How often should managers meet with employees?
It depends on the employee. Different employees have different needs, and those different needs will determine how often you may need to meet with that employee.
In this article, we cover 5 factors to consider when deciding how often you should meet with your employees.
Table of Contents
5 Factors to Consider When Deciding How Often to Meet with Employees
1. It depends on personality, confidence, and desire
Part of how often you meet with your employees depends on the personality, confidence, or desire of that person.
Some employees like to be told what needs to be done and then left alone. If they are competent and able, then it may be a good idea to give them great expectations and then let them do it with fewer checks.
You may even ask the individual how often they would like you to check in on them. This, of course, also depends on other factors.
Other employees like for you to check in on them. They may feel if you are not checking in on them, you are ignoring them. You can discover this if they constantly come for feedback or just a simple conversation as we mentioned before.
Employees who are competent and have confidence in what they do may not want or need you to have frequent checkups. You may schedule those farther apart. Others may lack confidence and may need more consistent feedback.
Due note that just because they may want it one way or another doesn’t mean you have to do it exactly the way they ask. Some may not want it, but they may need it more. Others may want it constantly, but you may want to help them grow and be more confident.
It just depends on the situation.
First factor: The personality, confidence, and desire of the person.
2. It depends on the experience of the person
Part of your decision on how often you meet with employees depends on how experienced your employees are.
If you have an employee that is relatively new and inexperienced, you likely will want to meet with them more to provide feedback and help make sure they are on the right track.
If you have employees who have a lot of experience doing what they are doing, then, unless there are issues with what they do, you likely do not need to meet with them as much because of that experience.
Even for employees who just have a lot of work experience or similar work experience, when the type of task is newer, you still may not need to meet with them as much if they are relatively competent at learning new tasks and doing them well.
Second factor: The experience of your employees.
3. It depends on your past experiences with the person
This factor ties in with some of the others. If you have worked with the person for a while, and you find that they do not perform well or perform well when you don’t give them frequent feedback, you may need to meet with them more frequently.
If you find that when you have given that individual a task, they not only do it well and effectively, they may even go above and beyond, you likely do not need to meet with them as well.
Sometimes by working with the person over time, you learn what works best for each particular individual. You learn their needs, what they are good at (and not), their response to feedback, how much you trust them, and so on.
Third factor: Your past experience with that person.
4. It depends on the newness of the task
Part of what determines how often you should meet with employees is the newness of the task. When I say newness, it could a couple of different things: it could be a new task for the employee or something new for the company.
For example, if the company has never done any kind of audio recording or podcasting before, and they start a podcast, that would be new for the company. In those cases, for new tasks, as a leader, you may want to meet more frequently to check up, see how things are going, gather input and ideas, and adjust as needed.
If the company has been podcasting for years and even has multiple podcasts, there likely wouldn’t be a need to meet as much because the system has already been established and you likely already have people experienced in it.
If the task is newer for the person, it partly depends on the person and the task. More than likely, you want to meet with them more frequently to see how they are doing, gather feedback, and offer whatever support you can.
If the task isn’t too challenging and the person is someone who does well in all they do and picks things up well, you probably want to check in with them some (even by email), but you may not need to do it as frequently as if it was someone who will need that extra help learning it.
If they lack confidence and are unsure about the task, then you will probably need to meet with them more or have them work with someone experienced in that kind of task. If it’s new for the person and the company, you will likely need to meet frequently.
Fourth factor: The newness of the task (both to the person and the company).
5. It depends on the importance, urgency, or type of task
If the task or project is something that is important or critical to the company, you are likely to do more meetings or checkups with your employees to make sure it is on track. The more critical it is, the more you will likely need to meet with the person.
If it’s urgent (and important), then you may be talking with them more frequently for status or feedback (or not, it just depends on the task and person). If the task is one that isn’t of high importance or highly critical, it’s likely not something that has to be met about as frequently.
It also depends on the type of task or works that you do. For example, if you have a restaurant or are working frequently with people coming and going, you may check frequently throughout the day to see how your team is doing and if they need anything.
In other types of jobs, you may not even need to see the person for a week or more. Again, the importance of one-on-one meetings with employees depends on the person and the task.
Fifth factor: The urgency, importance, or type of task.
What is a reasonable time range to meet with employees?
I’ll avoid saying “It depends”.
Using the factors above:
Multiple times per day
If it’s a supercritical, urgent issue and you are all working to resolve it or do it, you may meet with them or discuss it multiple times during the day. Also, depending on the type of work, you may check in with your employees multiple times to see how they are doing or if they need anything from you.
For some types of jobs, a daily check-in works. Some teams do huddles every morning to see what every person is doing and if anyone has any needs.
If an employee is underperforming or has a new or more critical task, you may do a daily check-in to gather feedback and make sure it is on track. Some employees like the daily touch. It means a lot to some of them when you stop by and see how they are doing.
Multiple times during the week
Depending on the job and the person and the task they are doing, you may only check in with them a few times during the week. If you are working with someone on a type of task but they are starting to get it, you may start not to meet with them as much.
In some situations, a weekly check is all that is needed. If the employee gets good results, is experienced, and feels comfortable talking to you when they need assistance, you may only meet with that person at a weekly meeting or such.
This doesn’t mean you never have contact with them otherwise. Listening to their feedback, showing appreciation, etc. can be done anytime (generally).
More than weekly
In some situations, longer than weekly meetings and check-ins can be appropriate. This wouldn’t work in many types of work, such as many service industry organizations, but it could work in others.
Final Thoughts on How often should managers meet with their employees?
It depends on:
- The personality, confidence, and desire of the employee
- The experience of the employee
- Your past experiences with the employee
- The newness of the task
- The urgency, importance, or type of task
I know this did not give you a clear-cut answer of exactly how often you should meet with employees, but I hope this gives you some criteria to use when deciding.
Now to you: What factors do you find most important? Let us know in the comments below.
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