Making Time to Talk to Employees Individually

Joseph Stubblebine
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While you keep the eye on the bottom line of your business, you also must keep an eye on your employee relations. Small business owners have a unique opportunity to make time to talk to their employees on an individual level and establish a rapport that helps employees feel valued within the overall establishment. When holding one-on-one meetings with employees, you must keep in mind the best ways to effectively communicate with your staff.

Getting to Know New Employees

Taking at least 10 minutes to get to know new employees helps you establish good employee relations from the start. This lets the employee know you look forward to developing the relationship and helps a new employee get a good impression of his expected function in the organization. The employee also knows you feel good about the decision to hire him.

Establishing Boundaries

You must also establish boundaries in your employee relations, so one-on-one meetings help employees determine what type of boss or manager to expect. For instance, you may eschew a desk or some other obstacle between yourself and the employee during the meeting if you want to appear more open and available. This may also help to create a safe environment for the employee to communicate effectively with you.

Keeping Appointments

Even if you prefer to keep more formality in your employee relations, you must meet with your employee on time. Furthermore, you want to keep this meeting time devoted strictly to that one employee. This means you do not answer your phone or use any other distracting device during this time. Your employee must know that you value this meeting time as well, so schedule the meeting during a time you do not have to rush an employee away due to other time commitments.

Opening Communications

You more than likely have a specific goal in mind, such as an evaluation, during a one-on-one employee meeting, but you must also make sure you leave enough time within the meeting to allow the employee to ask questions of you. When you ask questions, you want to start with open-ended questions related to the reason for the meeting. Use this time to establish employee relations even further by letting your employee know he may communicate freely with you during your time together.

Taking the time to speak one-on-one with employees helps you establish good relationships with them and creates a safe working environment. They find out what type of boss to expect, and you reassure yourself on your hiring decisions. However, you must know how to conduct your meetings in such a way to put your employees at ease and let them know the importance of employee relations in your organization.


(Photo courtesy of Ambro /


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