Here you can find an agenda template and concrete advice on how to conduct one-on-one meetings remotely
To lead remotely (and leadership in general, for that matter) is a craft. It is difficult to educate and just advise leaders how to do, you have to start doing it as well.
But if you are going to choose one thing that you as a leader should start doing, regardless if you lead remotely or not, it is to invest time in frequent one-on-one meetings with your team members.
There are numerous examples from both leaders and coworkers who think that specifically one-on-one meetings is the best tool you can use as a leader.
Google’s famous research project 2009 “Project Oxygen” confirms this. They saw that more appreciated leaders are more likely than less appreciated leaders to have frequent one-on-one meetings with their team members.
What is the effect of one-on-one meetings, then? Often, the effects are seen in engagement and wellbeing. Your remote one-on-one meeting might become the only real dialogue that your coworker has with another person for the entire week. You get an opportunity to be seen, listened to, and perhaps get some praise. The effects of such a meeting can be really big when you work remotely.
So how do you conduct a remote one-on-one meeting in the best way? Keep reading to get some concrete advice.
Give more time for personal contact than you would normally do
When working remotely, you need to focus more on creating togetherness and actively work on your relations, compared to when working at a physical work place. In a survey made by Buffer they found that loneliness was the biggest disadvantage for 21% of those who work remotely, and one of the reasons that made the staff more likely to leave.
Therefore, it is important to spend a lot of time on really caring about your staff on a personal level. The fact is that Gallup has identified ´caring’ as one of the indicators predicting coworkers’ and the work group’s performance, with a strong connection to the company´s productivity and profitability.
Really care about your staff by asking questions also on a personal level. Use the Team function in Pulsᐩ to note more personal things about your coworkers, so that you really get to know them.
Think about your body language
Even if you have the one-on-one meeting remotely, you need to think about your body language. If you check emails, slack notices or your mobile during your meeting, it will show. Not being present in your one-on-one meeting is directly counteracting your coworker’s engagement. Focus on your meeting, and invest in the time you have set off. Set your computer or phone in focus mode, so that you don’t get disturbed. If you take notes during your meeting, tell your coworker this so that they know what you are doing when you hit the keyboard and look at your screen.
Don't give status updates in your one-on-one meetings
General information and status updates, like how your company is doing, can be given in other meetings. Let your one-on-one meeting be a meeting where you care about your coworker. Ask questions, listen and discuss to see how you can support your coworker who is working remotely. If you need inspiration on what to talk about, there are agendas ready to use for both team meetings and one-on-one meetings in the Team function in Pulsᐩ.
Agenda template for remote one-on-one meeting
Here is a proposed agenda for your next remote one-on-one meeting:
- How have you been doing since our last one-on-one meeting?
- How are X (e.g. family, son, dog)?
- Have you got what you need to do a good job remotely?
- How do you experience that the communication works in our team when you work remotely?
- Do you get the information that you need?
- Are my expectations realistic?
- What has gone well since our last meeting?
- How do you experience your work load right now?
- Is there anything we have not brought up that you would like to discuss?
- Is there anything I as a manager can do to help you?