At our lifestyle public relations firm, Konnect Agency, we make it a priority to have a direct report or one-on-one meetings with our managers once every two weeks. It is important to have these regular types of meetings because of the face to face access to your manager, especially for those who are not located in our Los Angeles Public Relations HQ and are in our remote offices. These meetings allow the unique opportunity for an employee to be able to ask a lot of questions, learn where you need to grow, uncover tasks you can be more proficient at, and also speak to your growth and current challenges. You’re also able to strengthen your relationship with your manager, get to know how they work better, and receive immediate feedback.
But, sometimes companies see these meetings as ineffective a waste of time because sometimes they are structured as strictly account updates, but if they are managed properly, these meetings are effective and essential to employees growth at a company. Below are a few ways to make the most of your meetings.
- Hold each other accountable and don’t cancel! While other things will come up, reschedule the meeting for within a few days of the originally scheduled meetings.
- Make an agenda. These meetings are a great way for employees to “dictate” the conversation and speak about what they want to. Your manager can’t read your mind and will probably have other topics to discuss, but this is the employees time to talk about what you want to (within reason). Just some ideas include talking about your career and development goals, what other tasks and projects you aren’t doing but want to, what tasks and projects you feel you are successful at, do you get “stuck” doing certain tasks, etc.
- Just like team and/or client meetings, take notes—both yourself and your manager! That way you can reference future meetings and not repeat yourself or look back at the progress you’ve made.
- End with action items. A great question to ask is, “what can you do for me before next meeting and what can I do for you before the next meeting.” Is that your manager sending you a link to an inspiring story at random during the week? For your growth, can you look at the job description for your current and next role and evaluate what you are doing and still need improvement on both? Can you write down the times you feel “stuck” with a task so you and your manager can try to decide why this is? Can you identify anything your agency can help you with to make progress?
And, as much as we want the direct meetings to be positive feedback and hear “you’re on the right track” every time, sometimes this isn’t the case. Prepare yourself for your manager to sometimes say you could do better or you aren’t performing as well as you once did. If this comes up, ask for direct and clear tasks you can do before the next meeting to improve your performance. For a food and beverage publicist, it could be as simple as you need more sample requests for a client and press placements. Or, it could be more strategy-based where you provide more detail and explanation to clients. For this, you can form an answer to your client and ask the manager on the account for their opinion if they have anything else, they could add.
However, the great thing about regular direct report meetings is that you have ample time to discuss how to course correct should any feedback be negative. These one-on-one meetings are a great chance to speak directly with your manager on a regular basis to discuss thing you want to discuss!