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The Champion Forum Podcast

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The Value of Regular Debriefs

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! If there was one thing you could do to improve your relationship with your team, increase productivity, and decrease turnover, would you do it? Regular debriefs through one-on-one meetings can produce those results, but most leaders are not investing in them. Or worse, they do not approach them with the right attitude and end up frustrating their employees. Today, we’re discussing the value of one-on-one meetings, how to make the most of them, and what to avoid.

One-on-one meetings are a key component of successful, ongoing feedback, no matter where you are in your company. It’s also an opportunity for managers to discuss current events and projects and get personal. You should never see these meetings as something you have to do. They are something you get to do. Done right, these meetings are a deposit for everyone involved.


Why You Need To Prioritize One-On-One Meetings

  1. You Will Improve Performance

Frequent check-ins allow you to stay on top of employee performance and ensure they meet their goals.


  1. You Will Drive Development

87% of millennials value growth and employee development in a job, and 1-on-1 meetings are the perfect time to discuss personal and professional growth. When you talk about what matters most to them, you can learn what they want their career to look like and determine where they need professional development. By showing interest in them and investing in them, you will have happier, more productive employees and reduce turnover.


  1. You Will Build Trust

Companies often boast of a culture where they will trust you until they get a reason not to, but trust is not automatic. Trust is built and earned through connection. One-on-one meetings allow employees to get personal. Over time, this trust will help them feel comfortable sharing what is happening in their work and personal lives.


Q: What are you looking for in a one-on-one meeting? What would make you feel valued and appreciated? What has helped you build trust with your manager in the past?


Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing One-On-One Meetings:

  1. Skipping Meetings

You need to prioritize these meetings as much as you can. After all, this is your team! These are the people who are taking care of your customers and prospects. If you skip meetings, it implies that you do not care about their time, you don’t appreciate them, and it can severely compromise your relationship.


  1. Rushing Through Feedback

Even in short meetings, leaders should provide thoughtful feedback. The person you’re meeting with shouldn’t show up and feel like they are getting flooded with information. Otherwise, what is supposed to be a deposit becomes something they dread. If you have a lot to say, schedule a second meeting to cover that topic.


  1. Talking More Than You Listen

Let them take the lead. The regular one-on-one is their meeting. Giving them control over the agenda will allow them to share the barriers they face at work and home. Make yourself a resource. When you listen well, you will uncover the answers to your organization’s greatest challenges.


Q: Have you ever had a manager who did one-on-one meetings well? Describe them. Have you ever had a boss who did not value your one-on-one meeting? How did it affect your relationship and your work?


When preparing for the meetings, don’t go with a PowerPoint or a list of things for them to do. Instead, ask these four questions:

  1. What updates do you have for me?

  2. What decisions do you need me to make?

  3. What progress have you made on your goals?

  4. What problems are hurting your progress?


Application Activities:

  1. There are many inter-generational differences in employees’ expectations of their boss. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the needs and expectations of each generation, especially those you have on your team. Then, take some time to tailor your questions for your employees’ one-on-ones to ensure they have a chance to voice those needs. You can also check out this past episode, Generational Diversity, here.

  2. Take some time to check in with your team on their goals this week. If they have not set goals, set goals for 2024 and set up quarterly benchmarks that will allow you to determine whether or not they are on track to meet their goals. Quarterly checkpoints will help you identify barriers and pivot before it becomes impossible for your employee to get back on track.

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