Your team has earned the right to your time.
Do your 1:1s with your team members often feel disorganized? Unproductive? Are your 1:1s with your team even happening?
Now, more than ever, it’s important to check in regularly with each of your team members. It provides structure, opens communication, and builds trust.
Here is a step by step guide to how to hold an effective 1:1.
1. They should be a reoccurring meeting. This provides structure AND it decreases the amount of interruptions for you! If your team members know they have a dedicated time with you, they’ll hold many of their questions.
2. Treat these meetings like they are as important as any other meeting on your calendar. When you cancel you are saying they aren’t important.
3. Have an agenda. I recommend the same one for each meeting. Here’s my favorite.
Administrative stuff: benefits enrollment, Covid updates, vacation etc.
Update on where they are will goals/projects/training.
What do they need from you. This includes access to systems, general questions, r resolving issues, training, etc.
4. Be present. Have a rule of no phones. Don’t have 1:1s at your desk. Make sure people know not to interrupt you during that time.
5. Start with something positive. It sets the tone, and it shows appreciation from the start. You can also start with a mental check in. Ask how their doing, how their family is doing.
6. Make sure each of your meetings are documented. This will become a life saver when it comes to review times.
Here’s why 1:1s matter.
1. Your team wants your time. Even if you don’t think that’s true, it is. 1:1s show you care because you are giving your employee your greatest asset, time.
2. When it comes to writing reviews you’ll have documentation throughout the year so you can ensure the review you write is fair and represents a full year of work, not just what you remember…from the last three weeks.
3. These meetings allow you to get to know your employee and better understand their strengths, goals, and who they are as humans. And right now, the more humanity we bring to the table, the better.
Final thought: I believe now, more than ever, managers have a higher calling. Excellence *used* to be optional, but now we are required to figure out how to lead people through chaos, high emotion, uncertainty, and constant change.