The most important aspect of a 1-1 meeting is to simply have them. I hear through the grapevine that this is not standard practice for most maintenance departments, and this is a big omission that can have negative consequences throughout your organization. Here’s why they are important.
Prioritize Your People
You can have the most effective processes and the best technology, but if you have unhappy, unproductive technicians, you have a problem. Maintenance managers must make time in their jobs to meet with each and every maintenance technician on a 1-1 basis. The act of holding these private meetings shows that your business values its people. Its the action that will solidify a people-focused vision or mission.
During these meetings, it’s your chance to develop a trusted, honest relationship with your technicians. Be careful not to focus too much on tasks; this meeting should focus on allowing your technicians to bring questions, concerns, and problems to you. Your primary goal is to listen and then work together to come up with solutions.
According to industry experts, you should hold a 1-1 meeting for an hour each week. Prioritize the meeting, respect the start and end times, and cancel rarely. If you work closely with particular technicians, or you mutually decide to meet less frequently because things are going well, you can adjust the schedule to suit your team.
Try to change the locations of your 1-1. Instead of meeting in your office every week, go out for coffee or take a walk outside once in awhile. Remember this is a chance to connect with your technicians as human beings instead of cogs in a corporate machine.
Ask your technicians to jot down agenda items in a shared Google document or via email before your meeting so you have time to prepare. You can have some standing agenda items such as progress toward KPIs or goals, career development progress, issues and problems, and so forth.
Although it can be helpful to start with some structure, your technicians may come up with their own preferences about what they want to discuss and how they want to discuss things with you. It’s your job to listen.
In the end, 1-1 meetings can help you build a positive, engaging, and attractive corporate culture. With the labor market continuing to tighten, these 1-1 meetings can help you retain your top technicians.