He provided some valuable guidelines for existing and future managers in the form of a list of 11 promises they should make to their team members.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 9, 2022. It has since been updated.
What exactly does it take to be a good manager? The attitude and behavior of those in charge can make or break an employee's experience at a workplace and also dictate how a business performs in the long run. Matthew Rechs—an American business coach and product manager who has worked at large companies such as FreshBooks, Adobe, Typekit and WPP—is well aware of how important it is for those in managerial positions to treat their subordinates well and have their best interests in mind. He provided some valuable guidelines for existing and future managers in the form of a list of 11 promises they should make to their team members.
According to the Twitter thread Rechs compiled, the first promise should be: "We'll have a weekly 1:1. I'll never cancel this meeting, but you can cancel it whenever you like. It's your time." While on the topic of one-on-one meetings, as his second promise, Rechs recommends that managers should clearly mention the meeting agenda in the invite "so we remember important topics." However, it is also important to assure the employee that they're free to discuss whatever's on their mind, he adds.
11 Promises from a Manager: a 🧵— Matthew Rechs (@MrEchs) April 18, 2022
1. We’ll have a weekly 1:1. I’ll never cancel this meeting, but you can cancel it whenever you like. It’s your time.
The third promise, according to Rechs, should be: "When I schedule a meeting with you, I'll always say *when I schedule it* what it's meant to be about. I will not schedule meetings without an agenda." His fourth promise is that "when I drop into your DMs, I'll always say 'hi and why.' No suspense, no small talk while you are wondering what I want," he explained, referring to the painfully familiar pang of anxiety most of us feel when we receive a random "hi" or "hello" message from our higher-ups. Rechs then goes on to list three incredibly important promises that show that a manager is respectful of an employee's time and abilities.
"News or announcements that significantly impact you, your work, or your team will come from me directly in a 1:1, not revealed in a big meeting," states the fifth promise, while the sixth assures: "You'll get feedback from me when it's fresh. There will be no feedback in your performance review that you're hearing for the first time." As for the seventh promise, Rechs suggests every manager should trust every employee to manage their own time. The eighth and ninth promises touch upon the topic of providing support where needed and avoiding micromanaging altogether.
8. Your work gets done your way. My focus is on outcomes, not output. Once we’re clear on where we need to go, how to get there is up to you. If I ever find it necessary to suggest a specific approach, I will supply an example.— Matthew Rechs (@MrEchs) April 18, 2022
"A team is strongest when it's working together, looking after one another and taking care of each other. Please look to your left and to your right for opportunities to help your colleagues. Please ask for help when you need it. Nobody works alone," Rechs tweeted. The last two promises address practices that are often overlooked by many. Rechs recommends that managers promise their employees that if any of them directly talk to the higher management, skipping a level, they will take it completely normally. Last but not the least, the manager will never minimize employees' contribution to achieving a team result or exaggerate the manager's own role in it.
11. I will attribute credit appropriately to you and your team. I will never exaggerate my own role or minimize your contribution. I’ll be especially certain to nail down attribution when senior management are hearing of our accomplishments.— Matthew Rechs (@MrEchs) April 18, 2022
Rechs concludes his thread by putting forth one thing managers can ask their employees to do for them. "If this sounds good to you, please reciprocate by giving me in return what I need most: The truth. Give me your feedback, say when I'm wrong and tell me your ideas for how we can do better. If we trust each other, we can learn and grow together. That's how I want to work with you," he wrote. Rechs' recommendations proved a huge hit on the social media platform with many Twitter users agreeing with them and also suggesting a few of their own.
I recently took over COO responsibilities at my small company and I can’t even describe what an amazing effect the 1:1 meetings have had. Our employees had so many solutions to big company problems and all we had to do to bring it out was ask. Great thread.— Adam K. Stinson (@adamkstinson) April 18, 2022
Love this thread Matthew. One tweak on #1 - if they're cancelling routinely it may indicate that they don't see the value in meeting with you / don't feel safe / don't feel like it's a good use of their time. In that case, worth checking in to ask how you can support them better.— adriennefriend (@adriennefriend) April 18, 2022
My favorite manager was one that always gave timely feedback. So even if I screwed up royally, my next review said "yes, she made a mistake but here's all the things she's done since to fix it & demonstrate she's doing it the right way now!"— Librarian Mama (@hyuumanatees) May 3, 2022