Value of One-on-Ones
Employees need to have a feeling of purpose without feeling limited in their careers by solving business problems, collaborating and using innovative tools. Whether you are the employee or manager in this situation, having regular one-hour, one-on-one time nourishes the growth of the employees and organization. This helps close the gap and stigma between leadership and the subordinates.
During my graduate program at George Mason University Technology Management program, we took a Leadership and Change Management course and read a book praised in Silicon Valley High Output Management by former chairman and CEO of Intel Andrew S. Grove. In reference to one-on-one sessions, he said,
“Ninety minutes of your time can enhance the quality of your subordinate’s work for two weeks, or for some eighty-plus hours….A key point about a one-on-one: it should be regarded as the subordinate’s meeting, with its agenda and tone set by him.”
Having these one-on-one sessions are the most valuable investment you can make as a manager or employee. It helps to: 1) identify issues early on 2) provide a voice and visibility for the employee and 3) coach and develop staff. If you are the employee, come in with an agenda and questions.
Think big picture. How can you help grow the business? What information do you need to know about the market you are in to assist and grow your work? Setting up time for an hour helps bring forth in natural conversation pain points, issues, and aspirations.
Being a Certified ScrumMaster and a Project Manager, I find setting regular time with my colleagues both individually and as a group is highly valuable. In large team meeting settings, a specific individual may not speak up due to other personalities around the room. The one-on-one time helps establish a more personal relationship and creates an atmosphere of trust. While I was at a large corporation or currently in a medium sized firm, I found that meeting with my market leaders or partners monthly has given me a better sense of 1) how to prioritize my work 2) which output I am producing would benefit the company 3) market direction. If you do not feel like you are getting that time or visibility at your current organization, be proactive or consider asking to be moved around teams.
Tell me your thoughts below! Do you have one-on-one meetings? Do you find them helpful?