Ever had one of those lightbulb moments where something just clicks? The kind where uncertainty gives way to clarity and you suddenly know exactly what you need to do?
Well, we’ve recently built these ‘lightbulb moments’ into the OpenBlend platform - and we believe it’s going to revolutionise 1:1 conversations at work.
Allow us to explain…
At OpenBlend, we partner with progressive organisations that understand the value of great 1:1 conversations at work. They recognise the human element; they understand the need for an individual approach; they’ve worked hard to build an appetite for regular conversations; and they’ve equipped their people with the right tools and technology.
Of course, even within these most advanced organisations, there are still managers and employees who don’t always feel confident in their ability to have effective conversations at work, and especially when it comes to topics such as wellbeing, work-life balance, motivation, and personal circumstances.
Soft skills: learning on the job
We get it. It’s not always easy, but it is hugely important: research from Gallup shows that regular manager-employee conversations can increase employee engagement by up to three times. The good news is that the majority of employees (55%) are having a 1:1 conversation with their manager at least once a month. Cadence is no longer the issue. What we need to focus on now is helping managers and employees to develop the critical soft skills that differentiate good conversations from great ones.
Formal training is certainly valid here, though we’d argue that an even better solution lies in complementing traditional courses with learning on demand. By blending these two approaches, organisations can significantly improve learning retention (learners typically lose 75% of the content they consume within six days unless it is put into practice according to Harvard Business Review) and enable people to tap into - and recall - the knowledge they need, right when they need it.
You could call this our own lightbulb moment - and it’s one that led us to build a brand-new OpenBlend module.
Lightbulb provides bite-sized learning content to improve the effectiveness of 1:1 conversations at work. It places expert advice at the learner’s fingertips, empowering both managers and employees to consume useful tips in the moments before a 1:1 conversation. Crucially, and by providing access to the most relevant insights at the right time, Lightbulb enables people to access and apply knowledge within the space of just a few minutes - and with maximum benefit.
Preparation = confidence and capability
The whole premise is to build confidence and capability amongst managers and employees by enabling them to better prepare for their 1:1s. Indeed, this relationship between preparation and confidence is something that applies to almost every facet of our lives, whether it’s learning a new skill, improving at a chosen sport, or speaking in public. Preparation is one of the biggest factors for success because those who feel prepared for a conversation, will also feel more confident. They will have a better understanding of the situation; they’ve anticipated how the conversation might go; they’ve thought about what they’re going to say - and it will improve outcomes every time.
Anna Wildman: ask the expert
To ensure the very best coaching insights and tips, we also engaged expert help from Anna Wildman, renowned performance management expert and author of Now You’re Talking: The Manager’s Complete Handbook to Leading Great Conversations at Work. Anna’s approach to enabling great 1:1 conversations is remarkably similar to that of the OpenBlend team - so much so, we couldn’t think of anyone better to provide the expert insights for Lightbulb.
Underpinned by Anna’s coaching tips and actionable advice, Lightbulb covers the entire spectrum of needs when it comes to 1:1 conversations at work. So, whether your people need help delivering feedback, setting goals, talking about motivation, discussing progress, or raising a wellbeing issue - our latest module has all the tips and tricks to ensure these conversations are highly effective.