Skip Level Meetings


Skip level meetings are powerful and effective when it comes to managing and leading teams.

What is it?

Skip level meetings are when senior managers directly talk with employees without direct manager involvement. Following the coffee corner sessions approach, these meetings provide employees with an opportunity for visibility, exchange and discussion with a senior manager – this is a chance to interact, get advice and ideas for both sides.

What is the approach?

Senior managers set up informal breakfast sessions (1 hour) with one team or a group of people to discuss current direction, needs, situations, questions and successes. The direct manager and related managers will be informed upfront and should encourage their employees to join and leverage this chance.

If within the meetings issues or actions are encountered a respective follow-up will be triggered.

What is the aim?

  • Exchange and discussions
  • People get to know the senior manager
  • Senior manager get to know what is going on at the basis of the organization
  • Identify and follow-up on respective needs, issues or open questions
  • Foster strategic directions, if appropriate

What are challenges?

  • Let them know why they have been selected for this meeting
  • This meeting might raise the perspective that there is no trust in direct managers – it is important to emphasize that this is not the purpose of these meetings
  • Build trust that the people tell you what’s really going on or what issues are