How To
16 min read

How to Make the Most of Your One-On-One Meetings With Employees

Soniya Jain

October 28, 2022

Whether you are managing a team for the first time or have years of experience, one-on-one meetings are a powerful tool for developing your team. In this guide, we'll show you how to make sure your one-on-one help you improve employee performance and build stronger relationships with your team members.

One-on-one meetings are a great way to keep your employees engaged and improve their performance. But too often, managers use the time to check in or get updates on projects.

This makes meetings feel like busy work instead of an opportunity for honest feedback and coaching.

By contrast, Gallup finds that employees who receive effective feedback from their supervisors are 3.2 times more likely to be driven and 2.7 times more engaged than those who do not receive such employee feedback.

As a manager, how can you ensure that your one-on-one meetings are effective and valuable? We will try to answer that question by discussing the following points.

  • The purpose of one-on-one meetings.
  • Tips to make one-on-ones more meaningful.
  • Questions you can ask to get the most out of them.

What are one-on-one meetings?

One-on-one (1:1) meetings are a crucial part of the daily schedule for many managers. They provide an opportunity to check in with each employee, discuss issues and concerns, and offer feedback.

There are two main types of one-on-one meetings and we'll go over those below.

Performance reviews

These are typically annual meetings that formally allow you to evaluate your employees' performance. They can include formal goals, metrics, and assessments. The most popular method of a performance review is the 360-degree review, which involves feedback from multiple sources, like coworkers and direct reports.

Check-ins and coaching

Check-ins with employees can be done weekly or monthly, depending on your preference and how often you think it's necessary for them to talk about their work with you. These are more like informal discussions where you provide positive and/or negative feedback on their performance and advice on how they can improve over time.

1:1 meetings are a great way to build relationships with your employees and help them grow.

Purpose behind 1-on-1 meetings

In a 1:1 meeting, the goal is to get to know the person on a deeper level. You want to learn more about the other person's interests, goals, and career aspirations. The idea is to find ways to help them succeed in their professional life.

Here are some of the primary purposes behind 1:1 meetings that you should keep in mind.

Give and receive feedback

You can use 1:1s to give constructive feedback that helps your direct report improve their performance. It can also be used as a forum to discuss performance issues that must be addressed before they become a bigger issue.

For example, if someone consistently comes in late to work, it might be time to talk about how their behavior impacts the team's productivity. The same goes for praise. If someone has done something well and you want to recognize those efforts, 1:1s are a great place to do it.

Talk about career growth

1:1s are also an excellent opportunity to discuss long-term career goals and how you can help each other achieve them. You can discuss what skills need to be developed, certifications you could get, which projects would be most beneficial for your direct report's career development, and whether they have any particular industry interests that could lead to a promotion or new role in the future.

Help employees link their work with the goals of the organization

It's important to remember that a 1:1 is not just about your direct report. It's also an opportunity to help them understand how their work fits into the organization's overall goals.

When you talk about these goals, make sure they are concrete and specific - don't just say "make more money," but instead break down what that means in terms of revenue growth or new customers acquired.

Identify action items

1:1s are also a good time to identify action items. This can include meeting with someone with expertise on a particular topic, creating training opportunities for your direct report, or brainstorming ways to improve their workflow. Discuss the steps you'll take together to address if something needs fixing at work.

Check-in on goals and key metrics

Checking in on goals and key metrics during individual one-on-one meetings is a good idea. If someone has been working on something for a while, ask how it's going and if they need anything else. This is also an opportunity to give feedback about how you think someone is performing.

Provide a safe space for questions

Employees afraid to ask questions in front of others may feel more comfortable bringing them up during a one-on-one meeting. This is also a great time to ask about anything you've been wondering about—from an employee's personal life to career aspirations.

Get to know your employees personally

One-on-one meetings are a great opportunity to get to know your employees more personally. Ask them about their life outside the office and how they're doing. The more you know about their interests, family, and life outside of work, the more likely they will be comfortable coming to you with any issues that may come up.

Improve the productivity and performance of your employees

When people feel like they can do their best work, they will do better in their jobs. Regular check-ins allow you to give feedback and discuss how you can help them succeed in their roles. This employee engagement also allows you to provide continued support when there are challenges or obstacles along the way.

