Improve Employee Engagement With One-On-One Meetings

The talent that every organization has access to and can put to work plays a very important role in helping it achieve its goals, both in the short-term as well as long-term. And most organizations understand this fact and thus are always willing to come up with newer ways to improve their employee engagement and let their employees know that they appreciate their contribution and value their efforts. Another fact that organizations, especially those that still have lots to do when it comes to devising employee-centric policies, need to understand is that the best way to make employees give their best is by keeping them happy. When employees know that they are also a big part of what the company is all about and will be doing in the future, they won’t need any other motivation.

One of the best ways for employers to increase employee engagement and show that they care for them is by organizing one-on-one sessions or meeting with employees on a regular basis. Managers need to take this onus on themselves and ensure that they are interacting with their team members to understand their needs and communicate their own requirements. One-one-one meetings are often the springboard to great relationships between managers and teams, which is eventually a profitable proposition for organizations. 

The success and growth of every business depends a lot on the bond that managers and employees share. If the communication is smooth and open from both sides, it is often a great thing for the company. It has to be understood that employee engagement in the workplace holds the key to how efficiently and fast things are done. Managers can use one-on-one meetings to make employees comfortable in sharing things with their leader. Managers should encourage them to share anything and everything that is keeping them from performing or tell them about anything they need to elevate their performance. 

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One-on-one meetings give managers a chance to communicate with their team members regarding a whole host of things, including work, growth, and career development amongst others. It is considered one of the best ways that managers can use to not only improve employee engagement but also retain more employees. 

Now, the question arises. How often should managers have these one-on-one sessions with their team members? A weekly meeting for half an hour or even more than that is enough for managers to find out a great deal more about their team members than they would have through any other means. However, this shouldn’t be a standard. How often managers schedule these meetings and what’s the length of these meetings are questions that can have different answers for different organizations. It all depends on the relationship between employees and their managers. 

If this is just the beginning of a manager-employee relationship, managers should keep more time on hand. It might take some time for both the parties to get comfortable with each other. And when there is more time available, they can talk about almost anything to break the ice. If the length is kept short, it could cause interruption during an important discussion, which is something that managers should be very careful about. There are employees who might not want to talk again after they are cut down once. The length of these discussions should always be more than what’s required.

How often one-on-one meetings are held entirely depends on if managers have enough to discuss? If there is lots to talk about every week and if managers want to learn from employees how their work week went, weekly meetings are the way to go. However, if there is no need for such regular meetings, then conducting these once every month will solve the purpose. 

Over a period of time, after attending more than a few of these meetings, both employers and employees will have a lot more on their plate that they want to discuss almost every other day. It could be something that an employee would like their manager to share their feedback on. Or it could be employees wanting to discuss professional development opportunities or programs with their managers. There could be a hundred different things. And scheduling a meeting to discuss these things is not always the best thing to do. Managers and employees can determine a time that works for both of them and then tackle things that are coming up almost every day. And you can still schedule those weekly one-on-one meetings to discuss the entire week’s work.

Managers should make it a point that they listen to their team members carefully and actively in these meetings. But, this is something that is not so common in the corporate world. What usually happens in one-on-one meetings is that managers don’t leave enough room or time for employees to talk. And this often leaves employees frustrated. If this continues, employees start looking around for newer opportunities. These meetings should promote two-way communication. Managers should take these sessions as a great chance to hear whatever their team members have to say about different aspects of their work. And if they have suggestions to give, managers should take those in the right spirit and even consider implementing them if they are good enough. 

It is also important for managers to be respectful with their team members. There are hundreds of ways of saying the same thing. Managers should choose to convey their message using a way that’s friendly and respectable of employees’ contribution. What managers say and how they say it can have a big impact on employees, both mentally and emotionally. So, even if they are criticizing their performance, they should do it in a way that can motivate employees and make them work harder to perform better in the time to come. 

One-on-one meetings between managers and team members can lead to employees performing better or worse. The outcome of these meetings depends on how managers use them.


  • One-On-One Meetings: 5 Things Managers Should Keep in Mind | Talent Culture | Lucas Campbell | September 15, 2021
  • One-on-one meetings: A comprehensive guide for managers and employees | Hypercontext

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