Based on Bar Raising Cultural Trainings, Led By: Gunjan Doshi, Founder & Chief Executive Officer @ InRhythm as part of our Founder-Led To Founder-Inspired Series.
Here at InRhythm, we are looking to implement not only the future of product and technology innovation – but what it means to truly foster a healthy, collaborative work environment that scales. My personal objective now is to scale the business from a founder-led organization to more of a founder-inspired high-growth organization that is run by the leadership and management team.
As an entrepreneur, I look at everyday as an opportunity to support the ideology of our InRhythm Family and start each morning excited to get out of bed and meet the day’s potential. I want the same zeal to continue with the new leadership team in place.
I will be covering some of the winning set of tools and practices that our team is adopting that will help us keep the same passion and culture of entrepreneurship as we continue to grow.
- Operational Task Transparency
- Open And Expansive Lines Of Communication
- Clear Playbooks
- Pulse Surveys
- Bar Raising Interviews
We are performing One-On-Ones through Lattice with our Operations Team on a weekly basis. Team members submit their weekly sentiment score as a way to help us lead with kindness and empathy. One-On-Ones have been a primary indicator of our success here at InRhythm – they allow us to take a pulse on what’s happening in our day-to-day and provide support across the board to our teams. We have successfully built a community that can talk transparently and collaboratively grow into their professional careers.
The Keys To Successful One-On-Ones
The first of these tools is a proven “One-On-One” Rhythm. As a foundation, we mark this time as a regular and consistent calendar meeting – to ensure that our people know that their contribution takes precedence over all else at this time. These regular meetings are never skipped – building a culture of trust and mutual respect,
A primary pillar to this success has been our company-wide rollout of Lattice, a tool we’ve taken the time to personalize with an InRhythm Spin! Our Mentorship Program is run directly through our dashboard and hosts a number of features that elevate our one-on-one experiences. Having regular one-on-ones is a key way for managers to support their team members in a personal and professional way. It is a humanizing practice that allows leaders to not only maximize the sentiment of their employees, but adjust their growth goals to reflect the best strategy to accelerate their careers. Encouraging a personal cadence between leadership and their teams, brings shared goals and personalized professional development goals to alignment.
Learning from the experience of our past and current InRhythmers, we’ve taken the time to create a culture of transparency that has come to represent our foundational Keys To Successful One-On-Ones:
- Thoughtfully Prepared Meetings
- Honest Weekly Updates
- Personal Sentiment Scores
- Attainable Growth Frameworks
- Intentional Goal Setting
- Personal Check-Ins
- Review Weekly Updates Together
- Thorough Goals Overview
- Transparent Road-Blocks Discussion
- Incentive Growth Areas
- Open Forum Q&A
Thoughtfully Prepared Meetings
One-on-ones are more than just a tool for managers, but instead should be a dedicated time for our team to express their needs, wants, and concerns throughout the work week. Frequent, recurring one-on-one meetings help boost employee engagement and keep everyone on a team aligned and motivated. This personal time should always be treated with the utmost respect and importance – in a fast paced environment, it is paramount that we don’t take this time for granted.
Our one-on-one Lattice experience allows mentees to share any personal talking points they’re looking to cover, as well as provide the space for mentors to take notes prior, create reflective action items, and come prepared with solutions.
The ideal scenario will always see my mentee speaking 80% of the time, while I use the remaining 20% to thoughtfully share feedback, resources, and attainable benchmarks. This is a time for genuine connection – rooted in empathetic listening and a thoughtful exploration of where our mentees want their futures to grow at InRhythm.
This is their time to shine – so don’t hog the spotlight! Be prepared for your mentees to guide the conversation and come ready with the tools they’ll need to make their dreams a reality.
Honest Weekly Updates
At the end of every week, our InRhythmers are prompted to share their weekly updates. These updates can either be shared publicly or privately – allowing each individual to cater their experience to what makes them most comfortable (no two snowflakes are the same, and neither are your teammates!).
This space provides the opportunity for mentees to share their weekly accomplishments, any roadblocks they may be facing, future achievements – and most importantly, who they’re most grateful for. By instilling a culture of gratitude, even the leanest teams can feel the trickle down of positive feedback and reassurance.
Personal Sentiment Scores
As part of our Weekly Updates structure, we encourage our team to share how their professional environment is affecting their personal sensibilities. Creating an employee experience that keeps mental well-being in mind cascades into our entire office culture. We want to continue working towards showing our people that working with InRhythm means working with an employer that respects and reciprocates their time and effort—a notion that can help foster great in-office experience.
We take time to review our mentee’s sentiment scores every week, in order to continue to adapt and collaborate internally to meet the concerns of our people. We want each one of our team members to feel heard, as well as foster our HQ as a safe space for constructive feedback.
Attainable Growth Frameworks
One of the most important aspects of leadership is promoting from within. Our team works every day to meet extraordinary needs and expectations – and they deserve to see the outcome of that dedication.
