A skip-level meeting is a meeting during which a manager's manager meets directly with team members without the direct manager present. While 1-1s facilitate communication between a team member and their manager, skip levels should facilitate communication between the leader's whole team, not just their direct reports.
The CEO conducts quarterly skip-level meetings with all indirect reports. The goal of this meeting is to help the CEO be a better manager of him/herself, of the report of their function, and the rest of the executive team. What is going well, what needs improvement, how can the CEO help, and what should the CEO focus on when coaching the report?
It also gives the skips and senior leaders an opportunity to:
It's important to note that the following are not purposes for the skip level meetings:
Having a large organization is not a reason to not conduct skip-level meetings. Senior leaders with a a large organizations can opt to conduct skip-levels in a rotational fashion. If meeting with everyone is not scalable, instead meet with a new group of skip-level team members each quarter (or more frequently).