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Using One-to-One Meeting Templates to Motivate Performance

HR manager conducting one-to-one meeting with employee.

How to use our One to One Meet­ing Tem­plates to guide your reg­u­lar employ­ee catch-ups

It is increas­ing­ly accept­ed that reg­u­lar feed­back ses­sions yield pos­i­tive results for employ­ees, man­agers and the com­pa­ny as a whole. The Cor­po­rate Exec­u­tive Board (CEB) and Deloitte have both found fre­quent feed­back giv­en in the form of reg­u­lar employ­ee check-ins has a sig­nif­i­cant impact on both employ­ee engage­ment and performance.

So for any per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem to be tru­ly effec­tive, it needs to incor­po­rate reg­u­lar one-to-ones. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant giv­en that a 2015 pub­lic sur­vey found 58% of exec­u­tives believe their per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es don’t dri­ve pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. With this in mind, we have cre­at­ed a best-prac­tice one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate that can be utilised along­side rel­e­vant per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware to guide employ­ee check-ins and ensure they are as effec­tive as possible.

Below is our top advice regard­ing one-to-one feed­back, how to get the most out of a check-in ses­sion and how to best use our FREE 121 tem­plate.

How often should you hold reg­u­lar catch-ups?

Evi­dence sug­gests feed­back is more effec­tive when it is giv­en reg­u­lar­ly — but how fre­quent­ly do these meet­ings need to be? Forbes is in favour of one-to-ones that are either week­ly or fort­night­ly. Sim­i­lar­ly, Deloitte also rec­om­mends a once-a-week approach to feed­back. Anoth­er source sug­gests a fort­night­ly catch-up, not­ing that these ses­sions can be strong­ly linked to improved performance.

Engag­ing in fre­quent one-to-ones with your entire work­force might sound intim­i­dat­ing and time-con­sum­ing at first, but they can actu­al­ly prove to be a seri­ous time saver. The feed­back ses­sions might only last five to ten min­utes, which is very lit­tle time at all when com­pared to the lengthy annu­al review ses­sions that are falling out of favour due to their inef­fi­cient nature. When it comes to track­ing your feed­back ses­sions, remem­ber to make use of your per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware pack­age. Keep your sched­uled one-to-one meet­ings when­ev­er pos­si­ble; if a meet­ing needs to be post­poned for an impor­tant rea­son, resched­ule it to take place as soon as possible.

Who should arrange and run the one-on-one meeting?

One-to-ones are far more like­ly to occur when they are ini­ti­at­ed by the employ­ee. This is an approach utilised by Deloitte and with good rea­son. It forces the employ­ee to put thought and con­sid­er­a­tion into their own per­for­mance and puts them in the dri­ving seat, which is a great motivator.

Allow the employ­ee to run the meet­ing to a cer­tain extent. They should read the prompt ques­tions list­ed on the one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate and pre­pare points for dis­cus­sion in advance of the meet­ing. In this way, the employ­ee is doing the major­i­ty of the talk­ing. The man­ag­er should be active­ly lis­ten­ing and answer­ing ques­tions when need­ed. This will give the man­ag­er in ques­tion a great over­all image of how the employ­ee is per­form­ing in their role and give an indi­ca­tion as to their con­fi­dence level.

It should be not­ed that some meet­ings will be fair­ly quick. Not all prompt ques­tions need to be dis­cussed in each and every meet­ing. Only dis­cuss issues and top­ics rel­e­vant to that point in time.

Cov­er actions from your last check-in

Make sure you review action points from your pre­vi­ous one-to-one. Were all the pre­vi­ous­ly agreed upon actions com­plet­ed? If so, recog­nise the employ­ee for their efforts. If not, estab­lish the rea­sons behind why the actions were not com­plet­ed. Dis­cuss any issues that might be imped­ing progress. Talk about whether the aims out­lined in the last ses­sion were as achiev­able as they first appeared. Agree what can be done to ensure the goals are met as soon as pos­si­ble and ask if you, as the man­ag­er, can do any­thing to help the process.

Analyse employ­ee strengths

This is the best pos­si­ble time to dis­cuss an employee’s exist­ing strengths, how the employee’s strengths can be lever­aged and what weak­ness­es they believe they can work on. You might find your employ­ee has cer­tain strengths that can real­ly stand to ben­e­fit the com­pa­ny, or the employ­ee might express a desire to devel­op a cer­tain skillset that would ben­e­fit everyone.

Cov­er indi­vid­ual and team priorities

The one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate will prompt employ­ees to dis­cuss indi­vid­ual and team pri­or­i­ties. Cov­er the pri­or­i­ties for the next few weeks and, if organ­i­sa­tion­al pri­or­i­ties have changed recent­ly, use this time to adapt accordingly.

Don’t for­get to cov­er any press­ing issues and concerns

An inte­gral part of reg­u­lar one-to-ones is the dis­cus­sion of con­cerns that either par­ty may have. Does the employ­ee have any cur­rent issues that are imped­ing his or her progress? Address any and all poten­tial options for resolv­ing the prob­lem at hand, as well as any imme­di­ate actions that can be undertaken.

Cap­ture action points to be com­plet­ed before the next meeting

Final­ly, use the one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate to record agreed action points that should be fol­lowed up as soon as pos­si­ble after the meet­ing. Both the employ­ee and the man­ag­er may have actions aris­ing from the meet­ing. Agree on a spe­cif­ic date for when each action should be com­plet­ed — this will help to ensure that the actions are done a time­ly man­ner and not left ongoing.

If you find our free one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate help­ful, did you know you can boost your employ­ees’ per­for­mance even fur­ther with our Clear Review per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware? To find out how, book a per­son­al demo right now via our online book­ing system.