Our leadership has made it a priority to build out clear leveling expectations, that can both be easily followed and attained through their performance. Accelerating the careers of our InRhythmers is a key value that I hold close to the heart of our organization. We can’t bring value to our clients, without first investing in the value of our people.
Intentional Goal Setting
Setting goals is a great way for our team to be able to set milestones for themselves, both quarterly and annually. It gives a transparent view into their progress, as well as that of the company’s overall progression. Our growth is a direct result of the impact each one of our InRhythmers imparts both internally and externally to our clients.
Goals are a driving force to success, unifying our team into one, cohesive community. Each goal and priority is a direct line to InRhythm’s continuing investment and improvement, uniting all of our InRhythmers in a shared motivation: creating opportunities for recognition as well as reinforcing our culture-driven missions and values.
This time is allocated to check-in with each one of our InRhythmers in order to lead with a full-picture approach. Life doesn’t end outside of our office, and it’s important to remind our team that their personal lives are just as important for their overall success. The happier you are at work – the greater your productivity.
I like to take this time to adjust the tone of our one-on-one meeting and share a tone of empathy.The personal check-in is a simple activity that should appear at the top of every meeting agenda. Knowing where every member of your team stands on an emotional level before diving into the work provides clarity and increases transparency and builds trust.
Review Weekly Updates Together
The weekly update is a great indicator of where the emotional and professional flow of your team is. Every weekly update should be reviewed and treated with a level of care. The primary way to lead this area is to take time to assess and ask questions based on the feedback provided. When done properly, this time provides space for reflection and to get ahead of potential problem solving.
Reviewing these updates sets the stage for your primary talking points and how you may follow-through with setting your mentee up for success!
Thorough Goals Overview
Here at InRhythm, we utilize goal setting as a primary means of fulfillment and professional motivation. Goals are a key component to maintaining appreciation for key objectives met and progression. A quarterly “rock” is an overarching theme that will lead an individual’s focus into their next steps of learning and growth.
Setting realistic goals will improve morale and find your mentees reaching more markers of personal success in their careers.
Transparent Road-Blocks Discussion
The reality of a growing organization is the inevitable meeting of road-blocks. Smooth sailing isn’t always a guarantee and what sets leaders apart from followers – is the ability to recognize them and collaboratively sync on how to overcome them.
This specific interest in the day-to-day operations of sole contributors on our team creates a relationship based on boosting and working collaboratively to champion each other’s success.
Incentive Growth Areas
One of the key values of InRhythm is the focus of learning and growth for each member of our team – from operations to consultants, what sets us apart is the investment in our people. Taking care to create a personalized growth framework for individual mentees not only reflects your personal investment in supporting the acceleration of their careers but the trust you have in them as future leaders in our organization.
Create growth areas that best reflect attainable career milestones and play to the strengths of your mentee. This should include not only highlighting their passion, but in turn – giving room to learn new skills.
Open Forum Q&A
To close out your weekly discussion, be sure to give extra time allowance to collaborate on the conversation and next steps. This allows you to not only dig deeper into topics of discussion brought up by your mentee, but also to check-in with how leaders can improve and better understand points of interest. This is the time to tie up any loose ends and make yourself an approachable leader.
From discussing ongoing work to coaching performance and even working through interpersonal conflict, having moments for candid conversations at work has a whole host of benefits. Ultimately, understanding the purpose of one-on-one meetings—and the specific purpose they hold for your organization— will always make this dedicated time productive and impactful. As a leader, you should always consider your weekly one-on-one as the most important meeting you can have because it lays the foundation for a trusting and productive work relationship.
Sample Questions For Managers To Ask During One-On-Ones
Asking the right questions is a major component of running an effective and efficient one-on-one meeting. While each meeting and employee will require a different set of questions, there are some general best practices that are helpful to follow.
To enhance your own learning and growth, here are five key topic indicators that will help guide your one-on-ones… the InRhythm Way:
- Personal Life – How’s It Going?, How Was Your Weekend?, Are There Any Non-Company Issues Making It Challenging To Focus On Work?
- Productivity – What Are Your Goals For Next Week?, What Can I Do To Make Your Life Easier?, What Have You Accomplished In The Last Week That You’re Most Proud Of?
- Collaboration And Teamwork – Do You Feel The Team Is Communicating Effectively?, Do You Feel Connected With The Rest Of The Team?, Is There Anything I Can Do To Fill In Any Possible Gaps?
- Career Development – Are There Are Skills You’re Most Interested In Learning And Growing Into?, Do You Feel Your Current Job And Responsibilities Align Well With Your Career Goals?, What Aspect Of Your Role Do You Love And Why?
- Manager Feedback – Do You Have Any Feedback For Me?, How Can I Change My Management Style To Best Support You?, Would You Like Me To Share More Updates From The Leadership Team?