Discover issues early on

If you're not aware of the problems your team members are facing, it will be difficult for you to help them solve them. Regularly checking with each team member can catch problems when they're small and address them before they become bigger issues that affect productivity.

Get a sense of how satisfied employees are with their work

Knowing whether or not employees are satisfied in their roles is essential for employee retention and overall organizational health. Learning how they feel about being managed, their colleagues, and the company is also important. Regular check-ins allow you to gauge how well people are doing and provide feedback based on those conversations to get more out of their jobs.

Tips to have effective one-on-one meetings

One-on-one meetings are a great way to get things done, but they don't always produce the desired results. Here are some tips for making sure your one-on-one meetings are more productive.

Schedule them regularly

If you're meeting with someone every couple of weeks, set a schedule at the beginning of each session.

For example, schedule those times on your calendar if you plan to meet monthly on Thursdays at noon for thirty minutes.

It's also important to keep these recurring meetings on the calendar so others know when they're happening and can plan around them if needed.

Set clear goals before each meeting

Before each meeting, set clear goals for what you want to get out of it and what you expect from your colleague (or direct report). This will help ensure that both parties know what they need to accomplish during their meeting and allow time for questions or clarifications if necessary.

For example, you may want to discuss a new project or assignment, address an issue during the previous meeting, or brainstorm ways to improve efficiency.

Don't treat it as a status update meeting

Many managers use 1-on-1s to find out what their employees are doing and where they stand on their projects. That's not a bad thing—but it shouldn't be the only thing you do during these meetings. Instead, use them as an opportunity to ask deeper questions about what motivates them and how they see their careers progressing. This will help you build better relationships with your team members, ultimately leading to better results.

Get the right tech in place

Some people prefer to meet in person, while others like the convenience and flexibility of video chat or conference calls.

Start by getting the right tech in place. Zoom can do the trick if you don't need an expensive video conferencing system. Just ensure everyone has access to the tools they need to participate without feeling left out or confused.

Whatever you choose, make sure it's easy to use and reliable. You don't want to be stuck in a dead zone or frustrated by dropped calls while trying to have a productive conversation with an employee.

Have a clear agenda

When scheduling your 1-on-1 meetings with your team members or colleagues, ensure you have a clear agenda for what you want to discuss during the meeting. This should include objectives related to the employee's work and personal development goals (such as skill-building or networking).

You can use a meeting agenda template that you can refine to fit your preferences.

Alt text: one-on-one meeting agenda template

Source: https://fellow.app/blog/meetings/one-on-one-meeting-template/

File: https://fellow.app/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/One-on-one-meeting-template-copy.jpg 

This will help you to ensure the meeting is focused and not just a general catch-up.

Be attentive

Don't attend or participate one-on-one with distractions such as phone calls, Slack messages, or email notifications going off every few minutes. This will make you appear disinterested in the meeting and, even worse, can lead to missing important information.

Pay close attention during the meeting so that you can follow up on any items that come up during it (such as questions or concerns). If something comes up that warrants further discussion, take some meeting notes and schedule another meeting right away so the issue doesn't get lost in the shuffle of other priorities.

Being attentive ensures that everyone feels heard and valued and that nothing is lost in translation when ideas are shared during a meeting.

Talk about goals

One of the best ways to get employees excited about their work is by helping them achieve their goals. Ask questions like "What do you want to accomplish in the next six months?" or "How can I help you get there?" 

You can also take advantage of this time to talk about how employees feel about their role at work or if they're having any personal challenges that might affect their performance.

Provide feedback

One-on-one meetings are an excellent opportunity for managers to provide feedback to employees. They can help develop individuals' skills, shape their career paths, and improve employee engagement.

If an employee struggles with a task or project, don't just tell them the problem—help them find a solution. Be sure to list all the steps they can take, along with any resources you can provide, so they can succeed in the future.

Also, giving your employees constructive feedback throughout the year is important rather than waiting until the end of the quarter or year. This will help them improve their performance on time instead of waiting until their formal review cycle comes around again.

