How managers handle one-to-one meetings, according to a poll of 200 people

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A recent poll asked over 200 company managers how they conduct one-to-one meetings with their employees. There were numerous similar trends among these managers’ approaches to one-to-one meetings, regardless of seniority, function, or department.

Here’s a summary of some of the important findings:

Managers conduct one-to-one meetings on a weekly basis

One in every two managers (49%) has one-on-one meetings at least once a week, with 59% having them for 30 minutes. This was the most common answer among the survey participants.

Weekly meetings with workers aid in the development of rapport, trust, and a continual feedback loop. The most prevalent explanation given by the 6% of managers who stated they did not undertake one-on-ones was lack of time or lack of perceived necessity.

Managers/employees have a common agenda

Another 49% of managers say they share responsibility for what’s on the meeting agenda with their direct report, while 15% say they control the meeting agenda but wish their direct report would. One-to-one meetings are not for the manager’s advantage, but for the employee’s. It is the manager’s responsibility to establish a secure environment in which their staff can feel comfortable providing comments and contributing to a two-way discussion.

A whopping 70% of managers stated that the purpose of one-to-one meetings is to understand and eliminate any roadblocks, while 61% stated that the main goal is to check in with employees progress within the company and 54% stated that the goal is a status update on a specific subject..

It’s simple to transform one-to-one meetings into status updates, project updates, and task lists. However, that is not the primary goal of a one-to-one meeting. “If you’re not cautious,” says Bronwyn Smith, VP of Business Operations at Influitive, “one-to-ones might wind up becoming status updates.” Or, the manager might preside over the meeting. This is not the intention of the meeting. It is critical to keep the employee and their demands at the forefront.”

The primary purpose is to provide value

One-third of managers, 34%, said their main issue with one-to-ones is making sure they’re delivering value to their direct reports, while 22% said it’s getting their direct reports to contribute to the meeting agenda. Managers may guarantee they are offering value to their staff in three ways:

  • Create an agenda and review previous meeting notes to prepare for the meeting.
  • Create a psychologically secure workplace in which employees may talk freely and be heard.
  • Pose relevant inquiries that elicit response and a two-way conversation.

To encourage employees to contribute to the agenda, it’s critical that it’s not tucked away in a notebook but is easily available online.

Most people do not utilise meeting software

4 out of 10 managers, or 41%, reported utilising personal productivity tools and notes to conduct one-to-one meetings. Only 21% of respondents claimed they use purpose-built one-to-one meeting software. The advantage of using one-on-one meeting software is that all of your notes, follow-up, and vital information about your staff is stored in a single common location. It also makes it easy for employees to contribute to the agenda and arrive prepared for the meeting.

82% of managers whose biggest issue was having meaningful, productive interactions did not use a one-to-one or a team meeting software.

The number one subject is growth and development

Three-quarters of managers, or 75%, stated they address growth and development in one-to-one meetings. Only 23% indicated that they discuss alignment with the company’s objective. There is enormous benefit in drawing a connection between the job that workers accomplish and how it relates to the wider corporate objective.

According to a Gallup poll, 59% of employees have no idea what their firm stands for or what its core values are. Additionally, according to research by Imperative, when employees are aligned with their firm’s mission, they remain with the company longer and are happier in their positions. Easily share this with your team in one-to-one meetings by adding a recurrent agenda point for reaffirming the business goal and vision, such as “Here’s how your effort this past ‘x’ amount of time is moving us closer to our corporate vision.”

Planning on conducting recurring one-to-one meetings with your employees? See how HealthBoxHR can help your organization create, manage and oversee your employees one-to-ones with our Performance Management Feature! 

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