What Should Be on a Skip-Level Meeting Agenda?

What Should Be on a Skip-Level Meeting Agenda?

From encouraging a positive culture to creating an environment where employees feel heard and valued, here are nine answers to the question, “What are things that should be on a skip-level meeting agenda?”

  • Gauge Employee Satisfaction
  • Analyze and Manage Risks
  • Evaluate the Organization’s Culture and Values
  • Form an Open Discussion of the Team’s Experience
  • Assess Challenges and Opportunities
  • Inquire About Employee Autonomy
  • Review Goals and OKRs
  • Brainstorm Ideas and Share Updates
  • Focus on Employee Feedback and Engagement

Gauge Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a must on a skip-level meeting agenda. You want to ensure that the employee feels comfortable with their workload and their manager in a private setting.

What tasks do they enjoy doing, what do they need more from their manager, and what tasks do they least like doing? As a result, it creates a respectful and trustworthy environment that encourages a positive culture.

Ann McFerranAnn McFerran
CEO, Glamnetic

Analyze and Manage Risks

As a manager, I find it invaluable to fully understand the potential risks my team and projects are facing. Identifying, anticipating, and discussing risk openly allows collaboration across departments to devise strategies to mitigate any risks that may arise in the course of our work.

Without having risk management on the agenda during a skip-level meeting, I feel all members of an organization are flying blind with mitigating potential risk factors that could arise.

Lorien StrydomLorien Strydom
Executive Country Manager, Financer.com

Evaluate the Organization’s Culture and Values

One thing that should be on a skip-level meeting agenda is a discussion of the organization’s culture and values. This can include exploring how well the organization is living up to its stated values, how team members are experiencing the organization’s culture, and how they can reinforce or improve any areas where the culture or values are lacking.

A healthy and positive organizational culture can contribute significantly to employee engagement, job satisfaction, and overall productivity. By discussing culture and values in a skip-level meeting, senior leaders can gain a complete picture of the organization’s culture and identify potential improvement areas.

Also, including team members in the discussion can help to build a stronger sense of connection and engagement between employees and the organization.

Will GillWill Gill
Event Entertainer, DJ Will Gill

Form an Open Discussion of the Team’s Experience

One thing that should be on a skip-level meeting agenda is an open discussion of the employees’ experiences. This allows the employees to provide feedback on how the company is doing, from their perspective as lower-level employees.

Higher-level meetings should encourage employees to discuss issues, such as career development, workplace issues, and ideas for improvement, as these are often overlooked. Meeting organizers should include feedback from employees regarding their managers in the agenda, as it can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the company’s leadership.

Tawanda JohnsonTawanda Johnson
HR and DEI Consultant, Sporting Smiles

Assess Challenges and Opportunities

Skip-level meetings are a great time to talk about challenges and opportunities. But the key to making this exercise effective is to ensure everyone is being transparent. Employees can’t be shy to share their constructive feedback about the challenges they are experiencing.

One way to make the meeting even more productive is to come to the table with a solution or opportunity for the challenge instead of complaining the whole time. This will show superiors you know how to articulate problems but also serve as a problem-solver.

Kelli AndersonKelli Anderson
Career Coach, Resume Seed

Inquire About Employee Autonomy

One of the most challenging skills for a new manager to master is balancing autonomy with support. On the one hand, many employees thrive when given autonomy and deeply resent micromanagement. Some employees need reassurance and structure, preferring the watchful gaze of a manager.

By inquiring about how each employee feels regarding their current level of autonomy, senior leadership can tap into this crucial management skill. If an employee’s line manager is too aloof or too controlling, this could be a symptom of a broader performance issue. Line managers themselves may not be aware of this problem, so conducting skip-level meetings is essential.

Therefore, upper management should always discuss employees’ perceived level of autonomy, providing useful insight into their managers’ leadership style.

Ben SchwenckeBen Schwencke
Business Psychologist, Test Partnership

Review Goals and OKRs

A skip-level meeting should provide an opportunity for all levels of the organization to discuss and review company goals and objectives. This can be a great way for leaders to gain insight into how different teams are approaching the challenges they face, as well as identify areas of improvement or collaboration opportunities.

By having this discussion in a skip-level meeting, managers at all levels align their work to the larger goals of the organization.

Gabriel BognerGabriel Bogner
Co-founder, Mate Fertility

Brainstorm Ideas and Share Updates

I understand the importance of skip-level meetings in fostering open communication and building trust among teams. We target career development and growth opportunities for your team members.

By focusing on career development during skip-level meetings, you can provide valuable feedback, identify areas for improvement, and work collaboratively to create a plan for achieving professional goals, which increases engagement and motivation among team members, leading to better performance and ultimately, business success.

Other items that could be on your skip-level meeting agenda include sharing company updates, gathering feedback, and brainstorming ideas.

Ashley ReutlingerAshley Reutlinger
Strategic Success Manager, In Front Marketing

Focus on Employee Feedback and Engagement

One important item that should always be on the agenda is employee feedback and engagement. By prioritizing this item, managers can gain a deeper understanding of their organization’s strengths and weaknesses from the perspective of their employees, which can lead to identifying areas for improvement and promoting a culture of transparency and communication.

During the meeting, managers should listen attentively to employee feedback on their work experience, the challenges they face, and their suggestions for improvement. By doing so, managers can create an environment where employees feel heard and valued, leading to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and retention. Ultimately, prioritizing employee feedback and engagement in skip-level meetings can help promote a positive work culture and drive organizational success.

Sharda KumariSharda Kumari
Staff Systems Engineer, Architect, Airbnb

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