In this section, we'll be talking about how the 1:1 Conversations tool fits in with the larger body of Performance Management, and if there are any synergies you can take advantage of. Each of the other chapters are broken down into separate articles, which are linked in the table of contents below.
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Manager-driven performance management is being embraced by forward-thinking organizations across multiple industries.
1:1s are a key driver of quality employee-manager interactions, and fit into a larger scale of innovative performance management, including annual or bi-annual performance appraisals, ongoing employee-manager 1:1s, employee-driven feedback cycles, periodic check-ins and reviews, and goal management. Keep reading to explore the different ways to leverage 1:1s to optimize your Performance Management Program.
Traditional performance reviews are stressful for managers because of both the time they consume and the need to initiate difficult conversations with employees. There is a lot of research that has proven these annual reviews are not effective in optimizing employee performance.
For employees, there is the element of surprise, “If I was not meeting expectations for the past six months, why are you only telling me now?” If 1:1s are a habit, even if you choose to continue running performance reviews or a regular structured check-in concurrently, these conversations or insights will not come as a surprise or be as stressful.
Managers will have set expectations for how difficult topics are approached, and can lean on their strong relationship with employees to share results of their evaluation. By using a feedback and review tool, information gleaned from 1:1s can be captured and stored for the review. In the case a company runs quarterly check-ins instead of performance reviews, the same theme applies – 1:1s make these performance evaluations easier.
Important: 1:1s should NOT be confused with check-ins
A check-in is a 30-60 minute monthly or quarterly conversation with a manager and employee about progress over the review period, and objectives for the next review period. This approach enables a meeting focused on relevant and specific progress on objectives. The forward-facing focus makes the check-in a natural setting for creating, editing, and updating goals based on the company’s goals.
As mentioned earlier in this guide, a 1:1 is defined as a meeting between a manager and his or her direct report, typically ranging from once per week to once per month, and with a duration of 30 to 60 minutes. The variation in frequency and time are dictated by the number of direct reports each manager has. For example, the fewer direct reports, the more frequent and lengthier the interactions can be.
The forward-facing focus makes the check-in a natural setting for creating, editing, and updating employee, team, and company goals.
Key differences between 1:1s and check-ins:
Gallup research shows that managers are responsible for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that half of employees have left a job just to get away from their manager.
*Six Facts About Employee-Manager Relationships
*The Best 1-on-1 Meeting Checklist