When it comes to your team members, do you really know what’s going on?

Naturally, as your business expands, it’s likely that the distance between you and your team members will grow too.

Having employed managers to supervise and motivate your staff on your behalf, you’ll probably find yourself spending less time with your workforce, relying, instead, on information fed back to you at irregular intervals.

While there isn’t anything wrong with this management style, it isn’t exactly best practice either. As a business owner, it’s in your best interests to know what’s going on on the ground.

Often, when business owners distance themselves from their workforce and problems arise, individuals with issues are unsure where to turn. Subsequently, problems take root, becoming more serious and more difficult and time consuming to rectify.

Good intentions

Think back to when you started your business…

You probably had some great ideas about your company’s culture, about how you would avoid becoming the sort of aloof, unfriendly boss people love to hate.

Perhaps you dedicated time and energy to thinking about staff development and training initiatives. Or maybe you vowed to stay in touch with your troops – to fully understand the challenges they face and support them in their daily efforts.

Now your business has grown, and you’ve employed other people to take on these duties for you, how do you make sure that the culture remains as you’d like it to be, and your team members feel engaged and motivated?

The answer is more straightforward than you might think: 121s and mentoring.

What are 121s and why are they so important?

Simply put, a 121 – or a one-to-one – is a meeting between two individuals regarding work matters. 121s are great because they provide employers and managers with a way of keeping up with their staff members, while giving individual employees the opportunity to air new ideas, provide updates and discuss any issues which may have cropped up.

During 121s, praise can be doled out, criticisms levied and projects explored in a private, pressure-free environment.

Naturally, as your business grows, holding regular 121s with all of your team members will become more and more difficult, so it’s up to you to delegate responsibility swiftly and effectively.

Keep your company culture in mind; the people you employ to hold regular 121s with your staff members should understand how you would like things to be done, and should provide you with regular, detailed feedback, keeping you in the loop at all times.

In order to build relationships and deal with any issues which may arise, 121s should be held at fixed, monthly intervals.

Want to get started?

Why not DOWNLOAD our simple 121 template to use with your staff performance reviews.

Mentoring and development

Mentoring is another fantastic way to keep your staff motivated and your workplace problem free.

Mentoring is more about the “bigger picture” stuff – things like career planning and working on personal development. Being a mentor is a really important job and can prove invaluable for team members.

So who should do the mentoring? Well, you might want to think about someone outside of management, someone who can give a fresh perspective.

In general, mentoring sessions take place less frequently than 121s – but remain every bit as important.

Get in touch

Here at SCHR, we can provide you, your managers and your supervisory staff with training and support on conducting 121s and mentoring. Just get in touch and we’ll show you what we can do for you.

Give us a call on: 01243 717693 or message us directly