Management Skills

2020 Roundup: the top 10 leadership reads from the Soapbox blog

7 min read

With data from over 500,000 readers this year, here are the most read blogs to help set you up for a strong start to 2021.

2020 has been one big rollercoaster ride, to say the least.

For many people-leaders, this year was a real test; from navigating layoffs while keeping morale and engagement levels up, to leading a team virtually for the first time.

And, while it wasn’t an easy year, we’ve learned and documented a lot of lessons along the way. With data from over 500,000 readers this year, here are the most read blogs to help set you up for a strong start to 2021.

Jump to a section:

  1. How to make accountability a core part of your workplace culture
  2. 121 One-on-one questions
  3. 9 One-on-one meeting templates
  4. The 45-minute team meeting agenda
  5. 4 things to include in your daily scrum meeting agenda
  6. Measuring meeting effectiveness: 5 post-meeting survey question templates
  7. 180+ OKR and goal examples
  8. 5 Ways to set (and surpass) team goals every single quarter
  9. 24 tips to have more effective one-on-ones
  10. Employee recognition: Creating a “Culture of Kudos”
Accountability in the workplace is linked to an increase in commitment to work and employee morale

1. How to make accountability a core part of your workplace culture

Read time: 8 minutes

Workplaces with a strong sense of personal ownership and accountability thrive— but how do you get there?

In this article, you’ll learn about:

  • What accountability in the workplace means
  • How to make accountability a core part of your culture
  • The importance of continuous feedback
  • How to make accountability a habit
  • An accountability framework to use with your team

👉🏽 Read this article

121 One-on-one questions

2. 121 One-on-one meeting questions

Read time: 15 minutes

We’ve compiled a list of 100+ 1:1 questions from experienced leaders and high-performing individual contributors. Have better conversations with your team by adding any of these questions to your next meeting agenda.

In this article, you’ll access questions around:

  • Growth and development
  • Communication
  • Employee motivation and engagement
  • Addressing roadblocks
  • Sharing feedback between managers and employees
  • Company culture
  • Priorities, productivity, and strategy

👉🏽 Read this article

9 one-on-one meeting templates

3. 9 One-on-one meeting templates

Read time: 9 minutes

One-on-one meetings are the most important opportunities for managers and employees to share feedback, build trust, and increase engagement. That’s why we’ve put together nine 1:1 agenda templates for the different types of 1:1 meetings you’ll likely have each year.

Templates include:

  • First one-on-one meeting
  • Weekly one-on-one meeting
  • Monthly one-on-one meeting
  • Remote one-on-one meeting
  • Skip level one-on-one meeting
  • Quarterly performance review one-on-one meeting
  • OKR goal-setting one-on-one meeting
  • Peer to peer one-on-one meeting
  • Salary review meeting

👉🏽 Read this article

team meeting agenda template

4. The 45-minute team meeting agenda

If your team meetings always run over time, this agenda template will ensure you stay on track (and on time) every single meeting.

In this article, we cover:

  • The purpose of team meetings
  • Tips for effective team meetings
  • What to talk about during this meeting
  • 45-minute team meeting agenda template

👉🏽 Read this article

scrum meeting agenda template

5. 4 things to include in your daily scrum meeting agenda

Whether you’re working in-office, remote, or meeting asynchronously, these 10-minute daily status updates will keep you and your team on top of every sprint.

In this article, we walkthrough:

  • A daily scrum meeting agenda template
  • Things to avoid in your daily scrum
  • Other scrum meeting tips

👉🏽 Read this article

Teams with managers who received feedback showed 12.5% greater productivity than teams with managers who received no feedback.

6. Measuring meeting effectiveness: 5 post-meeting survey question templates

Meetings are a part of the workplace, there’s no denying that. But, just because they have to happen, doesn’t mean that they’re always run effectively. That’s why it’s so important that you get meeting feedback after every meeting, be it one-on-ones, team, or one-off meeting.

In this article, we’ll walk you through:

  • Why you should ask post-meeting survey questions (every time)
  • How meeting effectiveness survey questions will make you a better manager
  • 5 post-meeting question templates to use when asking your team for feedback

👉🏽 Read this article

over 180 goal and okr examples for every role in tech

7. 180+ OKR and goal examples

Goals are some of the hardest things for leaders and ICs to come up with. That’s why we put together this curated list of over 180 goal and OKR examples, including contributions from high-performing teams at G2, GitLab, and Unbounce.

Check out goals across every department:

👉🏽 View the goals library

rally your team around a common goal

8. 5 Ways to set (and surpass) team goals every single quarter

If you want to align your team and push them towards success, you should set quarterly goals for your team. Learn about the GOST model, SMART goals, OKRs, and more.

In this article, we’ll walk through five key steps to setting (and conquering) goals as a team:

  1. Set 90-day goals with your team
  2. Align your 90-day goals to your company goals
  3. Make sure each goal is measurable and attainable
  4. Give your team members ownership over each goal
  5. Incentivize performance with career progress

👉🏽 Read this article

one-on-ones are not the time for status updates

9. 24 tips to have more effective one-on-ones

From fostering a psychologically safe place to documenting next steps, we’ve put together the ultimate one-on-one meeting checklist. Learn about best practices for pre-meeting prep, what to do during the meeting, and things to do post-meeting.

Some tips include:

  1. Share your meeting agenda ahead of time: aim for at least 48 hours before your meeting.
  2. Managers: do less than 50% of the talking. Let your employees lead the conversation and choose questions that will open up the discussion.
  3. Start and end on a positive: even if you’re having a tough conversation, or dealing with negative feedback, try to end on a positive note.
  4. Put your notes in a central place: be sure that both you and your employee have access to the notes and next steps.

👉🏽 Read this article

84% of highly engaged employees were recognized the last time they went above and beyond.

10. Employee recognition: Creating a “Culture of Kudos”

Building a culture of kudos can be a great way to celebrate employees for all the hard work they put in. Learn about the importance of employee recognition and how to build a culture of kudos in your organization.

In this article, we cover:

  • The business case for employee recognition across every level of your organization
  • Public vs. private recognition
  • Ways to recognize employees in the workplace

👉🏽 Read the article


Become a better leader. Get actionable management tips and best practices delivered to your inbox!