What should I cover with my people in our weekly one-on-ones? Many of you have asked this question. So today friends, I am going to share my how-to for supervision meetings. So, without any further ado:
Step 1: Decide to have the one-on-one.
Yes, the first step is to decide that regular supervision meetings with each person are important, a priority, and something that is valuable to the whole team. Because they are all those things. Effective supervision meetings provide a space for feedback and open communication. They signal to your team that they are valued and their needs matter, all of which increases employee engagement. People often wonder what regular means. I would say that supervision meetings should ideally be scheduled weekly, or at least every other week. And how long? At least 30 minutes. So, if you have 5 direct reports that is at least 2.5 hours per week in supervision meetings. Plus, a meeting with your own supervisor. Side note: if this sounds like too many meetings, consider that you might be supervising too many people.
Step 2: Set it up.
Schedule a regular day/time with each of your team members. Put it on your calendar, and each of your people’s calendar. Then stick to it. Remember, these meetings are a priority. Next, find a space for the meeting. Supervision meetings should be at a time where your people have your complete, full attention. You need to find a private space where neither of you will be interrupted by phone calls, emails or other people. This might mean meeting somewhere where you can’t see your computer, you can’t hear your desk phone (ie not at your desk) and turning off your cell.
Step 3: Start the meeting.
Sometimes, getting started is the hardest part. Here are some questions that can help get things going:
How are you this week?
Where would you like to begin?
What has been coming up for you this week?
Step 4: During the meeting
Some of us are nervous about the format of a supervision meeting. “What should we be talking about?” is a question I often get. A model that I learned that has worked well is the 5 Ps:
Projects– going over the things that your team member is working on right now
Problems– talking through things that aren’t going well
Praise/Positives– making sure your team member knows about all the things that they have been doing well
Professional Development – what is their growing edge? What goals have they set for the year.
Personal – this is about getting to know each of your team members as a person, with life and demands beyond their work.
Is there a particular order that works best? I think this is a question of your own style. I like my team member to run the meeting. I see it as my job to make sure we cover all 5 Ps, but I want to start where they want to start. And often they start with what they need from me, which is great!
The part that both supervisors and team members often struggle with is the “personal’. And this takes time. Building trust. Creating the habit of having the meeting. Remembering the names of their partner/kids/pets and asking about them. Deep listening.
Step 5: Closing the meeting
At the end of the meeting, go through the tasks that have come out of the meeting – both the things that you now need to do, and that your employee needs to do. Make sure you are both clear and in agreement on these next steps.
So, there you go – my how-to for supervision meetings. I hope you find something in here that you can use with your team. Or maybe there is something here that you could bring to your manager for your supervision meetings with them. Let me know how it goes, you know I would love to hear all about it.
Until next week,