What did you learn in 2019?
Chances are the year was filled with challenges big and small. If some big changes came your way as a manager, they could include things like:
- Adjusting to your first remote employees and figuring out the best way to support them
- Navigating how to respond when a valued team member lost a loved one
- Or you're a new manager quickly learning just how different being a manager is from every other role you've ever had.
No matter what those hurdles were, if you're reading this, you didn't just persevere– you overcame those challenges, learned, and became a better leader for it. It's our goal for the Lighthouse blog be a positive resource to help you do exactly that, whether you're a new manager or seasoned leader.
Today, we, look back on the posts you found most valuable throughout 2019. If you haven't already read one of the posts below, bookmark it and take it with you as you travel over the holidays. And if you find value in it, please share it, so other leaders can learn, too.
The 5 Most Popular Posts from the Lighthouse Blog of 2019
This year we published a number of our most popular posts ever, updated some classic posts, and wrote some new ones based on your requests and suggestions.
We write on all kinds of topics, but they're always based on things you've told us you wanted to know more about, or that we have learned firsthand that managers struggle with. This has included everything from managing remote employees, to what to talk about in your one on ones, to how to better motivate your team.
Every topic we research and write it about is meant to help provide you with the best information possible to help you take the next step (whatever that is for you) in your leadership journey.
The posts below are those you've told us were your favorites– and most helpful– of 2019.
If you've read the Lighthouse blog before, you've probably heard us talk about the research-backed benefits of one on one meetings quite a few times.
And that's for good reason. When your one on ones are good, you experience a variety of benefits for yourself and your team including a better relationship, more open communication, and stronger motivation by each of your employees.
However, great one on ones don't happen by accident. In fact, bad managers can make them torture.
For those of you that want to avoid making the meetings miserable for both of you, you know that one of the keys to mastering one on ones is asking good questions.
To help you do that, we created a comprehensive list of hundreds of questions you can ask your team members during one on ones. Each one helps open up a different aspect of your working relationship with them.
The post covers every topic imaginable including:
- Building rapport and trust
- Checking in
- Giving and receiving feedback
- Career development
- And more
Whether you're new to one on ones or a veteran, this list of hundreds of questions will help make your one on ones more diverse and effective. We can say one thing for sure: you'll never run out of things to talk about again.
- Why your one on ones need a meeting agenda (and how to make them great)
- 1-on-1 Development: How to make the most of your one on ones throughout you and your team's careers
Remote work is on the rise. Are you ready for it?
Remote work is growing quickly, so much so that some believe it's poised to become the norm in the near future. However, most managers have never managed a remote employee and don't know what to expect when they take their first remote employee on.
Managing remote employees is different from managing traditional employees on-location in many ways, which will trip you up if you're not prepared for them.
The Lighthouse team is fully remote, so we understand the challenges involved in managing remote employees. We also talked to some of the leaders of the remote work movement to learn from them.
That's why we wrote this guide on what you need to know, and costly mistakes to avoid, when you start hiring remote employees.
- The challenges remote employees face are different from those on-location. Ask these one on one questions specifically designed to help support your remote employees.
- Mastering communication and overcoming issues related to it is essential to effectively supporting your remote employees. Learn the keys to this here: The Key to Effectively Leading Your Team During the Rise of Remote Work
Effective one on one meetings are a chance to:
- Build rapport
- Coach and develop
- Give and receive feedback
- And work through issues affecting that team member and the team as a whole
Despite all of the potential value of one on ones, that time is often wasted on things that shouldn't be talked about during one on one meetings such as status updates. That is, if those meetings ever happen at all.
Whether you're a manager wanting to improve your one on ones, or an employee wanting to make the most of the time you have with your manager, this post will give you the essential tips you can use to boost the value of these meetings.
Especially for your own 1 on 1 with your manager, you may be surprised how much you can do to improve the meeting through your own efforts and preparation.
- Learn the Dos and Don'ts for effective one on one meetings (for both managers and employees) and download our handy cheat-sheet there.
- Use these Questions you can ask your manager to improve your relationship and better manage up.
Effective praise is a powerful tool leaders can use to motivate their team.
And that's not just anecdotal, as workplace studies like Gallup's have found that praise can not only impact productivity, but also your turnover rate and company revenue.
With that said, understanding the value of praise and knowing how to give effective praise are different things.
In this post, you'll learn five simple but effective ways you can give your team praise that will motivate them to do their best work and make them feel appreciated.
Learn more about giving effective praise with our Ultimate Workplace Praise guide. It's filled with over 20 ideas that can transform you and your team to a happier, deeply motivated team.
Think onboarding is just for HR? Guess again. As a new hire's manager, you have the power to improve your team's situation regardless of what the rest of the company does.
Even if your company doesn't properly onboard its employees, you can take steps to improve the onboarding process for your own team.
It will not only save money (it costs the average company 6-9 months worth of an employee's salary to identify and onboard a replacement), but reduce turnover and set your team members up for long-term success.
With this in mind, what can you do if your company's onboarding process isn't very good?
This post will teach you everything you need to know about improving your employee onboarding process to better engage hires and prevent turnover. It also shares some great examples from some awesome companies from startups to publicly traded companies.
No matter your budget, and time constraints, you'll find a few ideas you can apply as you work to meet your hiring plans for 2020.
What was your favorite Lighthouse post of 2019?
Have a favorite post we didn't mention here? Let us know what it was in the comments below.
BONUS: Many of our posts are inspired by conversations with readers and questions they ask us. If you want to influence what we write about next year, please take our 2020 Lighthouse Blog Survey here.