Connect with Your Employees in the Right Way

By Julie Goh (10 Nov 2022)

I am someone who dislikes meetings, in general. I find them time-consuming and often, the discussions go off-topic because the person chairing the meeting is unprepared and disorganised or someone else hijacks the meeting. It is most frustrating when you come out from a long meeting with nothing – no conclusion, no action plan. The only decision made was, there is a need to hold another meeting! That really frustrates me.

However, there are some people who love meetings, because it makes them feel important. It makes them look “busy”.

The worst kind of meeting is when the manager uses it to show their authority and berate employees during meetings. This is not only unprofessional and disrespectful but is also demoralising to every attendee in the meeting.

Group meetings are held when there is a need to discuss about collaboration or information to be shared. If you want updates from your team members on their work progress, don’t waste everyone else’s time – do a 1:1.

The Wonders of 1:1s

1:1 is a great way for the manager to connect with an employee. It is more focused, and the employee will feel more at ease to ask questions or contribute ideas. It is great for feedbacks and to manage performance.

1:1 meeting does not need to be formal and can be held out of the office, over coffee or lunch. This helps to put the employee at ease.

When your employee is feeling at ease and do not feel like they are in a hostile environment, they are more receptive to feedback and more open to share their views as well. This is a great way to discuss on improvements.

To make the experience even more impressive, is when the manager sends a follow-up email to the employee, thanking them for their time. A summary of the things discussed and to action on is included in the email. Action could be by either party.

This shows to the employee that the manager was really listening. (Do note at no point did I mentioned anything about taking notes during the 1:1). What a great way to build trust and engagement.

The author is an award-winning HR Sifu with, who has made significant improvements in how HR operates in multiple retail and high-volume/fast-paced companies. Complimentary consultation sessions with HR Sifu are available for all paying customers.

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