Top 3 benefits of having 1-on-1s with your employees.

October 18, 2017 - 8 minute read - Posted by

In a busy week, why would a manager make time for a 1-on-1 with a direct report? It can seem like an over-administrative thing to do. But there are some great benefits to conducting regular 1-on-1s.

Let’s explore the top three benefits of 1-on-1s.

The Top Three

The top three benefits I’ve experienced from 1-on-1s are:

  • Increased employee loyalty
  • Increased efficiency and productivity
  • Quicker turnaround when off track

Let’s dive into each of these in more detail:

Increased employee loyalty from 1-on-1s

According to Manager Foundation, 1-on-1s can address five top management problems:

  1. Poor employee performance
  2. Disengaged employees
  3. Dealing with endless employee problems
  4. Building relationships with a diverse team
  5. Retaining staff

1-on-1s build performance communication channels.

“Staff feel valued, involved and that they are growing and developing. It’s also dedicated time to build a relationship with them.”

I couldn’t agree more with the above statement from Manager Foundation.

Open performance communication channels motivate team members to continue growing. Developing with managers because of the relationships that have been built.

At 7Geese, this is exactly how we view 1-on-1s. Through weekly 1-on-1s, we’ve built strong relationships with our managers. So much so that when our manager was looking to move our weekly 1-on-1s to biweekly, we all vocalized “no way”.

We’re all dedicated to the goals of our team and department. All of this is because of the relationship built with our manager. 1-on-1s create a sense of loyalty to the team.

Members of my team have commented that before weekly 1-on-1s existed, they were seeking other opportunities.

After starting a 1-on-1 workflow with a weekly cadence, this stopped. Why? Because team members are now very loyal to one another and committed to our success as a group.

Personally, meeting with my manager on a weekly basis made my commitment to 7Geese and my role stronger.

I put in extra hours every week. I did this because I wanted to prove that I was a valued member of the team. And to keep building the relationship that was growing between my manager and myself, I will continue to do so.

As well, the coaching I was receiving on a weekly basis provided me with new skills and kept me engaged.

In our 1-on-1 template is an agenda item called “Coaching/Training Items”. This is an area where I can put in requests for training seminars, specific situations to learn more about and review past coaching sessions. My manager is able to put in items that I need to receive coaching on and share training opportunities.

1-on-1s build relationships between managers and their teams. That relationship then transforms into loyalty. Ultimately, addressing the management problem of employee retention.

Increased efficiency and productivity

As a manager, imagine knowing when your team members have a concern you need to address. 1-on-1s is the perfect time to find out.  It prevents employees from dropping by your office frequently and losing your focusing.

Edward G Brown, an efficiency expert, noted over 4 hours in our day are spent dealing with interruptions. That’s half your day!

Letting your team know that they can come to you for immediate attention is important. But if it can wait until your 1-on-1, both of you will be more productive up until then.

As a team member, I know that if something is time sensitive, I can go straight to our manager. Yet, when an issue is not time sensitive, our 1-on-1s are a great place to have a conversation.

This makes me more productive during my day because I can write my notes in the 1-on-1 template. And then, move on to other tasks.

Imagine if your direct reports did this too. How much time would you save?

Quicker turnaround when off track

This is a benefit that is so impactful, regardless of industry. Steffen Maier, co-founder of Impraise, notes in his article “How to Run Effective 1-on-1s“:

“A lot of things can go right or wrong in four working weeks. If you want to make an impact then, it would be too late.”

That’s why you need to select a cadence that works best for your team size. Even if you spread your 1-on-1s out over a biweekly schedule, keep them consistent.

This could not be truer for us here at 7Geese.

We work with our objectives on a quarterly cadence. For instance, if something happens in week 1 of 12 and it’s not addressed immediately, what happens? We could lose ⅓ or more of our time to achieve those objectives.

Last quarter I was working with a new customer and wanted some input from my manager. Unfortunately, my 1-on-1 got pushed by a week.

Waiting another week was not an option. My customer would not have their deliverables for another week. That’s not great business model. As a result, this could have turned into lost opportunities and a broken customer relationship.

So as you can see, the ripple effects of delayed 1-on-1s have huge impacts on performance. Because the customer’s need became time sensitive, I took it to my manager to get a resolution right away.

Having a regular cadence for 1-on-1s keeps team members, objectives, and KPIs on track. Yet, if challenges arise, having the chance to address them on a weekly basis allows for quick turn turnaround time.

Key takeaways

You and your teams may experience other benefits that you consider to be at the top, which is great!

Bottom line is: Conducting 1-on-1s regularly will increase your team’s loyalty.  And within their positions, increase productivity and efficiency. This is because there’s more time to turn around when they slide off track.

Imagine if these were the only benefits? The great news is, they aren’tthese are just a few.


Next Read: How to boost meeting effectiveness by 60% with simple feedback


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