Regular one-on-one meetings throughout the year are essential to keep up the momentum of performance improvement, though the one-on-one can often be seen as the formal annual appraisal's poorer cousin. This can lead to planned meetings being missed out if something 'more important' crops up, but it's important to recognize just how valuable they are.
Why are one-on-one meetings so important?
To address poor performance in a timely manner - As you know, any performance issues should be raised as soon as possible with the employee in question, and one-on-one meetings are an ideal way to do it. This way you can be sure the issue is fresh in the manager's mind, and stop it developing into something more serious.
To build trust between employee and manager - Face-to-face interaction makes it much easier for both sides to raise issues, and it encourages better communication all round. Working relationships between managers and their direct reports are much more productive when built on trust and mutual respect, and one-on-ones certainly help to facilitate this.
To ensure appraisal objectives and KPIs are monitored throughout the year - It's so important for employee motivation to make sure appraisals aren't seen as just a 'paper exercise', and keeping the momentum going throughout the year helps in that respect. Anything that's decided on as a goal during an annual appraisal can be monitored throughout the year, ensuring that actions are being taken as and when they're needed, rather than a last minute scramble to get the boxes ticked as appraisal time approaches.
The importance of documenting one-on-one meetings
Having documented notes from one-on-one meetings to reference during the appraisal process is crucial. In order to effectively manage performance, documentation is needed for every aspect of that performance - from data relating to an employee's role, to meetings, reviews, and appraisals where performance is discussed. For any employee/employer meeting you need a record of the meeting, to document key decisions taken, and what information was discussed.
This is something that's especially important when it comes to underperformance. If an employee is told during their end of year appraisal that their performance has been poor throughout the year, they're quite within their rights to ask for specifics and evidence. If nothing has been documented, they'll naturally question this, and the performance management process is compromised. With well-documented meetings there can be no ambiguity around what was agreed, particularly important in one-on-ones where there are only two people involved and it's literally a case of 'he said, she said'.
Primalogik 360 offers a dedicated tool used by managers in order to document these one-on-one meetings. The tool can be used at any time, and then is automatically presented again during the appraisal session. No need to use post-it notes, emails, and any other documents to keep these valuable notes ready. Even if there's a change in management, Primalogik 360 will automatically transfer the notes from the previous manager to the new manager, helping the newcomer with all relevant information for the team.
As you'll no doubt realize, one-on-one meetings are essential for effective ongoing employee performance management, and in order to see all the benefits, they must be documented. A robust procedure for doing this gives an organization a performance management system that is effective all year round, and has much more of a chance of making an impact on overall performance.