It kinda goes without saying that organising your Executive’s schedule is a never-ending task. Their time is always in demand, be it from clients, suppliers, colleagues around the business and of course from members of their team. As an Assistant, it is your role to make sure your Executive sees the right people at the right time while keeping everyone happy and heard! An area that I always had to juggle when I was working as an Assistant was the one to one time my Executive spent with their direct reports. It felt like the one to one meetings were always in the calendar, they were scheduled well in advance but when it came to it, they would often get chanced, moved and re-scheduled. Some direct reports wanted a huge amount of time with my Executive while other’s were happy to never see their boss! We know that good employee engagement and happiness is down to the manager so it is really important that our Executive’s spend time with their staff in a one on one environment so how can we make sure these meetings are effective for all concerned? In today’s blog post, we will look at how you go about managing your Executive’s one to one meetings.

Managing your Executive’s one to one meetings

My first point is to make sure that your Executive has one to one meetings with their direct reports that are scheduled in the diary.

Never seeing your manager is not helpful in any way and of course,¬†there is nothing worse for an employee than a manager cruising by their desk and asking for a quick chat in the office. Talk about giving someone an impending feeling of doom! This really isn’t a great management style so don’t let your Executive get away with it!

Instead, make sure that everyone knows they will have one to one meetings going forward that are scheduled six months in advance and will be kept in the diary no matter what. These meetings will be seen as something useful that way rather than just a meeting with the boss where the employee may or may not get the sack.

When to schedule the one to one meetings?

When it comes to scheduling the meetings, it depends on your Executive’s schedule and also how many direct reports they actually have. Be realistic. Ideally, your Executive should see their direct reports at least bi-monthly if not monthly but this might not always be possible The main thing is that the one to one meetings are regular and don’t get dropped completely out of the diary. Only schedule the one to one meetings for a maximum time of an hour.

How to prepare your Executive for their one to one meeting?

You want to make sure the one to one meeting is effective and useful so that both the Executive and the direct report keep the meeting in the diary. This is where you come in. Before each meeting, you should make sure that your Executive the following information:

  • A status report on where the direct report is with their various projects and tasks
  • Most recent copy of the direct report’s job description, objectives (yearly, quarterly, monthly) and latest performance review documentation.
  • Any support documents required for the meeting including notes from the previous one to one and any paperwork that the Executive will need to read to get up to speed on the direct report’s projects.

Create an agenda for the one to one meeting

Like any meeting, the one to one meetings your Executive has with their direct reports should follow an agenda. I suggest something like this:

  • Check-in:¬†How are you doing? What’s been happening in your world?
  • Goals: Where are you with your objectives since the last meeting?
  • Tasks/projects: Status update on current projects and tasks. What are the triumphs, challenges and risks?
  • Support and guidance: What do you need from me?
  • Informal feedback: 360 feedback, informal chat about what can be improved and coaching opportunities

Ensuring that your Executive has regular and effective one to one meetings with their direct reports (and that includes you!) will make them a better manager, which is such a value-add for the organisation.