CIPD survey shows managers do not effectively communicate objectives and expectations – more 1:1s needed, says Michael Baker, Managing Director of the TBC Ltd.

A recent survey conducted by the CIPD of over 2,500 employees showed that one in five people felt that their managers did not effectively communicate objectives and expectations.

The results of this survey are worrying. Communication should be the bedrock of good people management and it’s deeply concerning that managers are ignoring this. It’s no wonder that this attitude has resulted in trust and confidence in leaders reaching a two year low. We all want our employees to excel within our organisation, but how are people expected to do a good job if managers spend little or no time explaining what is required?

It’s important that people know what good performance looks like within their organisation. Having goals and something to strive for are some of the most important factors that keep people engaged in their jobs. However, this is not enough. At the TBC we believe in carrying out effective 1:1s as part of a managers tool kit.

1:1s should be:

  • Regular – We recommend weekly meetings, although it depends on what works for your organisation. Sometimes monthly will be more effective.
  • Short – A 30 minute meeting allows individuals to bring you up to date with key projects and for you to do the same.
  • Focused – The 1:1 is not a chat. It is a weekly focused meeting on the persons issues and concerns and an opportunity to allocate new work priorities and check on progress on existing projects.

A major advantage of this approach to 1:1s is that once established it prevents frequent blurts/ interruptions by you and your team members. It can mostly eliminate the situation where team members interrupt you with requests for clarity or information. By having regular 1:1s you and your team can store up such interruptions for the weekly slot. Of course there will still be some interruptions but 1:1 meetings can keep this to a minimum.

The CIPD survey should be a wake-up call for managers. Attention needs to be paid to all individuals within an organisation if you want to keep your staff from looking for work elsewhere. Setting expectations, regular 1:1s combined with coaching and feedback should be mandatory. If your team feel that they have a good working relationship with you, that they can raise issues and know what is expected of them, the productivity of the organisation will see an improvement because of it.

To review the results of the CIPD survey please visit the link:

To talk to the team at the TBC about improving the performance of your team, take a look at our contact page.