How do I have a 121?

What does a 121 entail?

Hi, today’s top tip is the three of clubs. It comes from our 52 top tips for employers and the three of clubs is all about one-to-one ones. 

These can be held as frequently as the manager and employee feel necessary. Often, weekly or biweekly, they can be formal, or mixture of formal and informal. A formal one-to-one is often structured with some kind of form that’s filled in, or notes made. And informal one-to-one is often verbal, and perhaps no notes are made. At some point notes should be kept on file, reflecting discussion, concerns, action plan, communication, and support required. These can happen as part of a probation period, but actually they should happen on an ongoing basis. 

If at any point an employee is not performing, the one-to-ones and the notes from the meetings may be used in evidence to support a claim or an evidence to show that discussions been had and that support has been offered, commitments have been made and where actions haven’t actually been implemented. 

The one-to-ones are an essential part of performance management. They’re not a negative thing. Some companies will call them supervisions very much depending on the nature and the culture of the company. 

A one-to-one is not about the operational day-to-day to-do list. It’s about how the employee is doing, what support they need, what their challenges are. It’s not about going through and saying, what hasn’t been done at an operational level, they are two quite different things and they should be set up as such.

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