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Effective 1:1s

Michael Kong

Co-Founder at GiveCampus

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Problem

"When I had two engineers, I knew what everyone else was working on. As the team grew, I didn't just know by way of working directly with them on everything."

Actions taken

I now do a weekly 1:1 with each of my engineers with a set agenda that asks some basic questions, and some that are meant to ferret out things blocking the employee:

  • "What are you proud to have accomplished over the last week?"
  • "What are you blocked on?"
  • "What are we doing that we shouldn't be doing?"
  • "What aren't we doing that we should be doing?"

I also have the prompt that the 1:1s are time for the hard and awkward conversations. I also keep a shared google doc with each engineer, allowing each of us to keep notes. A nice side effect of this is making our twice-yearly review process significantly easier to recall important milestones, achievements, etc.

Lessons learned

"The goal here is to make sure no one gets blocked for long, I can get a pulse on what people are working on, and making sure people feel heard about the things they bring up. Personnel matters only get worse if things are allowed to linger, so forcing the employee to ask and answer the hard questions make the conversation more meaningful."


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Michael Kong

Co-Founder at GiveCampus


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