I know quite a lot of managers. Some are just ok, some are good and others are great. What is the one thing that I believe can make the difference? It’s so simple yet so many managers don’t do it.
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The answer is spending one on one time with your team members every week.

Great managers know their staff. They know their strengths and weaknesses. They know the status of the projects they are working on. They know how they are feeling. They even know them as people and not just employees. That means they know their partners names, their children’s names and a general idea of their interests outside work.

Why does this make them great managers?

I have found that one of the most important things in people’s day to day lives is relationships. The interactions we have with people can define whether we have a good day or a bad day. We enjoy being around people we have good relationships with.

It’s fair to say that people who have good relationships with their manager enjoy their work more and are more engaged than people who don’t get along with their manager. People who are engaged are typically more productive and productivity leads to results.

Now apart from having good relationships with your staff (who are engaged, productive and successful) there are other benefits of weekly one on one time with them.

  • It fosters regular communication which keeps you in the loop and reduces surprises.
  • It allows you to gauge what’s going on in the team and in the business and to take action where necessary before an issue gets too big or gets escalated.
  • It allows you to get to know the strengths, weaknesses and work preferences of your staff which will enable you to assign the most suitable work assignments to them.
  • It allows you to be part of their career development. If your staff feel that there is a career plan for them in the company they will be more likely to stay which increases retention.

So here is the formula. Schedule a regular 30 minute one on one with each of your staff every week in a suitable location. Let them speak for the first 15 minutes about whatever they want. Remember it’s about building relationships and if they want spend some of their precious one on one time talking about a particular subject then it’s likely important to them. Use the remaining 15 minutes to talk about other agenda items important to you. That might include upcoming projects, status updates or sharing information about yourself and what you are working on.

I said at the start that this is simple (as opposed to complex) and it is. However it is not necessarily easy. It takes effort to have the meetings every week and not cancel or reschedule them when ‘something more important’ comes up. I also understand that your calendar may look crazy right now and you are thinking that there is no way you will have time for this. I recommend you look a few weeks ahead in your calendar where there is hopefully more availability. Time is precious and this is an investment. Trust me that it is one investment that will yield great returns.

Justin Savaille


Management PT