Emphasize the importance of soft skills

If one thing makes or breaks a successful 1-on-1 meeting, it's the quality of communication between you and your employee. The best way to improve this is by incorporating soft skills into each session.

Soft skills include active listening, empathy, and emotional intelligence—all of which make it easier for employees to open up during conversations with managers and, therefore, more likely to get the help they need.

Soft skills are critical in times of stress or frustration, when employees may be less inclined to share their feelings because they don't want to appear weak.

By building these skills into your one-on-ones, you'll create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions and concerns—even if it means admitting failure or asking for help.

Be aware of non-verbal communication

It's easy to get distracted by all the noise around us, and if you're not careful, it can disrupt your ability to focus on what someone is saying.

If you're looking at a computer screen or your phone while someone is talking, it sends a clear message that their words aren't important enough for you to give them your full attention.

Instead, look at the person speaking while talking—not just physically, but also with your eyes and facial expressions. This shows that you're interested in what they say and gives them confidence that their thoughts will be heard and considered.

Non-verbal cues are important for understanding what's going on in a meeting, but they're often overlooked. Sometimes it's hard for people to express their feelings verbally, so by paying attention to non-verbal cues, you'll be able to gather information about where their heads are at and help guide the conversation accordingly.

Decide the next steps

Once you've wrapped up your meeting, assign the next steps. This is especially important when working with teams because it helps everyone stay on track.

For example, if you're meeting with a coworker about a project they're working on, ask them to report back after they've done some research or spoken with their team members about the issue at hand.

Make sure everyone walks away with an action item. If someone asks for advice or feedback during your meeting, make sure there's a clear next step for them to take so that you can follow up later on how things went or if there are any obstacles that need to be overcome before moving forward with their project.

Express gratitude

One of the most important parts of closing a 1-on-1 meeting is expressing gratitude. This is an opportunity to show your employee that you genuinely appreciate their efforts and work.

Expressing gratitude can also help create a more productive environment for your 1-on-1 meetings. Being grateful for what someone is doing shows you care about them and want them to succeed. This will make them feel more motivated and engaged in their work, leading to better results!

Examples of what you could say to express gratitude

  • "I really appreciate your time today. I know it's not easy to fit a meeting into your schedule, so thank you for making this happen."
  • "I want to thank you again for your effort on this project. It looks great, and I can tell that you put in a lot of work over the weekend!"
  • "I really appreciate all of your hard work on this project. It's going to be a huge help for us moving forward."
  • "Thank you for your commitment to our team and our mission. It means a lot to me that you're willing to go above and beyond!"

Even a simple "thank you" will go a long way toward building better relationships and team morale.

Follow up

It's important to follow up on your 1-on-1s. The best way to do this is by sending a short note after each meeting, thanking the person for their time, and summarizing what you discussed. This will help you stay on track with your goals and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.

If any action items or decisions need to be made, plan how those will get done. This can include assigning people who will be responsible for taking action, timeframes and deadlines, and even reminders of what needs to happen next.

For example, if you need someone's input on a project by the end of the week and they don't respond quickly enough, send them another email asking when they think they will have an answer for you.

Questions to ask in a one-on-one meeting

The goal of a 1-on-1 meeting is to create a safe space for employees to share their concerns and ideas. When you're the manager, it's up to you to set the tone for these meetings.

Here are some questions and talking points that can help you get started.

Talking points in a one-on-one meeting

Image Source

Employee wellbeing

In 1:1 meetings, asking about employee wellbeing can help you identify how you can assist your team members in improving their mental wellbeing and feeling more fulfilled in their roles.

  • How is life outside of work? What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What happened this week that made you happy? What was difficult?
  • What stresses you out most at work?
  • What's one thing you would like to change about your job?
  • What makes you feel valued?
  • What gets in the way of your well-being?

Learning and development

Asking about employee learning and development can help you know your employees better and find out what they want from their career, their goals, dreams, and more.

  • How do you feel about the training and development opportunities in the organization?
  • Do you have a career plan that sets out your goals for 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years from now?
  • What do you want to learn this year?
  • How would you like to grow your career here at XYZ Corp.?
  • Do you get the opportunity to work on projects that interest you most?

