People Management

Everyone at Cantilever should have an easily identifiable manager. If you don’t know who your manager is, something went wrong. Please talk to the CEO.

The manager’s job is to help each team member do their best. They do this by proactively seeking ways to make the job fit the person as well as possible, and by finding ways for the person to apply Cantilever’s Values using their unique skill set. Everyone at Cantilever is here for a reason – they exhibit some passion for these values already, and the manager’s job is to harness that.

The manager is also a sounding board for feedback — especially feedback about how things could be done better here — but also including insight into one’s own mindset, stresses, annoyances, delighters, etc.

Our management style is heavily influenced by the Manager Tools group (which produces a podcast and conferences on the topic). You can read their baseline guidance on their website and encourage you to check out the podcast.

The manager should create a private Notion space with which to track feedback, notes, and private discussions between them.


Ops is responsible for running the onboarding process, but there are parts of it that are the responsibility of the new manager. Ops will assign those to the manager when onboarding is occurring.

Impromptu Feedback

Managers should react quickly to extraordinary events (both positive and negative), providing immediate feedback by Slack or synchronously. Negative feedback should always be delivered in private.

Team member should also provide regular feedback to their managers. Upward feedback may be about the manager themselves, or it may be about broader company-wide issues.

Feedback and corresponding decisions or action items in both directions should be logged in the Team Member’s Notion space.

For our guide on giving feedback check out our procedure: Giving Feedback

1:1 Meetings

As a Manager, you can decide how often you would like to have 1:1's with your team members. Sometimes it's helpful to have more meetings, and other times it's helpful to have less. For most full-time team members, a 15 minute 1:1 once a week is a good cadence. This focuses both on what is happening in the team member’s life, and at work, from both sides. There are three topics:

  • How’s life?
  • How’s work, Team Member?
  • How’s work, Manager?

The notes from the meeting should go in the Team Member’s Notion space.

Check out our procedure for running 1:1's: Running a 1:1

Quarterly Reviews

Once per quarter, in lieu of a regularly-scheduled 1:1, each Team Member should have a formal quarterly review. The quarterly is a chance to connect on nuts-and-bolts performance, measure results, and set expectations and set aspirations. It is also a chance to discuss long-term vision, expectations, and hopes.

Compensation and roles can be discussed at any time, but quarterlies are especially opportune times to bring up struggles or disappointments about your situation. The Manager should make sure to set Quarterly aspirations with each team member during the Quarterly, as well as correct performance issues from the previous quarter. Following the TextExpander snippets (which are listed in the procedure) is a good way to make sure you are completing your Quarterly properly.

Check out our procedure on quarterly meetings: Running a Quarterly

Other Topics that Fall Under the Responsibilities of Managers

  • Equipment Needs. Equipment is a manager question and is always available as needed. Team Members should talk with their managers about equipment needs to discuss procurement and/or budgets.
  • Project Questions. If a Team Member has a question about a project, they should start with the Project Manager of that task/overall project. The project manager and a Team Member's manager are not always the same person (but they often are).
  • Scheduling. It is important for Team Members to make sure that their manager knows when they will be on vacation or unavailable for more than 24 hours. They should also update the team OOO calendar project in Asana.
  • Independent Projects. If a Team Member is the Project Manager of a task/project and they have questions, they should start with their manager for conferment. If their manager does not have an answer, they can point them to the next person who might be able to answer their question. If a Team Member has questions about time budgets for the independent project that they are working on, they should talk with their manager.

Escalation and De-escalation
[Template] Personal File