Ellen has been working at FCR Media for 2.5 years. She started as a campaign manager and she’s now the team manager for customer acquisition. What she loves about being a manager is to see her team members grow and evolve during the year.
Quick facts about Ellen:
- Works at FCR Media (290 employees) 🏢
- Has 10 direct reports 👥
- Runs biweekly one-on-ones of 30 minutes 💬
- She’s a first-time manager 🥇
Why do you think it is important to run frequent one-on-one meetings with your direct reports?
Well, in my opinion, one-on-ones are the best way to coach my direct reports. During my biweekly one-on-ones, I can see how they’re doing, how they progress regarding their KPIs, I can help them reach those KPIs. If they have problems and don’t find any solutions, I use the one-on-ones to have a moment to talk together and find solutions to solve the issues they’re facing.
Can you tell me a bit more about your one-on-one process?
Sure. I always start by gathering information to be prepared for my one-on-one. For example, I check on which clients they are working and I see the progress regarding their KPI's.
Then, during the meeting, I always start with an overview of their customers. I check how is it going with them and if they have any issues. Then, we talk about how we can solve the issues they have. For example, if a client had to wait a long time before getting their deliverable, we see how we can prioritize.
After that, we talk together about the progress regarding the KPI's. We define KPI's at the beginning of the year and we check the progress in an informal way at every one-on-one. Then, we have a mid-year review, which is more official and where we see how everyone stand regarding their KPI’s and the values of FCR Media.
How do you make sure that you fully involve your employees in the process of one-on-ones? That you have a bilateral approach, not a top-down one.
Obviously, I ask a lot of questions. I make sure that they do most of the talking and that I know what they have on their minds. Then only, I guide and coach them the best I can. But it’s only possible if I have their input. That’s why I always ask “How is it going with each customer?”. That helps me to have an overview and it’s a good starting point for the coaching.
Then, when there’s a problem, something I always do is to ask them what could be a good solution. As a manager, it’s important to listen to their solutions because it can be better than what I have in mind.
Then, as a manager, I expect a lot of feedback from my team. The one-on-ones are not only me giving them feedback, I want it to be a two-way process. I ask them what I can do better, if they see something that can be improved. I care about their feedback to better coach and be a better manager.
What is your biggest challenge regarding one-on-ones?
The biggest challenge is that there are so many tasks to do as a team leader and still, you have to find time to prepare yourself for the one-on-one and never postpone it. It can be tempting to postpone a one-on-one when you have another urgent meeting but I force myself to create time for my one-on-one and stick to my planning. That’s something my team really appreciates.
What is your definition of a successful one-on-one?
I know I had a successful one-on-one when both parties feel satisfied, that we both have the feeling that it was a useful conversation, that we both learn from it and that it is clear for us what we need to work on. It might be a customer that we need to prioritize, it might be a soft skill that we need to focus on... The purpose of a one-on-one is to make each other grow. So, if you have a clear goal at the end of each one-on-one, you can consider it as successful.
What is the biggest mistake a manager could do during a one-on-one?
The biggest mistake managers could during a one-on-one is to do all the talking and focus on themselves. It is a moment for your employees in the first place. As a manager, you’re here to listen to what they have to say, so you can then make each other grow.
One last advice for managers?
Yes, as a complement to the individual one-on-one sessions, I run quick stand-up meetings with my team two times a week. That really helps to have a global overview and to make the follow-up super effective.
A word about FCR Media.
FCR Media is the largest Belgian digital marketing agency for SMEs. By enabling businesses to be optimally findable on the Internet and social media, they boost their sales. FCR Media has a lot of experience in the SME market. A team of experts creates and optimizes websites, videos, Google and Facebook ads and much more every day. They have a partnership with Microsoft and besides being a Google Premier partner, they are the only Bing Ads partner in Belgium. Customers can count on the expertise of certified specialists and a team of digital experts that optimizes the online presence of companies on various platforms, including goldenpages.be. Thanks to a customer and result-oriented approach of our employees, they have around 30,000 satisfied customers in total.