One-on-one (1:1) coaching is a component of performance management that leaders at all levels - frontline supervisors, managers of managers, and agency executives - use to grow and mentor their staff. As the name implies, 1:1 coaching occurs individually between a leader and team member. Though it is a joint activity involving two-way dialogue, the meeting is primarily for the benefit of the team member’s development.
To be effective, 1:1 coaching should happen regularly with a consistent structure, frequency and duration as determined by the team member’s role and coaching needs. For example, the cadence of coaching a frontline employee might be weekly for 30 minutes, while an agency head’s direct report may require fewer meetings that last longer to cover broader, strategic discussions.
Beyond these minimum standards developed for agencies deploying the Arizona Management System, agency leaders have broad discretion for creating consistent structure and accountability for 1:1 coaching in their organizations. The routine practice of notetaking and accountability help document employee performance throughout the annual appraisal cycle.
To assist agencies, the State’s Human Resources Division (HRD) created a 1:1 coaching model that mimics the familiar Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continuous improvement that is the foundation of AMS.
The HRD model includes detailed guidance and tools, for use by both the leader and team member, to advise on how to properly schedule, prepare, conduct and conclude the coaching sessions. The recommended guidance includes following up on agreed-to commitments from the prior coaching session, along with discussion of the team member’s individual performance, problem solving, organizational and team dynamics, as well as the employee’s professional and career development.
These conversations may vary greatly depending on the team member’s role and coaching needs, and while an individual coaching session need not cover all the recommended topics, it is expected they will be addressed at some recurring interval during an annual performance appraisal cycle. So long as minimum standards for 1:1 coaching are maintained, agencies are free to adapt the HRD model and tools as they wish.
HRD began conducting train-the-trainer sessions in January 2018 to acquaint agencies with the model and tools, and thus far more than three dozen agencies statewide have participated. Of the roughly 20 agencies deploying the full suite of AMS core elements, there has been steady improvement in use and practice of 1:1 coaching since the minimum standards were introduced.