One of the most important parts of a strong workplace culture is the manager-employee relationship. As the dictum goes, “People leave managers, not jobs,” which means that encouraging a good manager-relationship is vital not just for the employee’s day-to-day, but also for the company’s future when it comes to retaining star employees. One of the best way to do this is with one-on-ones.
One-on-ones (or 1:1s, as they’re sometimes known) are generally free flowing discussions between a manager and their direct report about work-- specifically, on the employee’s progress, workload, and development at the company. The 1:1 conversation should still have an agenda, but it can be flexible, and should be about updating the manager on the employee’s feelings and thoughts on their current work situation.
Ben Horowitz (Partner and Co-Founder of a16z) has a good quote summing up a good 1:1:
"The key to a good one-on-one meeting is the understanding that it is the employee’s meeting rather than the manager’s meeting. This is the free-form meeting for all the pressing issues, brilliant ideas and chronic frustrations that do not fit neatly into status reports, email and other less personal and intimate mechanisms."
But it can be hard to balance having a conversation about work that doesn’t devolve into just a status update about your work. One moment you’re talking about the difficulty of one project, the next moment you’re actively working on the project -- thus robbing your employee of the opportunity to learn how to correct the problem themselves.
That’s where the Lattice’s Mobile App comes in.
Lattice’s Mobile App allows for 1:1s on the go.
The most important part of a 1:1 is that an employee has their manager’s undivided attention -- something studies show employees always feel they need more of. Leaving the office for a 1:1 is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Whether it’s grabbing coffee or going for a scenic walk, managers realize that leaving the office helps them focus on the employee and their needs.
But the other problem with 1:1s is that, sometimes, they can be a little too free flowing -- with a strong manager-employee relationship, it’s easy getting carried away. After such a discussion, an employee can come back from a 1:1 and realize they still have questions for the manager...but the manager has no time to answer them.
Our 1:1 tool solves this by providing an agenda -- one that’s easy to add to, edit, and make notes on, before and after the 1:1. Encourage your employee to add to the agenda throughout the week, specifically noting things that can’t be answered quickly with a direct message or email, but need your unique managerial insight to help them work out.
Then take the agenda with you on the mobile app. Combine the fresh perspective of getting out of the office with the structure of an agenda, and have happier, more fulfilled employees.
You can also reference goals on the mobile app.
For managers with multiple 1:1s to juggle, it can be hard to remember all the projects your employees are working on -- especially if your team is very diverse in terms of their working styles and job functions.
Including goals alongside 1:1 agendas in the mobile app solves for that particular predicament. While 1:1s are great for getting progress reports and helping employees with day-to-day problems, they’re also for developing an employees’ skills. Especially when you encourage employees to make both company and developmental goals, 1:1s are the perfect time to see how those goals are progressing, and how you can help your employee progress on them.
Get started with our mobile app.
Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play, type in your company’s slug, and sign in with your email. Oh, and pick out your favorite coffee shop to have a 1:1 while you’re at it. This one’s ours.