Holding Effective 1-to-1s
Effective performance management involves working through several related activities at the same time, ranging from objective-setting, on-going feedback, development planning, 1-to-1s, and review discussions, through to more general career-focused conversations.
The regular 1-to-1s that take place between you and your employee are the glue that sticks all this activity together. Meaningful and effective on-going conversations are critical in building the necessary mutual understanding that will result in strong performance and career satisfaction. These meetings also help to ensure that there are never any surprises when it comes to a mid-year or year-end review.
Effective and engaging 1-to-1s ensure you will:
- remain well informed of your employee’s progress against their objectives
- address concerns about performance and reset expectations
- discuss and agree appropriate actions
- receive any feedback on the coaching and support you are providing
- give appropriate feedback to keep the employee focused/address any gaps
- acknowledge achievements and give recognition
- reframe priorities and objectives to meet changes in business priorities/requirements.
Preparing for 1-to-1 meetings
- Schedule a 1-to-1 with each member of your team every four to six weeks.
- Some employees may require 1-to-1s more often.
- Ensure they are scheduled well in advance.
- Avoid cancellations and reschedule them immediately if you do need to cancel one.
- Plan for the discussion, especially if you have to give some constructive feedback.
- Ask questions to encourage the employee to open up.
- Agree any actions/decisions together.
You don’t need to formally record your 1-to-1 discussions unless there are performance concerns, but you can use the template below if you need to do so.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Feedback is a two-way process. Receiving it is a valuable opportunity for you to understand how effective you are in your role, how you demonstrate the behaviours expected your role and how you are delivering against your objectives. Giving feedback will help you to strengthen your working relationships by deepening mutual understanding.
As a line manager you should encourage your employee to gather feedback from peers and colleagues. You are also responsible for providing on-going feedback to your employee, both informally on-the-job and at 1-to-1s and review meetings. This feedback will inform discussion in their overall performance review and on-going and future development plans.
Feedback will help your employees understand:
- How they are doing
- What their strengths are
- What they need to do differently to improve their performance
- What you think about their work style, performance and the results they have delivered
See more on recognising your staff here: Recognising and Rewarding
Important: Try to gain feedback on your role as a manager from a range of people that you work with regularly, whose views you most value, and talk about the feedback you receive with your line manager in your 1-to-1 meetings and at your performance review.
Coaching for performance
Leadership and management responsibilities have changed dramatically, particularly in the last decade. In order to be an effective manager in increasing fast-paced and complex organisational environments, coaching has become essential. It will help you to improve the performance in your team, raise engagement of staff and is a key skills in developing talent.
Further information on our coaching approach and opportunities.