The Friday One-on-Ones
The Friday One-on-Ones – How You Build Trust and Create Improvement Within Your Team
Spending time with your team helps to build trust and synergy that leads to improvement. Here’s why you need those one-on-one sessions and why Friday is the best day for them.
Every person that you hire has the ability to improve.
They’re going to need your feedback to do that. Plus, they’re going to have to trust in your ability to help them make those professional leaps.
That’s where your one-on-one sessions come in.
Here, I’m going to look at the point behind these sessions and why Friday is the best day for them.
The Main Idea
Let’s say that you have a team of 10 people who each work 40 hours per work week. That’s a total of 400 hours of work time.
Now, let’s say that you spend half an hour per week talking to them about their work. That’s 1% of each person’s total work time for the entire week. With your team of 10, that amounts to 5 hours of time.
It’s a pretty big chunk.
The idea behind these meetings is that this time offers super high value to your team. It’s time that they spend with their manager, which means it’s the best time for them to achieve growth.
Of course, you also have to make the time you’re spending with them valuable. After all, 5 hours is a big chunk taken out of your own working week.
You’re looking to build focus, which gives each member of the team energy. That energy turns into effort and effort is where you spend time.
That time leads to results, of which money is the easiest one to measure.
So, that’s the idea behind the one-on-ones. Now, let’s talk about when you hold them.
Friday is the best time for these meetings for a couple of reasons.
First, your people are in a much more sociable mood on Friday. They’re ready for the weekend to arrive and they’ve likely dealt with the big tasks for the week. That means the conversation’s going to flow a lot more smoothly.
Second, your clients are also in that same frame of mind. They expect less from you on a Friday because they’re all preparing for the weekend too. This means there’s less pressure on your people to deliver something.
If you hold these meetings at the beginning of the week, you’re doing it at a time when your people have their minds focused on their work. That means they’re not as open to development opportunities, because they may have half their attention taken up by a pressing task they need to complete. Plus, they can’t cover what went well and what didn’t over the course of a week.
The Importance of Developing Harmony
The big goal behind these meetings is that you’re trying to build trust with your team. You want them to work in harmony with you. That can’t happen if they don’t trust you because they won’t believe that you can help them grow.
It’s easier to get your people in sync with you on a Friday. They know that the stuff isn’t going to hit the fan at 4pm on a Friday afternoon.
They’re feeling accomplished for the week, even if a few things didn’t go so well. Again, that means they’re in a better frame of mind for receiving the feedback that you’re about to provide.
It’s through this harmony that true growth happens.
How to Handle Giving Feedback
Of course, all of this falls apart if you spend the entire session laying into your team member. Yes, you may have a few issues to confront. But if that’s the focus for the entire 30 minutes, they’re going to come away feeling less in sync with your company.
And, you’re creating a cloud over their weekend, which could lead to resentment.
Your goal is to facilitate so that they can take the feedback you’re about to provide on board.
Start by asking them what went well this week.
They may start talking about how things imploded on Friday. If they do that, steer them away from the subject. Tell them that you’ll get to that but you want to hear about the other 80% of their week first.
Straight away, you’re getting them in sync with you. You’re putting the focus on what they’ve achieved and edifying them for some great work.
From there, you go into the growth phase of the conversation. This is where it can get a little uncomfortable because you’re going to cover the thing that went wrong during the week.
Again, it’s all about putting the person at ease.
For example, you could start by saying: “Hey, is it okay if I give you a little feedback?”
They’re going to say yes and you may say something like:
“So when you approach this client in this way, here’s what happens…” From there, you talk about how the client felt about the issue that came up during the week.
Then you ask them how they might do it differently next time.
They may not have an answer straight away. However, you’re planting the little seed in their mind that they’ll think about over the weekend. And you’re doing it in a way that’s non-accusatory. You’re not giving them a slap on the wrist and acting like their boss.
You’re just another guy on the team involved in a discussion about how to make something better for your clients.
The Little 1% Improvements
Now, your team member’s going to take that feedback away and that seed will turn into a seedling over the weekend.
When they come in again on Monday, they’re going to approach things a little differently.
Now, this might just lead to a 1% improvement in how they do things over the week.
But if you work with them every week, those little 1% improvements add up. They’ll be 37% better, or more, by the end of the year.
That’s a pretty big development. Those little improvements compound until they create a noticeable shift in how the person works.
Relieving the Tension
Let’s come back to that person who may have messed something up during the week.
They’re going to come into the meeting feeling terrible. Your goal is to relieve that tension and help them to come out of the session feeling like things aren’t so bad.
You’re changing their state and their environment. After that one-on-one session, they’re not going to feel like their boss has just given them a slap on the wrist. They’ll acknowledge the issue and come away with usable feedback from somebody who’s in the trenches with them.
The awesome thing here is that you’re now releasing them into the weekend free of any feelings of guilt or unhappiness. You’ve planted the seed for what they’ll need to do next week. Plus, you’ve confronted an issue that they would otherwise have spent their entire weekend worrying about.
When that person comes in on Monday, they’re recharged and ready to get to work.
Honesty is the Key
Remember when I spoke about developing harmony and getting your people in sync with you?
That can’t happen if you’re not honest with them about yourself too. It’s all about getting them to realise that you’re human, just like them.
Let me give you an example from my own experiences with this technique.
One day, I found myself struggling with keto flu. It’s a pretty common thing for people who take on the diet, especially in the early days of it.
But I still showed up to do my one-on-one meetings.
That showed my people that I’m always going to be there, come rain or shine.
That builds loyalty because it shows your people how valuable they are to you. You’re not one of these entrepreneurs who says one thing and does another.
I made my Friday the most important day of the week, even though I felt horrible. I was honest about how the flu affected me but I fought through it to show my people how valuable they are.
Building into Group Meetings
Some of you may wonder when you can build these one-on-ones into group meetings. After all, it gets tough to do the one-on-ones when the team size scales up.
That’s where trust comes into play again.
You can get the group meetings going once you’ve built trust with each and every individual who’s involved in the meeting.
Once you’ve done enough one-on-ones, you’ll be able to call three people into the office to go over some issue.
For example, you may invite them to give opinions about a problem you’re dealing with.
Someone who doesn’t trust you may not give open and honest feedback. But if you’ve spent time building trust and creating harmony, you’re going to get honest and useful responses.
Encourage Growth With Your Meetings
These meetings are all about growing your team so that they can deliver better results. To do that, you need to build trust and create harmony.
I’ve covered what you need to do in your one-on-ones to make that happen. Use the information I’ve shared here to help your team along and create that culture you’ve always talked about.
Dev “The Harmoniser” Basu