A man explaining something to a woman sitting across the table from him

Hens’ teeth. Rocking-horse s**t. And team members demanding 121s. All rare beasts.

Many businesses struggle to execute a simple programme of 121s. If they are too long, they inevitably get postponed when things get busy – probably just at the very time when a 121 would be most useful.

When online bed manufacturer Sleep Design joined Reclaro® and introduced 1-3-5® plans for its 16-strong team in the UK, it wanted to change the company’s culture. Duncan Ross, General Manager of Sleep Design explains:

When I joined the business, we needed more structure and process. So we brought in Reclaro® and created 1-3-5® plans with all of our team. It’s given us all a clear sense of purpose and a single-minded focus on our goals. Best of all, each member of the team can measure for themselves how they’re getting on throughout the year.

Reclaro 1-3-5® plans are a great tool for 121s. They help focus the conversation on each person’s priorities and help everyone stay focused on their objectives. Duncan has seen a change in his team’s culture as a result.

Our 1-3-5® plans have certainly helped contribute towards a change in our culture. For example, some of the team members ask their managers for 121s to help them move the dial on their goals.

The exciting thing about this is that Duncan’s team are taking personal responsibility not just to work hard but to work hard on the right things. That’s a game changer for growth companies.

When your team members come to you asking for a 121 to help them to move towards their goals, it’s a powerful change in the dynamic of how a team works.

What does a good 121 schedule look like?

The frequency of your 121 meetings should match the cadence of your business. So, if you’re growing fast and the rate of change is high, then your 121 process needs to match that. That said, a good template for a manageable 4-step check-in process looks something like this:

  1. Weekly: 121 keep-in-touch meeting – 3-5 minutes
  2. Monthly: 121 – a bit longer, say 20-30 minutes, and dig into more detail
  3. Quarterly: more-detailed review – 60 minutes or more
  4. Annual: very detailed analysis looking back and forward in which the individual should feel supported and motivated – 90 minutes or more.

If you create a 121 schedule like this, then your business will be well set to deliver accelerated results.

Top 3 takeaways

  1. Put your 121 schedule into your calendar and give it top priority
  2. Create a short agenda for it so you can be super-focused on your goals
  3. Ask us for a 30-minute demo to see if Reclaro 1-3-5® is right for you

Posted by Pete Wilkinson

Last updated: 24 September 2019

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