Building trust through effective one on ones

Trust is essential to having harmonious relationships, and this is no different in the workplace. Building trust through effective one on ones is one of the best ways to do this at work with your team.

Team meetings and team building activities aren’t all about falling backwards on someone and whispering ‘I trust you…’ as you nervously drop back and pray they have enough arm strength to catch you. If run well, they’re an opportunity for connection and communication, and through those comes trust. 

Equally, one on ones between leaders and team members are the most effective way to continuously reconnect, refocus, and build a trusting relationship where leaders can give feedback, and team members can comfortably receive it. And you know you’ve levelled up as a leader if you’ve created an environment where your team members can comfortably give YOU some feedback too.

How can you start building trust through effective one on ones? What are some questions you can ask in your employee one on ones to maximise productivity and build strong foundations in the employee/manager relationship?

Questions around growth

  • Highlights or wins since the last meeting 
  • Where they could be provided with growth or mentorship opportunities
  • Professional (and personal) goals they’d like to focus on
  • Education opportunities they would like to take part in

Questions around whether they are happy and engaged

  • How they feel about the existing team dynamics 
  • If they were managing the team, what would they do differently?
  • What do you enjoy about your position?
  • Where they feel the team, or you (the leader) could make improvements

Questions around areas for improvement

  • Where they feel the team, or you (the leader) could make improvements
  • Ask if they are open to receiving feedback about their performance and how they best receive feedback.
  • Are they happy in their role, and what could make it even better?
  • What’s one thing you (the leader) could do right now to make work better for them?

Questions around the actual work they are doing

  • What, if anything, feels difficult or stressful in your day-to-day?
  • What do you need? What could make your work easier?
  • Are you enjoying the work you do?
  • What direction do you think this type of work could take you in?

Does the business you work in run regular team catch-ups and one on ones? We hope you can use these tips for building trust through effective one on ones. Stay tuned for our next blog on questions that employees could ask their leaders during a one on one!

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