The Importance of 1-on-1 Meetings for Your Business

Providing feedback to your employees is an important way to convey expectations, provide praise, offer constructive criticism, and receive feedback. Because you're busy, you may be tempted to provide feedback to your workers via email, phone calls, or in a group setting. However, research shows that sitting down to spend one-on-one time with your employees is an important part of their success, not to mention your own. Meeting with people face-to-face provides a range of benefits.

Personal Meetings Improve Employee Morale

When you meet with your employees in a one-on-one setting, you show them that you value their contribution to your business. It proves that you respect them not only by providing praise in person but by offering constructive criticism in a private environment away from their peers. This is the best time to provide suggestions and show your employees how you see them moving forward with your company. Emailed annual reviews are impersonal and may be harder for employees to interpret.

In-Person Meetings Show Professionalism

These days, many companies allow employees to work from home. In fact, some never even see the faces of the people who work for them. While telecommunication offers plenty of benefits, periodic in-person communication is vital for success. Even a single day of renting meeting rooms in New York shows you are professional, care about your business, and care about the employees. If your business is relatively new, it is also a good way to prove to potential employees that you're a trustworthy employer.

Meeting Individually Increases Productivity

Many employers mistakenly believe that meeting each employee individually takes too much time, so they turn to email or group meetings. The reality is that individual appointments often increase overall productivity. You can convey individualized instructions for improvement, not to mention spend less time responding to email communication or answering multiple questions in a group setting (which often leads to others coming up with similar questions).

One-On-One Meetings Improve Communication

Have you ever wanted to ask a question in a group of people but have been worried about sounding silly? Chances are your employees have done the same thing in a group meeting. By talking to each person individually, you improve communication. You can offer more personalized information about your workers' performances on the job, and they can ask questions openly. Face-to-face meetings are especially important in situations where someone's job description or responsibilities may change and require new training or information.

Personal Meetings Allow for Interpretation

Communicating only via technology creates the inability to interpret. When you communicate via the internet, it's easier for you to misunderstand each other. Communication often requires hearing the inflection of someone's voice or seeing their body language. Imagine you need to give constructive criticism. If you do it via email, your employees may assume you're angry and become worried. If you ask them questions or ask if they understand something via the internet, they may say yes just because they feel you want to hear it. When you speak in person, it's easier to reassure people, not to mention to tell if they mean it when they say they understand what you're saying.

Tips for a Successful Meeting

Taking time for one-on-one meetings is easier if you create a structure from the start. Maybe you prefer to meet in your office, in a neutral meeting space, or even in a casual coffee house. Regardless of where you decide is best, use the same type of space for each meeting. This helps to establish a pattern, so people know what to expect. The best format for meetings is to provide positive feedback, then negative feedback, then allow questions and clarification. Frequent meetings are a good idea as well. This way, you aren't trying to cram six months' worth of information into a 30-minute window. Show your employees how much they mean to you and create a better work environment in the process. Choose one-on-one meetings the next time you want to check in with your employees and boost morale. Related: 3 Strategies to Help You Lead Your Team to Win in Business