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Take Five to 10 Minutes a Week to Meet With Your Employees

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Dan Monaghan is the director of Training at the Manufacturer & Business Association.

Trust is at the core of every successful relationship, both at home and in the workplace. For a leader, establishing trust can be a challenge. One of the most effective ways to establish trust with your staff is to meet with them individually and build a rock solid relationship. One way to do this is through something called the 5-10 session.

Below is an example of how they work:
• Every employee has a weekly or bi-weekly meeting with you at a predetermined time.
• The meeting lasts five to 10 minutes and is held in a quiet, private location.
• The employee determines the subject of the discussion — nothing is off-limits.
• The subject matter can be personal or professional; it is up to the employee.
• ALL employees participate.

Since, in most cases, this will be radical departure from how you currently communicate, it would be wise to have a general meeting explaining the meaning behind these meetings. If you just spring these on your employees, they will be suspicious of your intent and probably be afraid to speak freely.

It is also important to commit to the process and not stop these sessions after a few months. All indications are that people enjoy them and are upset when they abruptly stop for seemingly no reason.

As leaders, we tend to underestimate the impact we can have on the people we lead. Just five to 10 minutes out of our week can both build and enhance trust that can immediately translate into more dedicated and productive employees. Give it a try, it is time well spent.

Want to learn more about 5-10 sessions? The Association can help. For information about our regionally recognized professional development courses, please contact me at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or dmonaghan@mbausa.org.