SECTION 2 OF 6
One on Ones
One-on-ones are rarely held within the trades, but they have been found to be highly effective in many organizations. They are typically one-on-one meetings with one manager and one person that reports directly to the manager. They can also be between a manager and an employee that is more than one level down from that manager and that is typically called a “skip-level” one-on-one.
The manager and employee can take time to go over progress and what should be done next. This allows them to align on ideas and paths forward and also allows people the opportunity to resolve issues that are either technical or personal in nature quickly.
As with any meeting, there should be a basic agenda of items to cover. For more information about meetings, there is another section on effective meetings that may be a good reference.
The duration and frequency of the meetings can be determined based on the position the employee fills within the company and how much time needs to be allotted to cover the necessary items. They should be scheduled at regular intervals, usually no more than two weeks, so the manager and employee can anticipate them. In many cases, when both people know that the one-on-one is coming, it can reduce the amount of unnecessary side meetings and daily interruptions.
Many employees will jot down questions and concerns to bring to a one-on-one, which increases efficiency.
Finally, one-on-ones can help the manager and employee build a relationship of trust and continuity that allows them to work as a true team. Many contractors who have pulled this off effectively will see employees that are more willing to volunteer for projects or overtime because they have a better understanding of what their boss is facing and what needs to be done to accomplish the company goals.