Scheduling 1:1 meetings with employees is a great way to make sure that you understand what they're dealing with and how they feel about their work. It's also an excellent way for you to figure out what you can do to be better at your job. In an article adapted from Quora, INC.COM provides nine tips for maximizing your 1:1 meetings with employees.

  1. Don't Cancel - Canceling your 1:1 with an employee might communicate to them that they aren't important to you. If you have to cancel for whatever reason, try to reschedule the same day and apologize for canceling.
  2. Put Them in the Driver's Seat - Have them make a list of discussion points before the meeting. Let them start the 1:1 by talking about what's on their list.
  3. Ask Questions - Asking open-ended questions will not only let you know how your company is doing, but could also clue you in to issues your employee may be having that you can help with.
  4. Be Honest - Encouraging your employees to ask questions is great, but be sure that you are honest with your answers. If you don't know, say so. If you do, "answer honestly and err on the side of transparency."
  5. Talk About Advancement - Make sure you take the time to discuss your employee's satisfaction with the company and their career progression. Identify ways in which the employee can continue to progress down the career path they want.
  6. Take Some Criticism - Find out from employees what you could be doing better for both the company and for them.
  7. Give Some Criticism - If an employee isn't working to your standards, give them some feedback during 1:1s to try to correct the performance issues.
  8. Learn to Communicate - Everyone in your company can benefit from clear communication. Work with your employees during their 1:1s to help them communicate more clearly.
  9. Give Them Opportunities - Come up with tasks specifically for that employee to help them distinguish themselves. "Don't assign these as goals or projects, but mention them as opportunities. See which employees take the bait and go over and above to capitalize on the opportunity, or come up with others on their own."
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