DiBona & Associates
DiBona & Associates

How To Use 1:1's to Improve Team Success

09.12.22 06:39 PM By Noel DiBona

A well-structured 1:1 can have a powerful impact on your team.

Leaders that have frequent 1:1's with their teammates improve employee engagement and achieve greater alignment between the organization’s objectives and individual goals.

Well-structured and consistent 1:1’s can have a powerful impact on your team.

Proper preparation for a perfect 1:1
  • Prepare for your 1:1 by taking stock of your teammate’s communication and overall work style. Do you have any blockers in your own communication and work style that might get in the way of you being an active listener during the 1:1 session? Think about their current priorities and projects. Identify the positives of their work as well as opportunities to provide constructive feedback.
  • Be sure to set an agenda for the 1:1 session so you are well prepared and stay on track.
  • An effective 1:1 session can be completed in about 15-20 minutes.
  • The frequency of your 1:1 session will be determined on the overall work cadence of your team and your own time management. 1:1’s can be done weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
  • Decide on the topic of the meeting. Will you follow up on action items from previous 1:1 session, or will you ask your teammate to sum up their week?
  • Keep good notes on the insights your 1:1’s reveal with each employee.

Navigating the conversation during the 1:1
  • Set the right tone by focusing on making your teammate comfortable with the exchange. A good way to kick off the meeting is leading with a short summary of your week or an open-ended question for them. For example, is there anything you need more help or support with? Or a lead-in with some positive feedback.
  • Once the ice is broken, you can get into the specific agenda.
  • Examples of specific agenda items are updates on goals and deliverables. Positive or constructive feedback. Acknowledging their progress. Sharing company updates with them. Asking for their ideas and input. Review their work priorities and that they are working on the right things.
  • Summarize important key points at the end of the meeting and any action items.

After the 1:1
  • Record your notes and agreed actions after each 1:1 session.
  • This information will help you better understand the progress of each teammate and assist you to gain more insight for upcoming performance reviews.

Effective 1:1 sessions create more connection to you as the leader.

Establishing greater clarity, making them feel their contributions are important to the success of the organization, and that they are being treated fairly will increase engagement and productivity.

Now that you know what you need to improve are you willing to create the necessary changes for your team to begin the journey to becoming a top 10% team?