What’s a skip-level meeting?
Skip-level meetings are one-on-one meetings that managers hold with staff other than the people they manage directly. In most organisations, these are typically meetings with the direct report(s) of the people that you manage. In larger organisations, there might be multiple layers between you and the person you’re meeting with.
Why is a skip-level meeting important?
Skip-level meetings are important for three reasons:
- Building relationships with people on your team who don’t directly report to you.
- Gaining valuable insight into your team and organisation.
- Getting feedback about the managers that you manage.
How does a skip-level meeting work…
Step #1: Open with an icebreaker! (05 mins)
This isn’t rocket science - get them to ease up by setting the tone of the meeting. You don’t need to learn their life story, but ask questions to understand where they come from and what motivates them. If you have specific praise to share, this is a great time to do it.
Dive’s Pro Meeting Tip: Use our Polls app to break the ice at the start of the meeting. Here are a few examples: What’s your favourite place to vacation? When was the last time you went to a concert? Did you do anything fun over the weekend?
Step #2: Ask for feedback (10 mins)
Get their perspective on how things are functioning at the organisation and how they’re being managed. They might be reluctant to be fully honest, so do your best to help them feel at ease. Remember to stay in listening mode. This meeting is helping you get feedback as a leader!
Dive’s Pro Meeting Tip: Here are a few questions you can use: What’s the one thing we did well in the past 3 months? What could we have done better? What’s the best part about working with your manager?
Step #3: Check on employee morale (20 mins)
Use this as an opportunity to ask them if there’s anything else they would like to discuss. Find out how they want to map out their career growth in the company. Thank them for their time, share the next steps and wind up the meeting!
Dive’s Pro Meeting Tip: Here are some great questions to try: Are you worried about the progress of any projects? How’s life outside of work? Are you clear about your goals for the quarter?