Team communication

As a leader, you must know how well your team works together and understand any issues so you can address them early on.

  • What kind of communication do you prefer—written or verbal?
  • What do you find most challenging about working in a team environment?
  • Do you feel there are any barriers to effective communication on your team?
  • How do you think your current role contributes to the company's overall mission and objectives?
  • Would you like to give your colleagues feedback about their work performance?

Performance goals

Ask employees about their performance goals to make the most of your 1:1 meetings. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss and set goals to help drive employee performance.

  • How would you describe your current level of performance?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals for this year?
  • Are you struggling with achieving any goals, and what can I do to help?
  • What are some things we can do to ensure you reach those goals?

Manager improvement

One-on-one meetings between managers and employees should be a two-way street. Employees have valuable feedback to offer their managers, just as managers can help employees improve their work performance.

  • What feedback do you have for me as your manager?
  • How can I improve my management style to meet your needs better?
  • How can I better collaborate with you to achieve our goals?
  • How well do I communicate the company's vision and mission to you?

Final thoughts on improving your 1:1 meetings

1:1 meetings are a great way to get work done, but they can also be a source of stress if you don't plan them well. Make sure you have the right tools and mindset before diving into your next one.

Whenever you are running a meeting, preparation is the most critical aspect. The more prepared you are, the better you can ensure the meeting goes well, leading to better results.

How To
16 min read

How to Make the Most of Your One-On-One Meetings With Employees

Soniya Jain
October 28, 2022

Whether you are managing a team for the first time or have years of experience, one-on-one meetings are a powerful tool for developing your team. In this guide, we'll show you how to make sure your one-on-one help you improve employee performance and build stronger relationships with your team members.

One-on-one meetings are a great way to keep your employees engaged and improve their performance. But too often, managers use the time to check in or get updates on projects.

This makes meetings feel like busy work instead of an opportunity for honest feedback and coaching.

By contrast, Gallup finds that employees who receive effective feedback from their supervisors are 3.2 times more likely to be driven and 2.7 times more engaged than those who do not receive such employee feedback.

As a manager, how can you ensure that your one-on-one meetings are effective and valuable? We will try to answer that question by discussing the following points.

  • The purpose of one-on-one meetings.
  • Tips to make one-on-ones more meaningful.
  • Questions you can ask to get the most out of them.

What are one-on-one meetings?

One-on-one (1:1) meetings are a crucial part of the daily schedule for many managers. They provide an opportunity to check in with each employee, discuss issues and concerns, and offer feedback.

There are two main types of one-on-one meetings and we'll go over those below.

Performance reviews

These are typically annual meetings that formally allow you to evaluate your employees' performance. They can include formal goals, metrics, and assessments. The most popular method of a performance review is the 360-degree review, which involves feedback from multiple sources, like coworkers and direct reports.

Check-ins and coaching

Check-ins with employees can be done weekly or monthly, depending on your preference and how often you think it's necessary for them to talk about their work with you. These are more like informal discussions where you provide positive and/or negative feedback on their performance and advice on how they can improve over time.

1:1 meetings are a great way to build relationships with your employees and help them grow.

Purpose behind 1-on-1 meetings

In a 1:1 meeting, the goal is to get to know the person on a deeper level. You want to learn more about the other person's interests, goals, and career aspirations. The idea is to find ways to help them succeed in their professional life.

Here are some of the primary purposes behind 1:1 meetings that you should keep in mind.

Give and receive feedback

You can use 1:1s to give constructive feedback that helps your direct report improve their performance. It can also be used as a forum to discuss performance issues that must be addressed before they become a bigger issue.

For example, if someone consistently comes in late to work, it might be time to talk about how their behavior impacts the team's productivity. The same goes for praise. If someone has done something well and you want to recognize those efforts, 1:1s are a great place to do it.

Talk about career growth

1:1s are also an excellent opportunity to discuss long-term career goals and how you can help each other achieve them. You can discuss what skills need to be developed, certifications you could get, which projects would be most beneficial for your direct report's career development, and whether they have any particular industry interests that could lead to a promotion or new role in the future.

