Tom Peters encourages managers to obsess on R.O.I.R – the Return on Investment in Relationships.
Usually what has to be invested is not cash – but time. And the challenge is to invest that time effectively.
For me, without doubt, the most effective tool for ROIR with employees is the 121. These are structured, documented 30 minute meetings held with each member of staff, every week. They provide the most effective ROIR with employees that I have ever seen.
ROIR through 121s comes in many forms:
- increased staff retention
- improved productivity
- recognition and acknowledgement of progress
- appreciation of those who are performing well
- identification of under performance and early resolution
- promotion of behaviours that reinforce strategic goals and values
- increased tempo of coaching to develop potential and performance
- deeper professional relationships
- increased trust
- increased influence
- increased responsiveness
- better support of team members in their work
- conduit for ideas from the front line to be heard and acted upon
- management support for every member of the team – every week
- improved communication and focus on what matters
- progress made and recognised on a weekly basis
- increased sense of urgency in the team
- encourage individuals to think through their contribution to team or organisational objectives
- increased initiative and enterprise
- planning remains flexible and dynamic
- documentation makes performance reviews simpler and less contentious
- barriers to high performance are removed
- factors contributing to poor performance are identified and resolved
- formal opportunities for delegation
- feedback – both given and received
- increased employee engagement
- improved knowledge management and knowledge sharing
- better talent management and development
- increased creativity
- more responsibility taken voluntarily by more people
- reduced absenteeism
- more diversity as 121s recognise that ‘one size fits one’
Perhaps some of these are things that you as a manager need to work on. If you are already using 121s then think how you can use them more effectively for the things that matter most to you and your business.
If you are not already using 121s then you have a tremendous opportunity to improve your management practice.
By the way – additions to the list are very welcome!