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Meet With Employees Weekly, Experts Say

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Communication is a vital component of any successful business. 

In a recent interview with Ratchet and Wrench, Maylan Newton—the founder of the Educational Seminars Institute, which provides management and personnel coaching to the automotive industry—discussed the importance of having regular one-on-one meetings with your employees. 

At the bare minimum, he advises managers to have monthly check-ins with every employee. However, the most ideal situation would be to meet much more frequently. He recommends it every week. 

It’s during this time you can discuss any questions or concerns the employee may have regarding their work and their environment. It also allows managers to give positive and, if needed, constructive feedback on their performance. This time could also be spent doing mini-training sessions to sharpen the employee’s skills or just generally developing a positive working relationship with the employee. 

Newton says it also eliminates one of the biggest problems that shop owners and managers face: having the first conversation after something goes wrong. 

If regular weekly, bi-weekly or monthly meetings are in place, conversations with employees are always on-going and will create a space where both managers and employees can address their concerns. 

And the results speak for themselves. A 2015 Gallup study found employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them were almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them. 

In a Medium article on the topic, some of the most successful current and former CEOs in the world, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Intel’s Andy Grove and Shipwire’s Damon Schechter, shared the positive impact frequent meetings have. 

“Anytime there is tension brewing between two members of my team, I ask: when was the last time the two of you had a one-on-one? The response is usually something to the effect of: well, we’ve had trouble finding time to meet for the last two or three weeks. They then have the meeting, and the problem invariably goes away,” Schechter told the publication, adding he had daily meetings with every employee and has slowly moved to weekly meetings.

The one potential misstep that Newton sees and advises against is managers becoming too friendly with employees. Make sure to establish a positive and helpful working relationship, but be wary of allowing that to become a friendship. That will make it harder to discipline employees and address uncomfortable topics down the line. 

“You will be taken advantage of when you become friends,” Newton said. “Keep your conversations professional.”

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