As a manager, you not only want to make sure that the people that report to you feel well at work, you also want to ensure they perform well. A regular 1:1 with your direct reports is a simple and effective tool to ensure both.

There are many ways you can run a 1:1. Radical Candor put together a list of tips for how to run them effectively. With Perdoo, we make it super simple to review a direct report’s performance in your 1:1. In fact, from now on, Perdoo is the only tool you’ll have to look at to ensure things go well. 5-10 minutes per week is all it takes from you as a manager, and it will turn your OKR program into an overnight success.

Here’s how it works.

Why you should review progress on goals in a 1:1

Goals drive the implementation of your organization’s strategy. Therefore, they’re the most important thing your people will be working on. Together you’ve decided what matters most, you’ve created KPIs and OKRs accordingly, and assigned leads to those goals to indicate who is accountable for each. You want to ensure that your direct reports achieve the goals they’re accountable for, which is why you want to track progress towards those goals in a regular 1:1.

While I don’t recommend using a 1:1 for simple work status updates (those can easily be accomplished via email), it is entirely appropriate to include “Progress toward goals” as a standing agenda item in a 1:1. Your team member has quarterly goals – ie KPIs or OKRs – that are closely tied to the goals of the team and the company, and it’s very productive to understand the results that your team member is achieving.
– Russ Laraway (Radical Candor)

How Perdoo helps

In Perdoo, you’ll find all your direct reports on your Home screen. Once they have submitted their Check-in, you’ll see ‘Checked-in’ behind their name. Clicking on ‘Checked-in’ will take you directly to their most recent Check-in.

Review KPIs

When it comes to KPIs, save yourself time by only looking at the KPIs that are unhealthy (ie. above or below the target value). Perdoo automatically marks KPIs that are unhealthy: Unlhealthy KPIsWhen a KPI is unhealthy, you want to have a constructive conversation around this. To have a constructive conversation, the direct report should have done some research already so that he or she can explain why it turned unhealthy. Ideally, he or she also already has some ideas for how to get it on track again. When these answers are logged on the KPI in Perdoo, you keep a good historical record and you keep the organization informed.

Review OKRs

Where KPIs are all about your business-as-usual, OKRs are all about getting the company to the next level. As a consequence, OKRs often get you into unknown territory. So when it comes to OKRs, you may want to focus more on what’s being done to achieve those OKRs.

Initiatives are all the things that people are doing in order to achieve a certain OKR. If you and your direct report both believe you’re working on the right Initiatives, and they are being completed on time, OKR progress will hopefully follow as a result.

I recommend that you review the Initiatives per Objective (from the User Page, click on an Objective to open the sidepanel with all the details—including the Initiatives—for that Objective). 

When reviewing Initiatives, first look at the ones that have been completed since the last 1:1. Has it resulted in progress on (some of) the Key Results yet? If not, why? Was it not the right thing to do?

Then look at the ones that are in progress: How are they progressing? Are there any blockers? What about the Initiatives assigned to members of other teams, are these still on track? As a manager, perhaps you should talk to the manager of the other team to ensure certain Initiatives are being prioritized.

Again, when these answers are logged in Perdoo, you keep a good historical record as well as the organization informed.

To sum it all up, here are the 1:1 guidelines we use at Perdoo

  • The 1:1 is a regular meeting (weekly or bi-weekly) between a manager and his/her direct report.
  • 1:1s are scheduled for at least 30 min. to make sure there is always enough time. This doesn’t mean that you need to use the full 30 min.
  • 1:1s shouldn’t be cancelled—unless someone is on holiday. If there is nothing to discuss, it’s still valuable to sit together, even if it’s just for 5 min. (talk about something other than work for a change).
  • 1:1s should happen in-person. Occasionally, it can happen that someone is out of office and it needs to be a video call, but that should be the exception not the rule.
  • For the most part, the 1:1 is the direct report’s meeting—not the manager’s. Therefore, the direct report gets to decide what the agenda is. The meeting always starts with the direct report’s agenda items to make sure all his/her points will be addressed.
  • We always review progress towards goals, by pulling up the direct report’s most recent Check-in. This is to (i) make sure that we stay on top of our goals, and (ii) increase the chances that we’ll actually achieve our goals.

Conclusion

A 1:1 is a great and simple tool for a manager to ensure his or her direct reports are doing well, and performing well at work. While the direct report should own the 1:1 agenda for the most part, it is important to always review progress towards goals (KPIs & OKRs) in a 1:1. Goals drive the implementation of your organization’s strategy, so you want to keep them top of mind, and increase the chances that those goals will actually be achieved. The User Pages in Perdoo make it super simple to review your direct reports’ goals in your 1:1s.

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