Remote One-on-one Meetings – Tips to Unlock Your Teams’ Potential

Sep 03, 2021
Remote One-on-one Meetings – Tips to Unlock Your Teams’ Potential

The New Normal

A 2014 Global Workplace Analytics report found that 70% of employees worldwide were already working from home for at least one day per week. However, a recent survey during the current pandemic shows that 83% of the US companies are heading towards a hybrid work week!

It’s become an increasingly common sentiment that “Remote work is great”. Employees value having the flexibility to avoid rush hour traffic or make it to their kid’s soccer game on time; employers like having access to fast and flexible workers.

But for all the benefits of remote work, it’s hard to deny that some things are lost when you eliminate face-to-face interactions: everything from casual hallway conversations about weekend plans to more serious team-building exercises. And when your employees are home-bound by a pandemic, it is physically impossible for many of them to show up at work anyway.

The Panacea – Remote One-on-one Meetings

As a manager, you need to come up with ways on how to run efficient meetings. One-on-one meeting with remote teams are no exception and they require some special considerations for them not just to be useful but also productive. The remote one-on-one meeting is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal as a manager. Remote meetings can help you build strong bonds with your team, resolve problems early, and improve employee retention rates. Remote meetings are also a great way to get timely upward feedback that helps you become a better manager.

A recent study found that up to 27% of remote workers are disengaged from their work, with a lack of communication being the leading cause. One-on-one meetings are one effective way to keep remote teams engaged and productive, so make sure you’re taking the time for these effective conversations!

If you’re looking for tips on how to run successful remote one-on-one meetings, then this post is for you.

Tips for Successful Remote One-on-one Meetings

Managers have limited time with each employee and they need to make sure that their meetings are effective. Meetings are especially valuable when you have someone working remotely or don’t see each other in person very often. These circumstances can make it difficult to know if there is anything the employee would like to talk about or any problems they are facing. Remote one on ones can help you keep your finger on the pulse of each team member and ensure everything is going smoothly. Following are some tips for you to run effective remote one on one meetings.

  1. Share Agenda before meeting:  Make sure you have an agenda for the one on one, and that both parties know what will be discussed ahead of time. Share the list of topics that you want to discuss at the time of scheduling the meeting. Remote meetings can work best when there is some structure involved to ensure everyone’s questions are answered and issues resolved within a reasonable amount of time. The discussion time is your opportunity to dig into the details of what the team is working on, and to challenge them on how they are approaching their job.  This makes the meeting not only efficient but also effective, as everyone is aware of the agenda ahead of time.
  2. Create presentations:  Charts, tables, and word documents make data presented in an illustrative manner easier to understand. Make sure you are presenting data in graphs or charts when providing specifics about anything from a new project to last month’s production. It can be utilised not only to offer data but also to serve as a future reminder of the established goals.  It’s not necessary that lengthy presentations need to be created, but some basic data points with praises for good work and areas of improvement would work.
  3. Ask ice-breaking questions:  As a manager, it is your responsibility to coach your staff and create a more open environment allowing for greater communication. Asking ice-breaking questions like “What are you reading?” helps both parties know each other and effectively start a meeting. People are more likely to buy into the goal of the conference if such small interactive sessions precede the main event.  Since remote meetings are very non-personal, the social element in teams should not be lost. This is where these ice-breaking questions come handy.
  4. Avoid distractions:  One way to run a productive remote meeting is by scheduling it ahead of time, during a slow period for both parties if possible. This helps avoid any unexpected distractions that might arise during your meeting. A good one-on-one session can pave the way for a productive time, while a bad session can spell disaster. A terrible session is, at best, a waste of time, and at worst, a source of embarrassment for both parties concerned.  Blocking the calendar and scheduling a meeting ahead of time saves time for everyone and makes the meeting productive.
  5. Take Notes:  Managers can take notes during these meetings that will help them run subsequent ones more effectively. It’s also important for managers to be mindful of time and respect the employee by providing ample feedback and not talking over them.
  6. Follow-up:  Managers should regularly run check-in at the end of their one-on-one meetings. Remotely run meetings have unique challenges because managers can’t see the participant. As a manager, you’ll want to make sure that your remote one on one is productive by keeping track of what gets discussed and following up as necessary.   This should help resolve any issues or concerns within the one-on-one, but if there are any lingering problems or something seems off, it might be worth bringing up in the next team meeting.

One-on-one meetings also provide a unique opportunity to improve employee engagement and uncover feedback that they might not otherwise feel comfortable sharing in another situation. Remote one on ones is great for this because employees are less likely to feel judged by their manager when they’re not face-to-face. It can also help you collect feedback from people who might be too shy or introverted to speak up in a team setting.

The benefits of one-on-one meetings are that they provide a great way for the manager to learn more about an employee and his or her team member relationships. It’s also important to run check ins at the end, which allows managers to better understand how their employees are feeling and what might be affecting them outside of work.

About huminos

huminos is a comprehensive performance conversations platform that helps your employees to achieve impactful outcomes, even if they are working remotely. Features like OKRs, 1:1 conversations, feedbacks, reflections, and pulse allow you to plan and measure work that really matters to your company.

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