Meeting One-on-One With Every Last Staffer

Last Updated Oct 6, 2008 3:49 PM EDT

My various managerial roles have always been with relatively small staffs. It was easy to talk to each person daily, get to know them personally, allow them to bend my ear with their ideas and concerns.

So I've always wondered how managers of large operations stay in touch with their people.

And now I've found out the answer: Schedule 300 one-on-one meetings each year.

That's what Andrew Solnordal's calendar looks like, according to Harvard Business Publishing blogger and leadership coach John Baldoni. Solnordal is a regional manager at the Gulf & Fraser credit union in British Columbia, and he insists that he must meet his 80 employees not just once a year but once each quarter.

"Such a time commitment is huge and it is not practical for everyone," writes Baldoni, "but what Andrew teaches us is that if you expect to lead, you must exert yourself on behalf of your people."
Do you have a large staff? What do you do to stay connected to your people? Do they feel connected to you?

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.