I’m guessing when you read that headline, you snorted, rolled your eyes, or made a “duh”
expression. I know you converse with your employees but do you actually have meaningful
conversations? Here’s what I observe in most agencies.

  • You greet employees as you see them during the day
  • You have “as you run by them in the hallway” conversations which are 50% social and 50%
    functional in which you drop little bombs (updates, facts, commentary) on work in
  • You have info passing email conversations
    But most of you are not setting aside time to actually dig in. Here’s what can and should
    happen on a regular basis:
  • You’re teaching as you explain decisions and reactions to client requests, changes, strategies
  • You’re learning where they’d like to invest their time in terms of learning something new and
    adding more value
  • You’re giving them an opportunity to give you a heads up on potential client and team issues
  • You’re coaching them through new challenges they’re facing
  • You’re celebrating their growth, their wins, and their best attempts

All of this can be accomplished in a 20 minute one-on-one meeting with your direct reports.
Every employee should have one at least twice a month, if not more often. This is a meeting
that the employee owns. There are huge benefits to you, the owner or leader of the agency as

Fewer interruptions throughout the week (they’ll learn to save it for their one-on-one)
Employees that are fired up to keep learning and understand that it’s part of their job
An early warning when trouble is brewing
Better employee retention (they want more of your time and attention)
A much more accurate sense of what’s going on in the agency

Want to know more about the mechanics of these one-on-ones? This solocast outlines the
entire process and gives you the template for the meeting. Many agency owners email or call to
tell me that adding these meetings to their agency had a significant impact and they wished
they’d done it years ago.

Employee retention is a serious issue for most agencies these days. Why not retain your
best people AND mentor them to be even better?


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