Better Feedback Loops With One on Ones

I’ve been running weekly 30 minute one-on-ones with all of my team for about two months now. With these meetings in place I go no longer than one week between giving and getting feedback from each employee.

Doesn’t sound like much. Like most managers I assumed I probably talked to all of my staff every week. What I often didn’t take into account is I didn’t always check in with everyone on a weekly basis. With the more self-directed employees or the slightly more introverted ones I only had brief discussions in the cube or hallways or maybe at the end of a meeting.

Turns out rapid feedback loops, even 30 minutes once a week, allow your employees notify you when things are a bit off course. Maybe they’re underutilized on a project or frustrated with a work situation. Maximum time to find out is one week on something like this. Sure, some employees will bring this your attention sooner, and they probably should, but having a regular discourse guarantees your employees have a chance to inform you.

In the last two weeks this feedback loop helped me become aware and fix two situations that were really demotivating several employees. There’s really nothing better than a re-motivated employee. So so far the one on ones are paying significant dividends.

2 responses to “Better Feedback Loops With One on Ones”

  1. I can offer anecdotal confirmation of your experiences with one on ones. My manager started having biweekly one on ones at the beginning of 2006. The difference in staff morale became evident within a month. It’s a lesson I plan to emulate. Kudos to you for doing this!

  2. Ed Gibbs says:

    Now, I always think, why didn’t I start these sooner, like when I started at my current employer as a manager 2 years ago.