The thumbnail version:

  • Employee management is hard.
  • One-on-ones can make it easier.

The full version:

Employee management is hard. The whole thing from hiring, to training, to retaining, to firing—it’s all hard. So any tips or concepts that can make it easier should be welcome.

Here’s a concept that’s bound to make the managing aspect a bit easier; it’s known as one-on-ones. One definition goes like this: One-on-ones are recurring discussions (every two weeks or so) between you and someone who works directly below you. In them, employees are given the time, space and platform to talk about whatever’s important to them – work-related or not.” I’m not entirely convinced about the “or not” part, but you use your discretion.

Even during a pandemic, or between remote locations, you can still do one-on-ones.

The aim is to build a relationship on an individual level, and for you to show that they’re important to the business and that you’re committed to their development. They benefit the employees but letting them know that they have the space to air their opinions, thoughts and problems. For the employer it’s an opportunity to better understand their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, what they need to do a good job, and how to best handle them in terms of assigning tasks.

The key of course is to be genuinely committed to the concept and to then manage the one-on-ones properly. If it comes across as a pain in the neck that you’re only doing because you read somewhere that it is a good idea, then you’d be better off not doing it. However, commit to doing it genuinely and properly, and you’ll likely boost morale and find that employee management becomes easier.