Being a good team leader is about maintaining an ongoing feedback strategy to help your employees perform to the best of their ability. It’s not simply about praising the positives, correcting the negatives, and assigning tasks. Management is a continuous process that when done properly, leads to improvements in performance and execution over time.
One-on-one meetings (or 1:1 meetings) allow team leads to check in with their team members frequently as part of a continuous performance management process. There are countless benefits to having regular check-ins that are ultimately for the good of the team leads, the employees, and the company.
Benefits for team leads
Daily or weekly 1:1s are a great way to check the pulse of your organization by having in-depth conversations with each employee. It gives the team lead an idea of each person’s workload and challenges and provides a recurring opportunity to share ideas and discuss any issues at hand. These check-ins will help improve communication within your company, as well as productivity, organization, and accountability.
Being engaged with your employees and their projects helps build a solid foundation. You want your employees to feel comfortable sharing their honest opinions and struggles, which leads to improved transparency in your culture. They will also feel more valuable to the company by having their own dedicated time with you on the calendar. Engaged employees are more likely to truly care about their work and be motivated to ask questions and overcome challenges.
A team lead’s involvement is only half of it though – employees can also profit greatly from 1:1s.
Benefits for employees
For an employee, 1:1s provide the chance to discuss projects and struggles at work, as well as the chance to think about their career goals and get advice from a colleague who has been in their shoes.
1:1s are also great for employees to collect performance feedback to help improve. It’s validating for them to hear that they did a good job or that an achievement was noticed. Employees should use this chance to loop in their team lead on any challenges they are facing and where they need help. A 1:1 should empower employees to make suggestions where they see fit and enable them to play a role in bigger aspects of the business.
Larry Page, Google Co-Founder, said it best: “My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”
Making Communication a Habit
While 1:1s are painless to set up, follow-through can be a challenge. It’s easy to “skip” your 1:1 if you believe you’ve had adequate communication with that person recently and don’t feel the need to discuss anything new. However, maintaining the habit is crucial to seeing long-term results.
Inc. found that 91% of employees believe their managers lack communication skill. Another study by Gallagher & Co. in 2018 found that 60% of companies don’t have a long-term strategy for their internal communications. We know communication is critical to your team’s functionality, so why do several businesses get it wrong?
A lot of it comes down to discipline. Several business leaders find that using an implementation tool is the answer to helping them stay on track and stick to a schedule. Having a system in place that motivates you and makes a habit out of communicating frequently is the easiest way to ensure things get done and uphold accountability. This is why your internal meetings are arguably your most important company activity. Using software to help manage your meetings has many benefits; for one, it will help you maintain the continuous aspect of performance management. Once you successfully establish a routine, it becomes easier to stick to it and begin seeing results.
Set up Your 1:1s in Align
Your 1:1 agenda depends on what your main priorities are at that time. At Align, we recommend using a checklist to help you identify the most important points to hit on. As long as you discuss the most important tasks at hand, the order and format of the meeting are up to you.
As highlighted in our January Product Updates Release, Align users can easily create 1:1 meetings with our full template built into the software. 1:1s are now at the top of the Huddle Groups selection when you add a new meeting. The template allows you to customize your agenda, take notes, and create and send a recap post-meeting.
The value of the 1:1 is reflected in its results. Holding these meetings regularly will strengthen every aspect of your company, facilitating communication, strategic thinking, team building, and dynamic execution. While the potential of what can come from these meetings is limitless, 1:1s are still just one component of what makes up the process of continuous performance management.
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