Using the Plucky Work Wheel

On the inside-back-cover of your Manager Weeklies is a manager tool called the Plucky Work Wheel. This tool is really helpful for coaching your employees. If you’ve attended So Now You’re a Manager training, this should look very familiar, as we use it to partner up and practice 1:1s!

How to use the Plucky Work Wheel

  1. Take a picture and send it to your employee. Tell them to draw their own and fill out the Work Wheel as prep for your next 1:1.
  2. The directions are as follows: in each of the eight categories, ask yourself: how fulfilled am I with regard to this topic? Fulfillment is different than how much or little you’re getting. For example, how fulfilled you are with regard to the support you have in your job could reveal that you don’t need a ton of support (maybe light-touch management is a good match for you). In this tool, 1 means not fulfilled and 10 means very fulfilled. Use numbers to describe your feelings.
    Note: the goal is not to make everything a 10. No human would ever be 10/10 fulfilled in every aspect of their work.
  3. Ask your employee to share their numbers with you and then ask which one they’d like to talk about during the 1:1. Alert: they may not choose to talk about the lowest one! Invite your employee to describe what their number means. Some humans will never rate a category above a 6 and others will never rate under a 6! Let your employee describe their personal interpretation.
  4. Wonder with your employee how you might move the needle for this category. How could you go from a 4 to a 7? Or to an 11? What would need to change? Have a discussion.
  5. End this by finding one or two tangible actions to help your employee feel more fulfilled in this category. These actions may be something the employee can pursue or it might be something you, as their manager, can help with.
  6. Use this Work Wheel regularly to drive real conversation about work, maybe once a quarter. It’s a great way to get a snapshot of an employee’s experience and then push to incrementally improve aspects of the work. It’s also an easy way to connect feedback they’re digesting with their own instincts.

Extra Credit

MANAGERS, USE THE WORK WHEEL YOURSELF. Are you having a hard time expressing your burnout levels? Your ambition? Your ups and downs with work? Use the Work Wheel to put some numbers to the story and then bring it to the next 1:1 with your own manager to launch conversation.

Sometimes it can be hard to put words to feelings. The Plucky Work Wheel is designed to help you name where you’re at and make productive changes at work to address it. Good luck, have fun and remember: as long as you are truly listening, you can’t mess it up.

P.S. Need more Manager Weeklies? Grab another pack here!