Touchbase is used as a noun by business people to describe a kind of meeting. These meetings are not round table meetings or conference room types of meetings. A touchbase meeting is a kind of meeting where the manager and an employee gets to sit and talk. These meetings are held to hear every employee’s experience.
- The simple definition of a noun is a word that can be used in reference to a person, animal, place, thing, phenomenon, substance, quality, or idea
- “Touchbase” was coined from the word “touch base” which is a baseball analogy and in baseball, it is used as a verb
- One key advantage of touchbase meetings is that it is a one-on-one kind of setting and it helps employees share their experiences, both negative and positive
- An informal setting is best for touchbase meetings because these meetings are usually spread across different broad sections
Why Are Touchbase Meetings Helpful?
The major reason why a touchbase meeting could be beneficial is that it is a one-on-one kind of setting. The one-on-one meeting helps employees share their experiences, both negative and positive. Also, it helps the manager get insight from the employees on how some things are going in the firm.
This meeting puts the manager and employee on the same level so they can talk freely without fear. Also, in touchbase meetings, every employee’s opinion matters to the company’s growth. For the managers, these meetings help them there to help them get to know the employees better. It also helps you pinpoint areas in which your managerial skills could improve.
How Can You As A Manager Make A Touchbase Meeting Beneficial
1. Make Sure You Use An Informal Structure
Clearly, this isn’t going to be easy because no matter how hard you try, your employee will always have some kind of fear around you. The best way to get through to them is by making them feel comfortable. Yes, the meeting is official, however, you don’t have to make it official. There is no risk of anyone losing their job because they are all just trying to help.
An informal setting is best for these kinds of meetings. Make sure you manage the setting you have and you will see just how productive this meeting will turn out. Remember that this is a discussion that has a time limit. The meetings are usually spread across different broad sections, leaving gaps that the employee has to fill.
To follow the informal structure properly, you can break your touchbase into three parts. Small talk, feedback, and review. With these three sections, you can easily get what you want out of the conversation.
2. Ask Relevant Questions
Your goal here is to make the employee open up and talk about their feelings. This isn’t easy for everyone, especially when you keep asking annoying questions. Also, do not ask questions that might be pointed toward anyone. Ask every particular employee about their opinions concerning different things. When an employee walks through the door, put them at ease with an opening question. Also, it won’t do you any harm if you make a joke too. Try to get the person to loosen up any tension before you dive right in.
In addition to this, just know that some people are closed books. It is not possible to get anything out of them. You will notice the kind of person you are dealing with after the first few sentences. You can’t force anything out so if the person has nothing to say, then, the meeting should just end. Try to break your questions into sections, this will help you get through to the person as much as you can.
3. Listen More And Take Notes Too
Listening without interruption will go a long way. Just sit down, as usual, put the employee at ease, and then ask your questions. Let the employee see the importance of their opinion to the company. Everyone loves the company of a listener. When you ask a question, leave the space open for the employee to say what he or she wants. Interrupting will cause a gap, so just sit back and listen.
This is one major reason why the meeting is different from other kinds of meetings. Most times, people don’t get to be heard in a round table meeting. At touchbase meetings, you get to hear the employee talk about ideas, complaints, and different things that could help the company grow.
Also, it is always best if you take notes. When you take notes, the employee sees that their opinion is being taken into consideration. Jot down the important things and then try to attend to them so that the next touchbase meeting can be even more productive.
4. Meet As Regularly As Possible And Be Flexible
You need to show your employees that this exercise isn’t taken for granted. Try to attend to some of their complaints and make them see the change. Also, make sure you can fix these meetings as frequently as possible. Put the date and time of the meeting on some kind of a general platform for everyone. Make sure it isn’t too sudden, and make sure you remind everyone so they don’t forget.
Try to make your employees see just how important these meetings are, by making them a priority. Try as much as possible not to cancel the meetings for personal reasons. Even if you do, make sure you don’t do it too often.
Apart from this, flexibility is also very important. You can decide to take the meeting outside the office premise so that employees can feel a lot more settled. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, just a more friendly arena for the employees.
Is touch base usually one word or two?
Well, the original word is two words joined together to create one meaning. Touch is the verb, base can act as a noun. Therefore, normally, these are two words, but, touchbase which is a noun is just one word. Even though it isn’t found in the dictionary, it is business jargon.
What is touchbase?
Touchbase, when written this way describes a kind of meeting that involves a manager having a one-on-one meeting with their employee. Also, touch base could be a verb that means coming to reconnect with someone or meeting with someone. In sports, touch base is where a runner and a fielder in baseball have to touch a base to either record a point or lose the score.
Is touch base informal?
Well, the word touch base is not informal, but, a touchbase meeting is an informal meeting. The aim of the meeting cannot be achieved unless it is informal. The meeting doesn’t have to be official even if it is a meeting with colleagues from work.
Lastly, the success of the touchbase meeting all depends on the manager. If the manager is serious about it then the other employees will definitely take it seriously. Even though most managers usually spend most of their time in different meetings, they should pick out some free time to make employees feel important. A company will not grow without everyone in it, including the janitor. The touchbase meeting will help every employee grow and also do better at their jobs.
Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by Magalie D.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.