The Benefits of Skip-Level Meetings By Hamilton Lindley
If you manage other managers, you must reach beyond those in management by implementing a skip-level meeting. Skip-level meetings involve temporarily disregarding the chain of command to allow the head honchos the honor of speaking with the employees directly. These meetings will keep your ear on the ground. Meeting with your indirect reports one-on-one will give you better insight into your managerâ€™s performance and provide feedback to your team. It builds trust with your employees, who are several layers removed from you. Holding these meetings demonstrates how deeply you value everyone in your organization in a scalable way.
Ideas for Improvement As a senior leader, you can become wrapped in a good-news cocoon. Youâ€™re often the last to know if a strategy is working. Mid-level managers may be guilty of calling the shots without collecting the necessary feedback due to busy schedules and upcoming deadlines. And like every other place of employment, there are always miscellaneous issues that arise throughout the workdays. Now is the time to become knowledgeable about them and gain valuable input to create viable solutions. Just remember to avoid allowing the meeting to turn into a sneak attack session on the mid-level managers.
BETTER EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIPS
Each employee has their unique talents and professional goals that are often overlooked or blatantly ignored. These meetings present the perfect moments to ask them if they feel satisfied with their position and whether their abilities are being put to good use. Inquiring about their long and short term professional goals will give an even greater idea of who they are and what they have to offer.
Greater Understanding of the Companyâ€™s Ideals The lines of communication can often get murky, leading to utter confusion when it comes to general expectations. A skip-level meetingâ€™s transparent nature allows higher-level managers the floor to share their vision and ensure that everyone is on the same page. Though this isnâ€™t the time to reprimand anyone, there is no harm in briefly going over any prominent standards or core values.
How often should I have a skip-level meeting?
Once a quarter is a good cadence for meetings with the direct reports of your managers. If thatâ€™s not possible, can you meet once a year? Can you share the load with another executive? There is no one approach for every company. But by regularly holding these meetings, you will improve your leadership skills and the direction of your organization.
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Hamilton Lindley lists reasons why managers should partake in skip-level meetings.