The Importance of One to One Meetings
By Robertson Hunter Stewart, Author of One to One: Managing quality time with individuals for engagement and success, Management Expert & Coach
Why are One to One meetings so important? Well, before we can begin answering this question, let's talk about the importance of communication.
- If you never meet with your team and employees, you’ll never be able to garner information from them and, in the absence of information, will not be in a position to make any decisions (not any good ones, at least).
- If you meet with your team and employees on an irregular basis, the information that you receive will not be timely enough to address the issues that arise in a productive manner. Once again, decisions based on this information will probably prove to be insufficient.
- If you meet with your team and employees on a regular basis, but the objective or purpose of the meeting is unclear, you may obtain information, but it runs the risk of being imprecise. In addition to this, the employee will not buy into the one-to-one process, so there will be a lack of trust and confidence. Under these circumstances, the quality of information obtained is likely to be quite poor.
If we put all three of these together, it's fairly easy to see that if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of your business, you need to be holding these meetings in a way that ensures both frequency and structure.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg as to why holding one-to-one meetings is so crucial. The following list contains what I believe to be the most important reasons for holding one-to-one meetings. They all us to:
- Recognize the importance of individual team members
- Monitor performance during the course of the year
- Adjust objectives when and if necessary
- Build relationships with our employees based on confidence and trust
- Heighten the engagement, motivation and productivity of our employees
- Reduce unnecessary recruitment and training costs related to high turnover
- Ensure better decision making for management based on timely and accurate information
- Create the opportunity to hear great ideas from employees
- Find out how team members feel
- Better manage our time
From this list it's easy to see that there is a strong relationship between one-to-one meetings and how effective the service to profit chain of your organization will be. In other words, building the internal value for employees will lead to external customer value, loyalty, repeat business and in the end, enhanced profits.
As JW Marriott said:
"Take care of your people, they'll take care of the customer and the business will take care of itself."
If you really want to take care of your people, regular, well-planned and executed one-to-one meetings should be part of both your standard operating procedures and your organizational culture.
About the Author
Robertson Hunter Stewart is the author of One to One: Managing quality time with individuals for engagement and success and a management expert & coach. They teach management to Masters and Bachelors students in both English and French at reputed management schools in Paris, France. They also coach and mentor executives and managers on an individual basis.