I have always been a big believer in the value of meeting with your employees one-to-one. My mantra was that updates could happen informally in the hallway, but for real professional development to take place there needed to be scheduled meetings that went beyond the nuts and bolts of daily operations.

In my supervisor workshops, I frequently encounter supervisors who wonder what there is to talk about if it isn’t about logistical items or tasks. Here is a list of topics that I have shared:

  • New skills to develop
  • Interests that aren’t being utilized
  • Biggest challenges
  • Long-term thoughts on what could be done
  • Evaluation/debriefing of recent activities
  • What changes could be made to the supervisor/supervisee relationship
  • What could be stopped/eliminated
  • Lessons from something read/listened to/learned lately
  • What is good that can be made great
  • Feedback/progress since the last evaluation
  • What’s the next milestone
  • WHY are you doing XYZ
  • Why are you NOT doing XYZ
  • What do they wish they had the time/resources to do but aren’t
  • How is their staff doing/how to help your employee supervise
  • The organization’s strategic plan – what is it, how can they tie in
  • What is a priority
  • How to effectively deploy resources, what resources matter most to them
  • Ask: “How can I help you be successful?

I believe there is no better use of your time than to have these types of discussions with those whom you supervise. Make it a priority to meet one-to-one with your staff on a regular (dare I say weekly) basis. Start today by scheduling time on your calendar for this critical capacity-building function.

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