My husband and I are preparing to welcome our 4th child in September, and we could not feel more JoyPowered about our newest family member’s impending arrival! As we get ready for baby’s debut, our preparations have been less focused on the baby to-do’s (I’m sure we can find a Rock ‘n Play in the basement for him/her to sleep in!); rather, we’ve made an extra effort to make time for one-on-one time with baby’s older brothers. We have long been aware of the many benefits of one-on-one time (e.g., children who are less stressed, more secure, confident, more cooperative), so we always talk about doing more individual time, but the typical excuses tend to come up – not enough time, too many other things to do, they get plenty of attention, etc. Not surprisingly, as we have dedicated a more focused effort on individual time, we are noticing a more JoyPowered family! The individual time spent with each child has led to a better understanding of their unique qualities and needs. When you have identical twins and their younger brother isn’t far behind them, it’s all too easy to assume their needs are the same. But, as we read in The JoyPowered Family, focusing on the strengths of individual family members can bring out the best in others and ourselves. Sure, at ages 3 ½ and younger, our kids are too young to take the CliftonStrengths assessment, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t already asserting their individuality, and one-on-ones give us the opportunity to better notice each child’s unique strengths and interests. If time feels like an issue, one-on-ones don’t have to be 3-hour excursions – from our own experience, a dinner date with Mom has been just as meaningful to the child and insightful to the parent as a 15-minute walk/scooter ride with Dad!
Seeing such encouraging results, and so quickly, got me wondering if there are benefits of one-on-one time to be reaped in the workplace. And the answer is YES! Effective one-on-ones with employees can make managing easier, increase employee engagement, save you time, improve communication, build functional relationships, and increase employee retention. Developing a JoyPowered workspace begins with engagement. Effective one-on-one meetings with staff increase employee engagement by providing an opportunity to connect with employees and build a relationship with them. One-on-ones are also the perfect time to give employees purpose and direction to make them feel involved and valued. Why does it sound so awful to admit that the only one-on-one time my children are getting is during a stern talking-to after a timeout, but it’s perfectly acceptable for a boss’s only one-on-one time with an employee to come during a review? If this is the only individual time, the result for employees is going to be much like that of my 3 ½ year-olds’ – not happy, and therefore not engaged!
Let me guess: there’s not enough time? Not a good enough excuse for my kids, and not a good enough excuse for the boss! In fact, effective one-on-one meetings will save you time and improve communication. You’re likely spending half your day dealing with drop-in problems already – avoid these unplanned interruptions by letting your employees count on some regular, scheduled one-on-one time during which not only problems, but also successes and celebrations can be discussed.
So, whether you’re working towards a JoyPowered Family or a JoyPowered Workspace, consider the impact of one-on-one time and make it happen!