The most important thing you can do to empower your staff is give them a voice and listen to their ideas. As entrepreneurs, sometimes this can be hard as we are running 100 miles per hour and always thinking about the future. To ensure that people feel valued and you hear their ideas, I recommend scheduling formal, recurring meeting times with your staff every two to four weeks. A quick 15- to 30-minute one-on-one talk can keep you informed and keep your team members motivated. It helps us monitor (and continually improve) performance.
Every two weeks I meet with each person on our team. I review key objectives from two weeks prior, find out where they need help or guidance, and set a performance plan for the next two weeks.
During these one-on-one meetings, I ask four crucial questions:
1. What have you been working on the past two weeks?
2. What are your goals during the next two weeks?
3. What are you planning to do differently during the next two weeks?
4. How can I help?
Then we log the information they provide and encourage them to reflect upon their responses. We review and clarify what was discussed to ensure accurate understanding. And we create a follow-up plan, so everyone knows the expectations and the time line.
These one-on-ones not only help keep your team members focused, but also give them a defined outlet for communication. It’s dedicated time during which people know they have your full attention and can voice their ideas or concerns. Making a designated time commitment instantly builds team loyalty and morale because it shows you’re truly interested in their development, challenges, and needs. Offering people a voice and an ear is the most motivating, nonfinancial incentive you can give. And it helps you build a stronger team, one person at a time.
Co-Founder and CEO
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