A one on one meeting with your employees can help you create a highly engaged workforce. As a result, you can improve profits, reduce employee turnover, and increase the value of your business. Download this one on one meeting template and follow these proven management tips to engage your employees, hold them accountable, and achieve your business goals.
One On One Meeting
To build a highly engaged workforce, you need a deliberate strategy to create a positive corporate culture and happy employees who have a sense of purpose.
Start with a monthly high level one on one meeting with each manager to review their top 5 goals. These should be aligned with your overall business goals. This one on one meeting is different than an employee review process.
Use these two questions at your one on one meeting (or download the template below):
- What is the status of your top 5 goals from last month?
- What are your top 5 goals for this month?
Important Tip: Listen more than you talk!
These management questions allow your manager to express ideas and concerns. Encourage them to bring up obstacles that may be holding back progress. Listen to their thoughts on ways you can improve your processes.
Although you may feel the urge to comment quickly, resist providing commentary until your employee has had a chance to speak fully. You want your subordinates to say what is on their mind.
Identify the Right Interval of Control
Your one on one meeting frequency may be different for each manager. Use the concept of interval of control to identify the right amount of time between meetings with your staff.
Too many frequent meetings may convey a sense of micromanaging. However, some team members may need more frequent meetings than others.
If you find someone drifting off course or not delivering results on time, shorten your interval of control. Change the meeting frequency to weekly or bi-weekly.
Don’t over do it – avoid death by meeting or your staff will get demotivated.
Use Red Yellow Green for Status Updates
If your team feels that they will be reprimanded for anything that could be perceived as a problem, they will be reluctant to tell you about it early on – or ask for help.
Former Ford Motor Company CEO, Alan Mulally, used red-yellow-green indicators at his senior management meetings every week. This enabled him to monitor progress against the company’s goals.
At first, managers were reluctant to embrace the idea of discussing problems. Mulally’s initial meetings showed every project with a green indicator. He kept encouraging his team to talk about setbacks or challenges.
Eventually, one manager spoke up with an issue he was facing that would affect delivery of one of their truck product lines. He marked it yellow. Mulally applauded the manager’s initiative and the team discussed ways to tackle the problem. Soon, all managers were bringing up issues and solving them for the collective good of the company.
This color coding system allowed everyone to get a realistic view of major projects and get a clear status update. And because Mulally used the approach to monitor accountability, he was able to create an environment where his managers worked together. This strategy played a role in his turnaround of Ford Motor Company.
Although Ford used the red-yellow-green light management technique for team meetings, it can work just as well for one on one meetings in your business, large or small.
One On One Meeting Template
Download this free one on one meeting template from MoreBusiness.com for your meeting agenda. It is a Microsoft Word file that you can edit or use right away in your employee engagement meetings.
Since your managers are the closest people to the issues and their team, empowering them to discuss their concepts will make them feel like they are being heard.
This is a very important component in building a highly engaged workforce.
Create a Highly Engaged Workforce
A highly engaged workforce gets its motivation from the top. When your managers are engaged, they will pass on their excitement to the rest of your staff. The one on one meeting template can also help you with your corporate culture, just as Alan Mulally did with Ford.
There is a balance between managing your staff to achieve your business goals and empowering them to make the right decisions. If you micromanage your team, you will drive them crazy and possibly push them to leave your company.
To find out what makes managers (or anyone for that matter) happy and more engaged, ask more questions in your one on one meeting about how things are going. Taking an interest in your key staff members is especially important. It shows you care. You don’t need to bring this up at every session, just periodically to keep tabs on their state of happiness.
Determine What Motivates Employees
Ask these two questions to get the heart of what motivates your employees:
- One a scale of 1 to 10, where would you score your “happiness index” with our company?
- What would it take to make that a 10?
This 1 to 10 scale question is adapted from a related question suggested by best selling author, Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), to manage relationships.
That last question about what it would take to make the score a 10 shows that you have a vested interest in making your staff happy. While looking at business goals is critical, this question will help to uncover what drives employees.
You will likely find that each employee has different motivations – and it’s not all related to earning more money. Competitive pay is important, but it is rarely on the top of your employees’ and managers’ motivation list. As a Harvard Business Review article put it, “motivating employees is not about carrots or sticks.”
For some, employee motivation is driven by challenging work. For others, it is a friendly work environment and the people they interact with daily. And for others, their motivation is the flexibility in your work hours.
The happiness index is especially important in reducing employee turnover. When you sense that an employee could perform better, a periodic check-in can help pinpoint the cause.
Everyone is different so don’t presume that what motivates you will motivate employees or managers.
Train your managers to do one-on-one meetings with their team members regularly.
Monitor Your Progress
One on one meetings will also make your employees feel appreciated and heard. This experience alone will make many of your employees happy.
The outcome of these 20-minute one on one meetings is often a list of ideas that you hadn’t thought of. Your employees will feel more appreciated and will typically help you get the ideas launched, leading to an even more engaged workforce that will move mountains for you.