During this time of rapid employee turnover and struggles to find qualified and committed staff to do the work or provide the care that your organization needs, it’s a time to really reflect on how we support and develop our leaders in how they should lead. 

A recent trend is having stay conversations versus exit conversations.  I personally in 40 years of work life never had a leader or a representative of human resources have either of those conversations with me.  I have always tried, as I was able to have regular 1:1 conversation with my employees.  We would talk about so many things, including how the work was going, what help they needed, additional training or coaching needed.  We also would talk about what parts of their job bring them joy and what parts are frustrating. I would do my best to help them move on to a better or higher role is that was their desire versus losing them to another organization.

I’m going to be honest, there were times in my career this did not happen on a regular cadence.  When I had 70-80 direct reports there just was not time for those 1:1’s regularly in addition to the rest of the workload. Also, when I would have around 40-50 hours of meetings each week, it was hard to fit in regular 1:1’s.  I did manage to do them every couple of weeks, but it made the work week stretch into 70 hours. 

 As leaders in our organization, we must create a structure that allows this to happen and train our leaders how to do this effectively.  There are so many benefits that in the long run create loyalty, commitment, and much better-quality work not to mention the cost of 50,000-100,000 or more cost per each employee that leaves. 

If you are not yet convinced – here is some additional insight. Regular one-on-one (1:1) meetings with employees have a significant positive impact on various aspects of workplace dynamics and individual performance. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. **Improved Communication**: Regular 1:1 meetings foster open and honest communication between managers and employees. This consistent dialogue helps clarify expectations, provide feedback, and address concerns promptly, preventing misunderstandings and miscommunications.

2. **Employee Engagement and Satisfaction**: When employees have regular opportunities to discuss their goals, challenges, and career aspirations, they feel valued and heard. This can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction and engagement, as employees perceive that their contributions and development are important to the organization.

3. **Personalized Support and Development**: These meetings allow managers to tailor their support to the individual needs of each employee. Managers can provide specific feedback and resources that align with the employee’s strengths and areas for improvement, fostering personal and professional growth. They also can determine what kind of additional training is needed, or if an impartial coach would help to enhance the abilities and performance.

4. **Early Issue Identification and Resolution**: Regular 1:1s create a space where employees can voice concerns or challenges, they are facing in real-time. This enables managers to identify and address potential problems early, reducing the likelihood of larger issues developing over time.  This also helps to decrease turnover and prevent employee failure

5. **Goal Alignment and Accountability**: These meetings are an opportunity to set, review, and adjust individual goals in alignment with team and organizational objectives. This alignment ensures that everyone is working towards the same priorities, and regular check-ins help hold employees accountable for their progress.

6. **Enhanced Trust and Relationship Building**: Consistent, one-on-one interactions build stronger relationships and trust between managers and employees. This trust is foundational for a positive work environment, where employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and feedback. We must remember some of the most helpful feedback comes directly from the staff doing the work.  Creating a trusting environment will help those ideas come forward.

7. **Increased Motivation and Performance**: By providing regular feedback and recognizing achievements, managers can boost employee motivation. Employees are more likely to perform well when they receive regular affirmation and constructive criticism that guides their efforts.  They also will tend to stay longer in addition to performing well when they know the leader cares and also is willing to invest in development support for them. 

8. **Career Development and Retention**: Employees who feel supported in their career development are more likely to stay with the company. Regular 1:1 meetings can help map out career paths, discuss opportunities for advancement, identify areas for growth and those resources needed, and ensure employees see a future with the organization.

In summary, regular one-on-one meetings with employees are a critical management practice that enhances communication, engagement, development, and overall organizational health. They provide a structured yet flexible platform for continuous dialogue, which is essential for nurturing a motivated, high-performing workforce.

Creating the structure to equip your leaders with the tools to do this well and the structure to support the time needed to meet regularly with their employees will pay off ten fold in the engagement of current staff the ability to retain most of your quality employees, and recruitment of even more quality employees as word travels fast of which employers and leaders provide that support. 

If you would like to have an impartial professional explore reasons for your turnover issues, lack of engagement, or poor leadership performance and education, we are happy to set up time to talk and see how we can help each other. 

Schedule a discovery call today.  www.firstqualityconsulting.com

We are ready to help both you and your leaders.