One of the great lessons I have learned the hard way is how to hold effective one-on-one meetings with my employees. OK, I’ll be honest, I didn’t do this in most of my early leadership positions. Instead I relied heavily on team meetings to get specific updates from each employee with the hope that sharing all the project updates in the meeting would keep everyone happy. I’ve since learned that the key to keeping employees motivated and productive is to have a strong relationship with them. Rewards are nice but they can never replace the results you will achieve through a relationship with you employee. Don’t repeat my mistakes. Learn from them and start off with a bang.
1. Schedule the regular meeting and don’t miss it.
Find a great time to meet with your employee and stick to it. I work to meet with each of my direct reports once a week. I often let the employee find the best time slot that works for them and for me. Once we put the meeting on the calendar, I try to never miss the meeting. If you miss the meeting once, it is OK. If you find that you are missing the meeting on a regular basis, then you are telling your employee that they do not matter. Schedules are difficult to control, but you must control the time with the employee and be consistent all the time. When you have a problem with interruptions, double booked schedules, or other issues during this time slot, simply reschedule the meeting to a time that works best for each of you. I watch too many other managers blow off their employees for some important meeting. Never do that!