How to manage effective 1 on 1 meetings remotely

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1 on 1 meetings are a forum between manager and direct reports, where- unlike the status meetings or project presentations- there is a space for coaching, feedback, and also a space to express in an open way their feelings regarding the work environment, work load, career, etc. These meetings aim to build a strong and committed team, and to strengthen the bonds of trust between the manager and their reports.

This type of communication is essential to better understand workers’ feelings, ideas, and concerns, especially during these COVID-19 times when uncertainty is everywhere, causing even more anxiety. In fact, according to surveys carried out by Impulse, 61% of employees felt anxious, distracted or stressed after the first few weeks of confinement, and as a consequence, this has been reflected in their productivity levels.

Perhaps in the everyday face to face work, for a manager it is possible to notice when their teams are unmotivated or not very committed, but now with many of the teams working from home, it is difficult to interpret the tone of emails or instant messages; that is why now more than ever it is necessary to find ways to keep having effective communication just as it was previously when it was face to face.

That is why we give you some important points to consider in order to have effective one-on-one sessions remotely:

  1. Schedule the meeting in a recurrent way, according to you and your team’s needs.
  2. Have an agenda of the options to be discussed, and ask the participants to also have the points they want to talk about.
  3. Consider using technology that allows hearing the tone of voice and seeing the body language of the participants, so that communication feels almost as personal as if it was face-to-face.
  4. Ask about their physical and mental health. This poins is more important given that now more than every, your direct reports need to know that you care about their wellbeing, and also will help your team members to feel more supported and listened to.
  5. Be considerate of the individual situation of each person on your team as the person who is carrying the quarantine isolated is not the same as the person who has children at home or people in their care. Each of these particular situations can be reflected directly in their performance, so it is important to acknowledge them and be empathetic.

As we previously mentioned in the post 5 ways to keep your team´s wellness during coronavirus outbreak, having confidence in delegating responsibilities to your team is essential while working remotely, but in the same way it is essential that managers are available to address concerns that arise.

For this reason, 1 on 1 sessions are a very useful communication tool to build trust within the team, know if you are in the same page, as well as to detect things that are not working and work on action plans that help achieve business objectives while taking care of your team´s wellbeing.

At Erudit we want to help you taking care of your workers in these challenging times, monitoring their levels of engagement, burn out and friction (without the need of applying a single survey) and finding ways to maintain a healthy and productive team of collaborators.

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