How to practice ongoing employee development through 1-to-1 sessions

 

You can conduct 1-to-1 employee sessions or meetings in many ways. Some of the types of meetings are more effective and inspiring than others.

The employee and the leader have good intentions and likely the employee enters the meeting with high expectations. What does my leader think about me and the execution of my tasks? Am I doing it right? Does he/she like me? The leader might want to get the meeting over with fast and the preparation for the meeting is again postponed. Perhaps the leader has not seen the potential of a focused conversation with the employee?

What if the employee left the 1-to-1 meeting with a sense of direction, support and participation? What if the leader felt he or she really made a difference? Maybe that will affect the leader and the employee’s daily performance and motivation?

An obvious risk with the 1-to-1 employee sessions is to make it all about the to-do list. It is rarely especially inspiring and developing to provide status on a task. Maybe an e-mail can give the status of the to-do list and instead you can convert the conversation into focus on employee development and major challenges.

Below I provide some suggestions for you as a leader to create inspiring and developing meetings with your employees.

Preparation is crucial

Before the meeting you as leader can consider the following …

  1. What issues are important to discuss and what questions would you as a leader like to ask?
  2. What feedback (both positive and developing) and recognition would you like to give the employee?
  3. Ask your employee to prepare their key topics/issues.

Suggested topics at the meeting

  • Follow-up from last meeting: Short status, is there something that need to be adjusted and how can I as a leader help?
  • Support: How can you as a leader support your employee? Are there any challenges the employee needs coaching / support on?
  • Networking: How can you help the employee to build a network and reach out to the right people?
  • Feedback: give the employee an open and honest feedback. Both the positive and the developing feedback.
  • Work-life balance: What’s the situation with the employee’s balance between work and leisure? If needed – prioritize together with the employee.
  • Coaching: Does the employee have a specific project/topic you as a leader can coach on?
  • Knowledge sharing: Are there some of the things we’ve talked about in the meeting today we should share with others?
  • Commitments to next meeting: What have we agreed to do now? Who will do what?

It requires focus and discipline to change the structure of employee sessions and to avoid too much focus on the task list, but it will be returned with motivation and increased performance!

Good luck with your next employee session!

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