Weekly Off-Site Meetings

Connecting one-on-one with your staff

Since February 2014 I have been attending the Sioux Falls, South Dakota 1 Million Cups weekly event with a coworker. Each week I take one of my coworkers with me, we attend the event, network for a few minutes afterwards, and then head over to a coffee shop to talk work strategy. Each week I take a different colleague.

The 1 Million Cups event is great because it is only lasts about 30-40 minutes, has a great turnout, and is held every single week which make it easy to schedule. The event draws in a number of our community’s entrepreneurs and creative thinkers, which makes it a great networking event.

After the presentation, my coworker and I sit down and talk for another 30-60 minutes. Our agenda is light and free flowing, we want to discuss on what is working, what is not working, and any new ideas — we inevitably also talk about personal projects and goals.

This is an opportunity for everyone to share with me anything that is on their mind. Without this opportunity to sit down one-on-one, I may miss out on what is happening around the office. Even though I’m at the office every day, work often takes priority and it can be a challenge to keep up with everyone.

I really love this opportunity to connect better with each of my colleagues outside of the office. I have tried hard to build an environment and culture that encourages everyone to grow and expand their knowledge. After all, we are only as good as our team. Over the last nine months I have learned a lot about my coworkers, like side projects they are working on, their long-term goals, potential new business strategies, and most importantly, how people are doing both professionally and personally. These are topics that are hard to work into a daily conversation at the office.

This started initially as an experiment but has grown to be one of my most valuable meetings each week.

Spending one-on-one time with your coworkers and colleagues should be a priority for every business. After all, our people are our most valuable asset in business, shouldn’t we leverage their experience and knowledge to it fullest every day?

I would love to hear about how you work an off-site meeting into your weekly schedule. Please send me a Tweet at @wbushee, or drop me an email. After all, shouldn’t we provide our people with every opportunity to help us succeed?

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