1-1 meetings: The way to create a strong company.
How we improve our team productivity
For a remote working environment to be successful, communication and team alignment are critical. They also represent two of the biggest challenges remote teams face.
Dealing with these challenges over time has allowed us to develop different frameworks that have helped us both refine and improve our communication and alignment methodologies — and we’ve found 1-on-1’s to be a key element.
With 1-on-1’s, the main purpose is to be aligned and create a space wherein which a solid and productive relationship — based on mutual trust — can be forged between a leader and individual team members.
Years of learning have taught us that one of the best ways to ensure people are engaged, happy, and proactive is to make them feel valued, as well as to help them reach their personal and professional goals. Our 1-on-1’s are used to follow up on company tasks and to check on our team members’ progress and growth.
During 1-on-1s, leaders and those who report to them can communicate blockers or issues, discuss the week’s expectations or deliverables, and ensure alignment. However, without a proper framework and mindset, a 1-on-1 meeting can become just another routine conversation.
What is it?
For us the best way is not looking for the best team, it’s making it.
A 1-on-1 is a dedicated weekly meeting between a leader and a team member. Besides sharing status and reports, it is a place for coaching, mentorship, or even an opportunity to express feelings. Don’t drag these meetings out, either. Sometimes a 1-on-1 need be no more than a quick 3-minute catch-up, 5 minutes of jokes, or a quick chat. Just because you allocated 20 minutes doesn’t mean it has to be that long.
Motivating the team and cheering them on to become the best possible version of themselves is the greatest thing you can do for them individually and collectively as their leader. From handling issues (frustrations, blockers, or even showing your own human vulnerability), to making your team members feel valued, are all good reasons why you should find the time to arrange and book 1-on-1s in your calendar.
As a team member, the 1-on-1 helps you build a strong relationship with your leader and build your career going forward.
How to prepare a successful 1-1 meeting as a leader?
A successful 1-1 largely depends on creating a space where individuals feel comfortable discussing their issues and concerns. These meetings are primarily for the benefit of the team member.
There’s no secret to setting meetings properly. It depends on the person and his/her work schedule.
In our company, we have our focus days and that’s why we distribute our 1-on-1s across Thursdays and Fridays. Some leaders dedicate a full day for 1-on-1s while others spread them equally over the two days. These are the steps we implement:
How to prepare a successful 1-1 meeting as a team member?
This is a space where you can communicate and express all your concerns and thoughts with your leader, so please ensure that you are making the most of it!
It is worth emphasizing that this kind of meeting is not only for leaders and their team, but also beneficial for teams between one another.
If you are part of the People Operations team, this could help you act as a thermometer and determine how everyone is, what they are feeling, and their productivity.
If you as a leader are able to meet other people from other teams, you’ll help the establishment of not only a strong team but a strong company!