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One-on-one: Skip level

Learn how to find blind spots and enhance your organizational culture using Uber’s method
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Attendees

A skip one-on-one meeting is a meeting with managers or senior leaders in the company with those who are in junior positions. It is important not to have the meeting with a direct report in order to get honest and accurate feedback. To be truly effective you must create an environment in which the employee feels comfortable. Ideally, the manager should have a relationship with the individual being interviewed. Remember these sessions are about listening and learning from different perspectives in the organizations. 

Preparation

Managers should come armed with questions about the business based on data they’ve reviewed in advance — both qualitative and quantitative. 

Here are some questions you might want to ask in your one-on-ones:  

  • What is the morale in the office from their point of view?
  • How they are feeling about his or her team?
  • What their manager is doing well and not well?
  • What obstacles are they facing in their job? (If you are their skip-level manager, take steps to unblock these obstacles — it will mean a lot to the person that you took action.)
  • Do you understand the company’s goals and how your team’s goals fit into that picture?
  • Do you feel like you can do things you believe are right for the business?
  • Do you think leadership acts consistently with your values?
  • What would make work better for you?
  • When was the last time you took a vacation?
  • What is your sacred space? Do you feel like you have time for it?

Open Forum

  • Ask the interviewee if there is anything that was not covered above that they would like to add?

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One-on-one: Skip level

Skip-level one-on-one meetings are an excellent tool to gain insight into your company's culture, strengths, and shortcomings. If you manage managers, setting up a recurring meeting with their direct reports is a great way to gain an accurate understanding of how your direct reports are leading. Additionally, you get insight into how your employees are feeling about the business, culture, and leadership. Lastly, it allows you to uncover the obstacles that are preventing teams from producing their best work.

Learn more about Mike's skip-level meeting's here

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About the author

Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Michael Brown is the COO of Newfront Insurance, a modern insurance brokerage that leverages technology to vastly simplify the buying process for clients and the selling process for brokers. Mike grew up in the Bay Area and attended Yale University (BA) and Stanford Business School (MBA). Mike has an exceptional track record in business, with stints at McKinsey and executive leadership positions at Facebook and Twitter, followed most recently by the role of Regional General Manager, Asia for Uber between 2015-2017.

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