A one-on-one meeting is an irreplaceable part of managing a software development team.
These private meetings are your chance to truly connect with your developers and discover what makes them tick.
Use these one-on-one meetings to speak about your employees’ opinions on their workload, company, team members, and even personal life.
Discuss anything your employee wants to – this will send the message that you genuinely care about their input.
You’ll see why you want to uphold such an approach in just a minute; this article will walk you through all the benefits one-on-one meetings bring.
Table of Contents
Building Trust With Developers
The purpose of a one-on-one meeting is to support your developers; to discover their thoughts and feelings about their current workload, the company, the team, and even their personal life.
If your team trusts you, they’re much more likely to approach you with their perspectives, ideas, and problems, so that the two of you can discuss solutions together.
Bug and crash reporting tool for your mobile app.
In other words, psychological safety ensures developers feel comfortable enough to speak freely and honestly.
In such an atmosphere, there are no barriers between you and your team members.
These three actions are all something you can easily accomplish in a one-on-one environment.
Boosting Team Performance
Coined to emphasize collaboration, it ignores one essential factor – a team is made up of individual strengths working together.
By focusing on each individual’s strengths daily, teams are guaranteed to improve their productivity and will likely achieve better results.
The former developer can drive direction, whereas the latter can stay on top of the documentation.
Each developer’s personal preference will contribute to the team’s success, and your best bet to ask about their preferences is a one-on-one meeting.
Your team’s performance will skyrocket once you understand your employees’ working habits.
Now imagine you have seven developers on your team. That’s only 630 minutes for a productivity boost equal to 14 weeks of higher efficiency.
When putting this way, the impact regular one-on-one meetings have on your team’s performance is undeniable.
Discussing Personal Growth
There’s not much chance of a junior developer being content with only knowing Python and Java their entire life.
Take these figures as an incentive to discuss your developers’ personal growth during your one-on-ones.
Delving into your developer’s career aspirations will pay off for both them and the company.
Your team member will be glad to expand their knowledge and use those new skills to advance your company.
Use your one-on-one meetings to explore your developer’s professional development; you might just have the chance to both improve their workplace satisfaction and increase the organization’s productivity.
When companies use one-on-ones for diving into an employee’s personal growth, they receive mostly positive feedback.
Atlassian dedicates an entire one-to-one meeting to focus on improving their employees’ performance and utilizing their strengths.
Improving Employee Retention
For example, consider your backend developers’ workload.
Use one-on-one meetings to double-check that your backend developers actually enjoy their work.
If your developers are bored, use the one-on-one to find new projects that will fulfill them.
The same principle applies salary-wise. If your developer wants a higher paycheck, a one-on-one meeting is your chance to discuss their compensation.
The possibilities are endless, and you’re sure to reach a compromise during the one-on-one. It’s simply a matter of discovering how you can accommodate your developer’s needs.
With such high numbers, you’d do well to find an effective method to preventing conflict in the first place. Luckily, one-on-one meetings can help you with this.
This is a great help, as it’s always best to nip problems in the bud instead of letting them fester for too long.
When you learn about problems at the beginning, they’re likely to be minor, and the fixes are much more straightforward.
Imagine a scenario where your team is in the middle of a project.
You attend your weekly one-on-ones, and one employee mentions they are late in receiving some code from the frontend team.
They certainly wouldn’t mention this in a team meeting in front of everyone.
One possible outcome would look like this:
If that deliverable had been missing for much longer, the entire project could have been significantly delayed.
Receiving Employee Feedback
Although you should provide constructive criticism of your developer’s performance, they should do the same for you.
Your employee will mention this in a safe environment – a one-on-one meeting.
You can improve operations significantly for all involved if feedback is readily received.
Continuing the example before, a senior developer could check up on the junior’s code daily instead of leaving all criticism for the code review.
Your junior developer isn’t the only one who benefited from this exchange; you have as well.
They’d likely be afraid of appearing arrogant. It’s the private nature of a one-on-one meeting that allows feedback to flow freely.
The rating makes sense. The confidential one-on-one meeting is where communication, and feedback, can be given most honestly.
Improving the Company Image
If you’re doing your one-on-ones right, your business’s reputation as a collaborative, engaged workplace will grow. Word will get around that you truly value your employees’ opinions.
Instead, they incorporated a more fluid, personal approach, where managers frequently check in with employees.
Employees won’t have to wait one year to find out how they can progress; they’ll receive constant, continuous guidance.
As the news spreads, other potential hires are sure to take note; who knows, maybe this one decision could be the deciding factor for job-seekers?
This becomes especially relevant when you consider how easily developers can investigate employers.
These platforms make company culture transparent and accessible to all.
Potential hires will see that managers take reviews and one-on-one meetings seriously – which must have contributed to the 4.0 rating – but will also see that it’s a high-stress environment.
If a job-seeker who doesn’t mind stress and greatly values management engagement sees this review, he’s likely to view the company positively.
Efforts to host regular one-on-one meetings will indubitably pay off in the long run.
It is an excellent opportunity to speak about your employees’ personal growth, and honest conversations will likely increase retention rates.
Furthermore, one-on-one meetings tend to build trust, creating a safe enough space for your developers to give honest feedback.
These individual meetings are also helpful on a macro-level; one-on-one sessions are proven to boost team performance and prevent conflict between team members.
Finally, one-on-one meetings can even improve your company’s image; can you think of anyone who wouldn’t want that?