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One-to-ones: a powerful catch-up date - Strategy #10

One-to-ones: specific, dedicated time with your team members…like a professional date!  Its important time to:

  • Connect and deepen your professional relationship,  

  • Celebrate wins – no matter how big or small,

  • Re-prioritize work as goals and targets change,

  • Re-negotiate SMART goals,

  • Identify and remove barriers that may be impacting operational efforts,

All happening in a confidential space.  Not only is the purpose of one-to-ones important, but the ability to ensure that your team members have dedicated time with leaders is invaluable to those on your team wanting to do their best for you


Unfortunately, there is some confusion about one-to-one best practices.  Often, they are seen as:    

  • An organizational nicety, simply something that should occur but can be set aside for other operational issues,

  • A opportunity to multi-task: checking emails or responding to messages,  or

  • Time to drop the hammer and hold employees accountable


“you cannot hold employees accountable if they’ve been left to function in a vacuum”


Employees experience significant frustration when they do not have the ability to function to the top of their capacity.   Consider Phil, who had his one-to-ones cancelled for five months in a row, only to be written-up because his work was falling behind.  With no opportunity to connect with his manager, Phil did his best to keep his work moving forward, but ran into multiple barriers that he alone could not correct.  We hear these stories frequently; these are the very organizational events that contribute to a disengaged workforce. 


“Your team members should look forward to their one-to-ones”


We need to re-think and re-value our employee one-to-ones.  Make sure you’re giving your team members all of the resources that need to be successful, this includes your time for strengthening your relationship, celebrating wins, and brainstorming. 


Engaging your employees: 12 strategic activities to drive your organization’s culture and commitment.  Coming soon April 2024! By Danielle Lord, PhD

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