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EFFECTIVE management stems from quality relationships and open communication with employees.
Yet so many managers and employers avoid regular one-on-one sit-downs and meetings with their staff, blaming factors such as not enough time, not finding them beneficial or having to discuss complaints or sensitive topics that they would prefer not to.
There is overwhelming evidence that employees who have a better relationship with their superiors will feel more motivated at work, have greater trust in their employer and be a better employee overall.
Simply put, managers play an integral part of making sure communication between themselves and their employees is open and healthy.
An effective method to help achieve this is by conducting regular one-on-one meetings with employees.
They don’t have to be the standard sit-down scheduled appointments in an office – they are simply a scheduled timed to talk, one-on-one with your employee.
For those working outdoors, they can be conducted whilst driving out to a paddock to fix a mill, or for a less formal approach, can be done over a coffee catch-up or drink after work.
Here’s how to ensure they are beneficial for both you and your employees:
Make them regular
Make sure to let your employee know that the meetings will be a regular occurrence (whether it be monthly or quarterly), and if they want to discuss certain topics with you, to be approachable.
Schedule in a time with your staff member that suits them, and give them notice so they can think over any points they might want to raise with you.
Any issues that need further discussion can then be discussed at the next catch up.
Make sure to take note of any points that do need a follow-up so you can remember to have them on the agenda for your next meeting.
Try not to reschedule, as this can send the message to your employee that they are the least important on your agenda.
Listen to your employee
Remember that the meeting is about open communication and creating an effective quality relationship.
Focus on the employee’s needs and allow them the opportunity to voice any topics they want to discuss with you.
Begin with open-ended questions to get them talking, such as “How are you feeling?” or “What do you find most challenging in your role?”
Answer them honestly, and if an issue or topic cannot be resolved there and then, make sure to acknowledge that you will both need to work towards a solution following the meeting.
Let your employee voice any points they want to raise, but also use the time to discuss their role:
- How they are managing their workload and daily tasks
- If there are any roadblocks within the role and if so, come up with methods to resolve them
- Acknowledge the areas that they are performing highly in and discuss entrusting them with more responsibilities if it is something they are open to.
- Make sure to give them your full attention; be clear of other distractions such as your mobile or emails, and treat these one-on-ones like you would any other meeting with a client or customer.
Put motions in place to resolve any problems and if there are areas that require further attention following your meetings, make sure to follow up on them.
This could include workplace tension, employees not getting along or an employee not satisfied with the role or tasks they are performing.
There are endless benefits to the continuous and honest feedback given in a one-on-one meeting for both the employer and employee.
Make sure to consider them if not already in place at your workplace, to help bring out the best in your employees and their workflow, eliminate unnecessary tension and make your staff feel valued.
Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd
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