Technology has made our professional lives easier in many ways. But it’s also increased the size of our workloads — even if it’s not overtly noticeable to outside observers.
For example, it’s not uncommon for today’s workers to plug away all day at the office only to head home and spend their nights keeping on top of their inbox. Sure, they might be sitting on their couch in their pajamas, half-watching TV. But that doesn’t mean they’re not working.
Due to these seemingly ever-increasing workloads, some managers have decided to get rid of the classic one-on-one meeting, which is typically held to chart progress and make sure bosses and employees are on the same page.
Managers who discontinue one-on-one meetings figure that their employees could use some extra time each week — and they’re right. Believe it or not, nearly 70% of workers feel as though they’re unable to tackle all of their job responsibilities each week, according to our Employee Engagement Report.
Still, those who ax these meetings are trimming in the wrong place.
Though they have been around for a long time and might seem outdated because of that, one-on-one meetings continue to provide organizations with a slew of benefits. For starters, these meetings allow managers to stay in the loop and keep their fingers on the pulse of their employees’ workloads. This gives them the peace of mind that comes with knowing with certainty every important task is being covered.
What’s more, not only do one-on-ones provide an intimate setting for managers to quietly guide and coach their employees toward reaching their performance goals, they also give workers a platform to share things they’re working on that might be under their bosses’ radar. You can’t expect someone who manages a large team to be privy to everything that’s going on, after all.
Additionally, one-on-ones create an atmosphere that’s conducive to brainstorming new ideas. When managers and their employees talk about certain projects or initiatives, ideas will inevitably start flowing. You never know when a routine meeting can give birth to a truly game-changing idea.
One-on-one meetings play another crucial yet often-overlooked role: they give managers the information they need to accurately assess their employees’ performance at any given point in time.
If your company is like most others, odds are you review your employees’ progress — or lack thereof — at least once a year. These performance reviews determine what a team member is doing well, what they need to work on, and whether they deserve a raise or bonus.
When managers only touch base with their employees on an annual basis, it’s hard enough for them to remember what happened last week. As for what happened four or five months ago? Forget it.
That being the case, managers cannot expect they’ll be able to give their employees accurate and thorough reviews if they’re not speaking with them on a regular basis. If you want your employees to receive honest and fair reviews, it’s in your best interest to meet regularly with them in private settings. It’s that simple.
Your employees may very well have a full schedule each week. To improve their work-life balance, you can certainly consider taking something off of their plates. But just make sure that something isn’t a one-on-one meeting.