Why 1:1 conversations are required :
1:1 conversations are the opportunity for the employees and managers to meet on a regular basis and discuss the progress of their goals, Listen and address any concerns, share feedback that helps employees to keep improving on a continuous basis, and coach them to grow professionally.
Regular 1:1 conversations can help build a strong trust between the manager and the team members, which in turn can increase collaboration and productivity helping employees to achieve their goals more efficiently. With 1:1 conversations the employees can have their performance and development conversations as well on a regular basis so that there is no feeling of uncertainty during the performance conversations.
Some of the items should 1:1s focus on but are not limited to are,
Get the pulse of how the employee is feeling in the team or the company. Provide or assure support wherever needed.
Setting the goals for the employee or discussing how the goals are progressing. Help clear any roadblocks the employees are facing to progress on their goals.
Development goals and career aspirations of the employees. Coaching to help employees grow along the lines of their aspirations.
Help employees uncover their strengths and opportunity areas. Provide timely and actionable feedback to help them improve.
Suggestions or feedback for the manager and the company as well.
The 1:1 meeting should be more of the team members' time where the manager can hear them out, address their concerns and then provide their thoughts and guidance as well.
Some guidelines for effective 1:1s
Setup a recurring schedule with each of the direct reports and stick to it.
Encourage the practice of setting the agenda or deciding on the topics of discussion before the 1:1 conversations. This involves both the employee and the managers contributing to it.
Create a safe and trusted space for employees. Make sure you create an environment where the employee feels safe and confident to open up. This would mean that managers are willing to listen more and be receptive to the feedback the employees provide.
Provide feedback that is actionable. When feedback is given, also help the employees with solutions and a plan to improve that is measurable over time.
Setting up 1:1s using Ally
Ally.io provides the 1:1s feature to facilitate effective 1:1 rhythm with the employees. With Ally, you can organize and track all your 1:1 discussions, feedback, and action items that help you progress on your goals more efficiently.
To schedule a 1:1 conversation with your direct reports or peers, Click on the performance menu on Ally and choose the 1:1 option. This will open the 1:1 home page as shown below.
The home page shows your conversations with your managers and your direct reports. You can schedule a new conversation by clicking on the 'Create new 1:1'option on the home page. This will open the scheduling window as shown below. 1:1s doesn't have to be limited to only the manager. You can have 1:1s with anyone in the organization or team have it tracked on Ally.
Once you setup this Rhythm, you can see the conversations page as shown below. The meetings(date and time) are shown on the left and the right pane provides the space to add the agenda, feedback and action items.
Before getting into the 1:1 meeting both the manager and the direct report should be well aware of what each of us would like to talk about. These items could be added to the agenda section. The section also shows who has added the agenda.
For example, the employee's agenda could be on the lines of
Tasks accomplished this month
New skills to pick up this quarter
Feedback and opportunity areas
Similarly, the manager also can add his agenda. This will serve as the input to the 1:1s
The outcome of the 1:1 can be action items. . Ally allows you add these action items or tasks and mention who owns them. This way the manager can provide actionable feedback, career coaching etc and both can keep a track of these. Examples of some of the action items can be like,
Do a company wide tech talk on ML models
Prepare and share the Mentoring plan for the new joinee.
During the course of the meeting you can also add meeting notes in the shared or Private notes fields. As you finish discussing the agenda item during the meeting, you can mark them as closed by checking them.
Similarly, check the action items as and when they are completed. All the open action items from the previous meetings are shown in the latest meeting so that you can track all the open action items in one place.
You might also often have ad-hoc 1:1 discussions in addition to the recurring ones. Ally provides the option to create and track these as well. Click on the + button as shown in the below image to create a new or ad-hoc 1:1 meeting at any time.
Maintaining regular 1:1 Rhythms can help the employees get continuous coaching and improve consistently. This can help them stay motivated and keep performing at their best.