Why Managers Should Meet Consistently With Their Employees
By Chrissy Scivicque
Workplace meetings have gotten a bad rap these days. Most people agree that the majority of meetings they attend are too time-consuming and poorly run to be effective. In the recent past, the conversation has largely been around how to have fewer meetings at work, not more.
That’s why the recommendation for managers to meet consistently with their employees — even when they have no reason to — might be a little controversial. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
Yes, a lot of meetings in the workplace are pretty pointless, but that doesn’t mean they hold no value. Meetings are still important because they offer an opportunity for real-time communication. Whether they happen face-to-face or over the phone, they’re still the most useful tool we have for building, maintaining and strengthening relationships.
Unfortunately, many managers discount the importance of meeting regularly with their employees. It happens time and again: Managers schedule one-on-one meetings only to later cancel them at the last minute.
“We’re all too busy!” they think. “And hey, what’s there to talk about anyway?”
Some managers are only motivated enough to meet with their staff when something isn’t working and they need to address it. This is dangerous territory because it creates an expectation.
“Uh, oh. You’ve got a meeting with the boss? What did you do now?”
It’s vital to meet regularly with your employees, even when problems don’t exist. Plan on meeting for a short period of time, 30 minutes or less, for no reason at all if you have to! Just do it on a consistent basis. Here are just three reasons why it’s important.
Meeting Regularly Helps Deepen Rapport
Devoting regular time to the relationship helps develop a sense of camaraderie, making it easier to discuss and resolve issues when they inevitably do arise.
Meeting Regularly Encourages Both Parties to Raise Issues Proactively
Meetings also inspire both the manager and the employee to raise important issues before they become urgent. Why not catch problems before they become problems?
Meeting Regularly Provides Opportunity for Informal Feedback
Meetings allow managers to offer informal feedback on a regular basis. Employees crave more information about how they’re doing. An annual performance review simply isn’t enough. Without regular direct feedback, they can end up creating false perceptions about their performance.
Schedule a routine time to get together at intervals that make sense for your workplace and working relationship. That might mean weekly, monthly or even daily in some cases. And don’t be tempted to cancel the meeting if there’s “nothing” to talk about.
There’s always something. Use this three-point agenda to keep things on track:
- What victories have you experienced since the last time we met?
- What are you working on and what are the obstacles?
- What do you need from me?
Original article published on US News & World Report.
Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an Adjunct Professor with an extensive background in developing and managing internship programs. She is a skilled program manager, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and 20 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.
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