Merge's Blog

Establish weekly one-on-one meetings to become more productive

I’m back today on the blog with another tool to not only help you be more productive and efficient in your leadership role, but also, as an unexpected bonus, support and motivate your staff to higher performance.  Today’s tip in our ongoing series – Productivity tools for leaders – is to establish weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.

Establish weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports

Now let me first tell you about all the benefits that come from this.  And then I’ll break it down for you further and lay out the six necessary steps in these one-on-one meetings.

Two major benefits

Your primary role as a leader is to get results through your staff.  Which means that it is necessary to not only keep up to date on what they’re doing, but also support them in getting things done, particularly if they run into roadblocks or obstacles.  When you implement regular weekly one-on-ones, you will significantly reduce the number of ad hoc meetings required with your people, because both you and they know that the issue can be addressed at this meeting.  This will make you (and them) more productive.  But there is an even bigger benefit.  By establishing weekly one-on-one meetings with each of your staff, they’ll also feel acknowledged and supported, and as a result, highly-motivated and more productive.  See how this works!

Six necessary steps

So you might be wondering – how exactly does this one-on-one meeting work?  Well, let me tell you – six steps.

  1. Open by asking your employee to share one positive highlight or accomplishment since the last meeting. Starting with a highlight sets the tone for the rest of the meeting, and is a huge motivator for your employee.
  2. An update on all action items and outstanding items from the last meeting.
  3. This will naturally lead into number three – a discussion of current concerns and issues. You are basically looking to be kept in the loop on what your employee is doing, and to offer input and advice as needed.  Depending on what is going on in your organization, this usually takes up the bulk of the meeting time.  But make sure you leave enough time for the remaining three steps.
  4. Fourth on your list is to find out if your employee has any issues or commitments that are looming on the horizon. What is coming up that either needs to be addressed or even more importantly, could pose a potential problem?
  5. Number five is progress in and new opportunities for employee professional development. This is often skipped, which is a real pity, because this is a great opportunity to support and motivate your employee.
  6. Finally, close out your conversation by summarizing the action items that came up during your meeting, both in terms of what your employee has committed to do, and what you, as the leader, will do to support them. This list then becomes item number two for next week’s conversation.

The outcome: you’re more productive!

So there you have it – two benefits and six steps in holding weekly one-on-one meetings with your direct reports.  Yet another way that you can be more productive!

All year, I’ve been doing frequent video posts, each focusing on a specific tool to help leaders become more productive.  Here are links to some of the most recent ones.

 

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