Today, we're sharing a set of one-on-one meeting talking points designed for employees returning from extended leave, such as maternity leave, sick leave or bereavement leave. Research shows that employees returning from extended leave rarely get the required support to keep their job satisfaction at pre-leave levels (1). One study tells us that 67% of those surveyed felt enthusiastic about their return to work while on maternity leave. But when the group was surveyed again at the end of their first day back, that number dropped to 40% (2).
To see such a huge change in attitude based on a single day's work is concerning, and it supports the point that waving people off with a friendly, "See you in a couple of months!" just isn't enough. Extended leavers need a return-to-work programme, which might include line manager training, visibility of other employees who've taken extended leave, coaching or buddy systems, the option of a phased return, and/or the cultural belief that extended leave is a necessary interlude, rather than an inconvenient disruption.
For us at Frankli, one of the most important elements of a good return-to-work programme is regular, dedicated one-on-one meetings for returning employees with their manager, in which they can discuss their needs and challenges.
You know your people best, but, as a guideline, we recommend three to four of these catch ups, which you may choose to begin before the returner is officially back at work. To help you get started, we've put together some sample questions, based on the recommendations in this DCU study.
The questions in our talking point template were developed in tandem with our performance and communication platform, Frankli, based on the latest research in organisational psychology. They're designed to help you have the most productive conversations possible with your mentee, but, of course, you're free to change up these sample questions to suit your own plans for the session. You'll also find this template, and nine others, on our Essential One-on-One Talking Point Templates downloadable.
Frankli Admin tip: You can add these talking points to your company's one-on-one meeting templates in just a couple of minutes via your Admin dashboard, so they're ready for all of your managers to use.
One-on-One Meeting Talking Points: 4 Questions for Employees Returning from Extended Leave
- How are you feeling about returning to work/being back at work?
- What challenges are you facing right now?
- What needs to change? What support do you need that you're not currently getting?
- How are things going outside of work?
Automate your One-on-One Meetings
Research from Gartner tells us that 65% of tasks currently performed by managers have the potential to be automated by 2025 (3), and it starts with the scheduling and structuring of one-on-one meetings with your employees.
Think about how much time it takes to;
- Set up one-to-one meetings with all your people
- Schedule recurring one-on-one meetings
- Come up with relevant talking points
- Set and share meeting agendas
- Share relevant documents to discuss
- Prepare relevant data on employee performance and feedback
- Record notes from the meeting
- Make lists of points to action after the meeting
- Assign action points and set reminders to follow up on them
All of this takes time, time that could be spent on strategic thinking and other pressing work. That's why millions of high-performing teams (4) are turning to digital tools like Frankli to automate one-on-one meetings.
With Frankli, you can take care of everything on this list in just a couple of clicks. You can automate meeting admin in minutes, and, more importantly, ensure the right conversations are happening with the right people at the right time. Speak to a member of our team to find out more.
1. Boston College, Expanded Paid Parental Leave. 2. DCU Business School, Re-Engaging Talent Post- Maternity Leave: Enablers and Barriers to Positive Reintegration. 3. Gartner, 11 Trends That Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond. 4. Zion Market Research, Global Performance Management Software Market Will Reach USD 5,633 Million By 2026.