I recently met with the leadership team of a company with approximately 140 people to discuss their difficulty in retaining employees. They talked about the frustration of making a hire but then losing another employee only to fall further behind. Lost revenue, time, momentum, and morale.
Hearing about their difficulties, we discussed that one of the most effective ways to retain employees is for leaders to consistently hold 1:1 meetings to connect with, invest in and care for each of their direct reports. 1:1 meetings enable leaders to understand where each team member is at and proactively address any developing issues before they become the reason the employee leaves your company.
One of the company leaders responded that “1:1 meetings can work great for the office team but how do we retain employees on the plant floor or in the field?” I asked him why he would only have 1:1 meetings and development plans for the office team and not everyone else in the organization. In fact, anyone could make the argument that investing in and retaining our production or field team members is even more important because of the people shortages in these areas. We Provide talent management software for small business.
The leader was quick to agree as open positions in production and the field has limited the company’s ability to increase sales in the last couple of years. He further explained that development plans were inconsistent in that some people had developed plans but others didn’t. And for those that did it was in a Word document and he was uncertain where they were saved and kept. With all that being said, he wondered aloud how he could possibly track, monitor and manage 1:1 meetings and development plans for 140 team members?
Manually tracking 1:1 meetings can be time-consuming and frustrating. So much so that many development processes prematurely end because they are manual. Fortunately, technology is changing the game and making 1:1 meetings easier and more effective.
Using software to manage 1:1 meetings has several benefits, including improving employee retention. Regular feedback and support from leaders can increase job satisfaction, engagement, and make employees more likely to stay with the company long-term due to feeling more valued. Candidly, retention increases when the employee knows that the company genuinely cares for them and their future. Consistent 1:1 meetings illustrate to all team members that the company cares for and wants to invest in them.
Using software just makes developing leaders easier. When I log into MyTalentPlanner to hold my monthly 1:1 development meeting with one of my team members, everything I need is right there in one place ready to go. I have immediate access to the agenda, notes from previous 1:1’s, their development plan, performance review and behavioural science results. Anything that helps me excel at developing others, helps me be a better leader.
Another significant advantage of using software for 1:1 meetings is its role in succession planning. Leaders can identify employees who have the potential to move into leadership roles through these meetings. By using technology to monitor the progress of these high-potential employees, leaders can ensure that they are receiving the necessary training and development to prepare them for future leadership roles.
Technology provides all leaders access to see what other leaders in their organization are investing in and how they are developing their teams. They recognize that when their organization wins at talent they will dominate their industry. And to do that you have to hold 1:1 development meetings with every team member in your organization – from the board room to the plant floor to in the field.
A great example of that is a distribution company that I work with.. Every day they have over 50 technicians in the field servicing equipment in their customers’ facility. Like many service organizations, over the last five years, they struggled to retain their technicians. Recognizing the need to build a deeper connection with their technicians they started holding monthly 1:1 meetings with their technician team. Their technician retention rate is at an all-time high and even some of the technicians that had left have come back.
In today’s talent economy, retention is the first objective of most organizations. Mastering the discipline of 1:1 meetings is a best practice for growing organizations regardless if they have 14 employees or 140. Software is becoming a game-changer when it comes to effectively implementing and excelling at 1:1 meetings for employee retention. By using software to manage these numerous meetings and development plans, leaders can streamline the process, track progress, focus on connecting with their employees, and ‘build the team to achieve your dream’.