Help employees link their work with the goals of the organization

It's important to remember that a 1:1 is not just about your direct report. It's also an opportunity to help them understand how their work fits into the organization's overall goals.

When you talk about these goals, make sure they are concrete and specific - don't just say "make more money," but instead break down what that means in terms of revenue growth or new customers acquired.

Identify action items

1:1s are also a good time to identify action items. This can include meeting with someone with expertise on a particular topic, creating training opportunities for your direct report, or brainstorming ways to improve their workflow. Discuss the steps you'll take together to address if something needs fixing at work.

Check-in on goals and key metrics

Checking in on goals and key metrics during individual one-on-one meetings is a good idea. If someone has been working on something for a while, ask how it's going and if they need anything else. This is also an opportunity to give feedback about how you think someone is performing.

Provide a safe space for questions

Employees afraid to ask questions in front of others may feel more comfortable bringing them up during a one-on-one meeting. This is also a great time to ask about anything you've been wondering about—from an employee's personal life to career aspirations.

Get to know your employees personally

One-on-one meetings are a great opportunity to get to know your employees more personally. Ask them about their life outside the office and how they're doing. The more you know about their interests, family, and life outside of work, the more likely they will be comfortable coming to you with any issues that may come up.

Improve the productivity and performance of your employees

When people feel like they can do their best work, they will do better in their jobs. Regular check-ins allow you to give feedback and discuss how you can help them succeed in their roles. This employee engagement also allows you to provide continued support when there are challenges or obstacles along the way.

Discover issues early on

If you're not aware of the problems your team members are facing, it will be difficult for you to help them solve them. Regularly checking with each team member can catch problems when they're small and address them before they become bigger issues that affect productivity.

Get a sense of how satisfied employees are with their work

Knowing whether or not employees are satisfied in their roles is essential for employee retention and overall organizational health. Learning how they feel about being managed, their colleagues, and the company is also important. Regular check-ins allow you to gauge how well people are doing and provide feedback based on those conversations to get more out of their jobs.

Tips to have effective one-on-one meetings

One-on-one meetings are a great way to get things done, but they don't always produce the desired results. Here are some tips for making sure your one-on-one meetings are more productive.

Schedule them regularly

If you're meeting with someone every couple of weeks, set a schedule at the beginning of each session.

For example, schedule those times on your calendar if you plan to meet monthly on Thursdays at noon for thirty minutes.

It's also important to keep these recurring meetings on the calendar so others know when they're happening and can plan around them if needed.

Set clear goals before each meeting

Before each meeting, set clear goals for what you want to get out of it and what you expect from your colleague (or direct report). This will help ensure that both parties know what they need to accomplish during their meeting and allow time for questions or clarifications if necessary.

For example, you may want to discuss a new project or assignment, address an issue during the previous meeting, or brainstorm ways to improve efficiency.

Don't treat it as a status update meeting

Many managers use 1-on-1s to find out what their employees are doing and where they stand on their projects. That's not a bad thing—but it shouldn't be the only thing you do during these meetings. Instead, use them as an opportunity to ask deeper questions about what motivates them and how they see their careers progressing. This will help you build better relationships with your team members, ultimately leading to better results.

Get the right tech in place

Some people prefer to meet in person, while others like the convenience and flexibility of video chat or conference calls.

Start by getting the right tech in place. Zoom can do the trick if you don't need an expensive video conferencing system. Just ensure everyone has access to the tools they need to participate without feeling left out or confused.

Whatever you choose, make sure it's easy to use and reliable. You don't want to be stuck in a dead zone or frustrated by dropped calls while trying to have a productive conversation with an employee.

Have a clear agenda

When scheduling your 1-on-1 meetings with your team members or colleagues, ensure you have a clear agenda for what you want to discuss during the meeting. This should include objectives related to the employee's work and personal development goals (such as skill-building or networking).

You can use a meeting agenda template that you can refine to fit your preferences.

Alt text: one-on-one meeting agenda template

Source: https://fellow.app/blog/meetings/one-on-one-meeting-template/

File: https://fellow.app/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/One-on-one-meeting-template-copy.jpg 

This will help you to ensure the meeting is focused and not just a general catch-up.

