Guide: Setting the standard for your team 1:1’s

Guide: Setting the standard for your team 1:1’s


People join companies and leave managers” is a common saying in the world of human resources. At a time when the construction industry is experiencing increased workforce challenges due to labor shortages – employee retention is a key priority for many contractors that can’t afford to lose their best people.

Given that the relationship between a team member and their manager is so critical, we’ve created a guide to help your company set up some standards around the infamous 1:1.

Let’s start with the basics – what is a 1:1?

A 1:1 is an opportunity for team members to meet with their direct manager and discuss a wide range of topics that don’t fit into a tidy status report including:

  • Review of current projects

  • Request for feedback

  • Obstacles you have come across either as an individual, in your project team, or in the company as a whole

  • Clarification of department, company goals, or objectives

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What is a skip-level 1:1?

A skip level 1:1 is when a team member meets with their manager’s manager. This is a good time to discuss:

  • What is going well/not well with their direct manager?

  • Company/project obstacles

  • Clarification of company/project goals/objectives

  • Request for feedback

How to run a 1:1?

Every company operates their 1:1’s differently, so here is a quick review of potential 1:1 expectations.

From the team member:

  • It is up to you to book 1:1’s with your manager.

    • Depending on your role or experience at the company, this could be as often as weekly, or as infrequently as quarterly and may depend on the frequency of conversations you have with your manager outside of 1:1’s.

    • N.B. Managers may also book 1:1’s with you from time to time if they see a team member has not been booking them.

  • It is up to you to bring an agenda to the 1:1 – this is your meeting to run.

    • Project updates are great, but we encourage you to push the boundaries and discuss meaty subjects like – “If we modified this process, I could move 2x faster/I could do my job better. What obstacles exist today that prevent us from being able to do that?”

From the manager:

  • If you are not able to answer all questions in the 1:1, be sure to circle back with your team member quickly to answer any remaining questions from the 1:1 are answered.

  • If a conflict comes up and you need to cancel, be diligent about rescheduling with the team member as they likely have many important topics to discuss.

Now get those 1:1’s on the books and get listening 🙂

Hot tip: Check out our post on “Personality Tests: 3 ways to put them to work at your construction company.” Hint… one of them is in your 1:1 meetings!

Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more.

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