In any workplace, communication is the key to success. And one effective way for team leaders to engage with their team and ensure everyone is on the same page is to hold regular touch base meetings. These meetings serve as a platform to align goals, address challenges, and foster a productive work environment.
Here's what to keep in mind while conducting touch-base meetings with your team. Let's get started!
What is a touch base meeting?
Touch base meetings, also known as catch-up or one-on-one meetings, are held between managers and employees. These meetings provide updates on the employee's personal and career development, address concerns, and promote transparency and rapport.
It's best to invite only one person to these meetings to facilitate open discussions and establish personal connections. However, conducting touch-base meetings with two or three people works as well.
Why are touch base meetings important?
Touch base meetings are essential because they:
- Help managers weigh their team's sentiments toward their jobs.
- Keep teams accountable.
- Increase productivity as it helps everyone stay on track and focused on their goals.
- Promote positive and harmonious relationships in the workplace.
- Boost team morale.
- Reveal unsafe workplace conditions.
- Provide opportunities for team coaching/mentoring.
- Facilitate discussions about the current status of ongoing projects, which can help ensure their success.
- Improve collaboration amongst team members.
- Lead to better decision-making.
6 Effective ways to organize touch base meetings
Check out how to conduct a touch base meeting in 6 easy steps.
1. Send an invite via email
Let an employee know about the meeting in advance. Send an invitation email before the scheduled date so the employee can prepare for it.
Since they may also have specific points they'd like to discuss with you, giving them time to prepare is helpful.
Here's an email template you can use:
Subject: Touch Base Meeting Invitation
Hi [First name],
I hope you're doing well. I wanted to schedule a quick touch base meeting to discuss our progress.
I suggest we grab a virtual coffee and chat on [date] at [time]. I think 30 minutes should be good for our discussion. Let me know if this time works for you or if you have other time slot preferences.
During the meeting, I'd love to hear about your progress on [specific project/task]. We need to align our efforts and address any challenges we might face. This way, we can ensure our team is moving forward effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, feel free to bring up any other topics or ideas you'd like to discuss. These meetings are meant to encourage open communication and collaboration within our team so we can multiply our efforts.
Looking forward to catching up with you and hearing your insights!
2. Create a meeting agenda
Create an agenda, as it'll guide the discussions in your meeting and help you achieve your desired outcome.
You can send the agenda to attendees beforehand so they can prepare. For example, if you want to review a project's progress, put it on the agenda to encourage attendees to bring a progress report to the meeting.
3. Keep the meeting informal
A touch base meeting isn't your conventional team meeting and should assume a more informal nature. If you opt for an in-person 1:1 meeting, you can escape the formality of an office by choosing a casual meeting place like a nearby coffee shop.
Schedule a virtual coffee catch-up if you are a remote team.
4. Make your questions open-ended
Employees may be unable to give detailed answers when you ask questions that need a Yes or No answer.
Instead, ask open-ended questions to create an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts. Instead of asking direct questions, start with a casual opener like "How's it going?" to let them set the tone.
Here's a format you can follow and tweak based on the context of your discussions:
- Opening: What's been the highlight of your week so far? Did you watch or read anything interesting lately?
- Feedback: How do you feel about your progress on your current project? Is there anything you need more support with?
- Recommendations: Do you think there’s a better way to handle this project?
- Review: When can we schedule a follow-up meeting to check on your progress? Is there anything else you want to discuss before we wrap up?
5. Record meeting details
Listen actively and take notes (mentally or manually with pen and paper) to retain all the discussion points. It'll also show the employee that you value what they're saying enough to write it down.
With this AI-powered tool, you can transcribe, summarize, record, and take notes in real-time on popular video conferencing platforms like Zoom, G-Meet, or Teams. This allows you to document, organize and derive action items easily from all your interactions.
6. Follow up
The most important part of a touch base meeting is what you do after it's over.
Review meeting recordings and notes to figure out how to support your team members so they can overcome any work-related challenges they mentioned.
Plus, you can provide resources to the team member and ask follow-up questions to gauge the success of the meeting.
5 Tips to keep in mind while conducting a touch base meeting
Conducting a touch base meeting soon? Keep these in mind.
1. Set a regular schedule
Regularly hold touch base meetings so everyone is up-to-date and can address any pressing issues.
Schedule meetings every other week or once a month, depending on the team's needs. Just make sure to set a routine everyone can follow.
2. Let employees decide their priorities
Next, allow employees to set their own goals and priorities so you can understand how they prefer to work.
Each team member has their own way of organizing tasks, so when you meet them, let them take responsibility for setting their own goals.
3. Be encouraging
During these one-on-one meetings, endeavor to show appreciation for team members' contributions to increase their loyalty.
Avoid criticism and instead motivate, encourage, and support them. Ask about work challenges and offer solutions. Many employees feel under-appreciated at work, so holding touch-base meetings can go a long way in boosting their morale.
4. Keep to time
To manage time, stick strictly to the meeting agenda and focus only on relevant topics. Keep your conversations direct and impactful to achieve desired outcomes in the time available.
5. Express eagerness to assist
Asking How can I help you? during touch base meetings is a great way to show that you're willing to assist team members.
If you can't offer help directly, you can still try to connect them with resources or mentors who can.
Automate your meeting minutes with an AI notetaker
Fireflies.ai is an AI-powered tool that can help you record, transcribe, and summarize all your virtual touch base meetings.
Fireflies makes team collaboration a breeze by enabling easy creation and sharing of soundbites that capture crucial moments from your meetings. Plus, this tool streamlines your workflow by automatically sharing meeting notes and summaries through popular platforms like Slack, Notion, Asana, and many others.
Its AI-powered search feature allows you to search for keywords, action items, tasks, and questions so you can review hour-long meetings in mere minutes. You can also analyze meetings by tracking speaker talk time, sentiment, monologues, and other key metrics to improve your interactions.