to evaluate if this worker is tempted to resign for any specific reason, and try to improve his working conditions so that he continues to be as productive as he has been up to now.
- Does the job you do satisfy you?
- Do you feel that you are overloaded with tasks?
- Are you comfortable with the values and culture of the company?
- Are you happy with your achievements within the team?
- Do you have many friends within the company?
- Is the job commensurate with the income you receive?
Give and receive comments & feedback
As the one on one meeting has a private character, it is the ideal space for sincerity. In this meeting you can receive honest answers from the employees, without feeling self-conscious by the pressure of the work group.
Since communication is two-way, it is important that both the employer and the employee discuss these questions openly, without fear of retaliation.
- In relation to an event X, what would you have done differently and why?
- In what areas do you think your work could improve?
- Do you need more help with a specific work topic?
- How could you increase your productivity?
- What do you think about of my management style? What aspect should I improve?
- What do you consider to be my strengths as a manager?
Being a good team leader through hard times
It is at times when the company faces difficulties that one-on-one meetings take on decisive importance and their frequency must be increased. These helps the employee to clarify his doubts and gain confidence in the way the crisis is being handled.
These questions are helpful when discussing how employees view current moments:
- How do you feel about the future of the company?
- How can I clarify your concerns?
- What do you think you can do to help the company?
- What action plan do you suggest to overcome this crisis?
Working with remote employees
Employees who work remotely are more difficult to manage, in terms of not constant interaction with them. Therefore, it is necessary that communication be as clear and transparent as possible. Through an email or a chat, non-verbal language or inflections of the speech cannot be perceived, so misinterpretations are more frequent.
It is then necessary to take advantage of the one on one meetings to the maximum, to establish the necessary relationships and identify the potential problems that a remote worker may face.
In this regard, these questions can serve you as a guide:
- Why is working remotely more attractive to you?
- How long have you been working remotely?
- How can I make your work easier for you?
- Do you know the co-workers on the team?
Managing career development
All employees wants to develop professionally, and one on one meetings are perfect to know and facilitate their aspirations.
As this is one of the fundamental reasons for employee turnover, it is important that supervisors are aware of the goals and the professional development roadmap of all the members of their team.
- Does your work satisfy you professionally?
- What are your long-term goals and aspirations?
- What skills would you like to develop?
- How can I help you boost your career?
Finding ways to improve
Finally, the one on one meetings are perfect to know how the work team perceives your work as a manager and helps you to improve. Remember that your employees are closer to the problems to be solved, so their opinions can save a lot of time and money.
- How can we organize work to be more efficient?
- What company values should we improve?
- Do you feel that the workload in the team is well distributed?
- Is everyone on the team working for the good of the company?
Taking advantages of the common ground
Being a manager is not only fulfilling administrative functions, but also demonstrating leadership. To the extent that your employees trust in your ability and transparency, they will respond better to the objectives of the company.
In order to be a great leader, in addition to distributing tasks, you must listen to and attend to the needs of each member of your team. The one on one meetings are the perfect opportunity to do exactly that: listen to points of view, advise, clarify doubts and talk honestly about how each member of the team can contribute to the success of the company.
If you ask the right questions, you will have the information you need to lead effectively and for your workers to be true team players.