During this time of year when next year’s annual operating plan is being crafted and you’re looking at your sales trying to meet full-year estimates, now is a more important time than ever to be meeting regularly with your direct reports.
I prefer a cadence of every-other-week 1-on-1 meetings with direct reports. Your mileage may vary depending on number of direct reports, geographic location, etc.
Commit to a schedule
Whatever you do, when you schedule these meetings with your direct reports, don’t reschedule them, and reschedule them, and reschedule them.
Nothing says “this conversation is not important to me” more than a meeting that repeatedly gets pushed back days or weeks after its originally scheduled day and time.
Depending on your position on the organizational chart, there may be a lot of preparatory work that your direct reports go through prior to a 1-on-1 meeting. Your availability may also be a premium, so your direct reports may queue up important discussions for that 1-on-1 session where they have your undivided attention that they would otherwise not be able to get.
Fish or cut bait
If the meeting is destined to never actually take place, then don’t bother setting the expectation that you will meet in the first place — it’ll save time for everyone.
During this time of year especially, when everyone is busy, make the time to invest in meeting with your direct reports. After all, they are supporting your objectives and ultimately make you successful.