Be attentive

Don't attend or participate one-on-one with distractions such as phone calls, Slack messages, or email notifications going off every few minutes. This will make you appear disinterested in the meeting and, even worse, can lead to missing important information.

Pay close attention during the meeting so that you can follow up on any items that come up during it (such as questions or concerns). If something comes up that warrants further discussion, take some meeting notes and schedule another meeting right away so the issue doesn't get lost in the shuffle of other priorities.

Being attentive ensures that everyone feels heard and valued and that nothing is lost in translation when ideas are shared during a meeting.

Talk about goals

One of the best ways to get employees excited about their work is by helping them achieve their goals. Ask questions like "What do you want to accomplish in the next six months?" or "How can I help you get there?" 

You can also take advantage of this time to talk about how employees feel about their role at work or if they're having any personal challenges that might affect their performance.

Provide feedback

One-on-one meetings are an excellent opportunity for managers to provide feedback to employees. They can help develop individuals' skills, shape their career paths, and improve employee engagement.

If an employee struggles with a task or project, don't just tell them the problem—help them find a solution. Be sure to list all the steps they can take, along with any resources you can provide, so they can succeed in the future.

Also, giving your employees constructive feedback throughout the year is important rather than waiting until the end of the quarter or year. This will help them improve their performance on time instead of waiting until their formal review cycle comes around again.

Emphasize the importance of soft skills

If one thing makes or breaks a successful 1-on-1 meeting, it's the quality of communication between you and your employee. The best way to improve this is by incorporating soft skills into each session.

Soft skills include active listening, empathy, and emotional intelligence—all of which make it easier for employees to open up during conversations with managers and, therefore, more likely to get the help they need.

Soft skills are critical in times of stress or frustration, when employees may be less inclined to share their feelings because they don't want to appear weak.

By building these skills into your one-on-ones, you'll create an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions and concerns—even if it means admitting failure or asking for help.

Be aware of non-verbal communication

It's easy to get distracted by all the noise around us, and if you're not careful, it can disrupt your ability to focus on what someone is saying.

If you're looking at a computer screen or your phone while someone is talking, it sends a clear message that their words aren't important enough for you to give them your full attention.

Instead, look at the person speaking while talking—not just physically, but also with your eyes and facial expressions. This shows that you're interested in what they say and gives them confidence that their thoughts will be heard and considered.

Non-verbal cues are important for understanding what's going on in a meeting, but they're often overlooked. Sometimes it's hard for people to express their feelings verbally, so by paying attention to non-verbal cues, you'll be able to gather information about where their heads are at and help guide the conversation accordingly.

Decide the next steps

Once you've wrapped up your meeting, assign the next steps. This is especially important when working with teams because it helps everyone stay on track.

For example, if you're meeting with a coworker about a project they're working on, ask them to report back after they've done some research or spoken with their team members about the issue at hand.

Make sure everyone walks away with an action item. If someone asks for advice or feedback during your meeting, make sure there's a clear next step for them to take so that you can follow up later on how things went or if there are any obstacles that need to be overcome before moving forward with their project.

Express gratitude

One of the most important parts of closing a 1-on-1 meeting is expressing gratitude. This is an opportunity to show your employee that you genuinely appreciate their efforts and work.

Expressing gratitude can also help create a more productive environment for your 1-on-1 meetings. Being grateful for what someone is doing shows you care about them and want them to succeed. This will make them feel more motivated and engaged in their work, leading to better results!

Examples of what you could say to express gratitude

  • "I really appreciate your time today. I know it's not easy to fit a meeting into your schedule, so thank you for making this happen."
  • "I want to thank you again for your effort on this project. It looks great, and I can tell that you put in a lot of work over the weekend!"
  • "I really appreciate all of your hard work on this project. It's going to be a huge help for us moving forward."
  • "Thank you for your commitment to our team and our mission. It means a lot to me that you're willing to go above and beyond!"

Even a simple "thank you" will go a long way toward building better relationships and team morale.

Follow up

It's important to follow up on your 1-on-1s. The best way to do this is by sending a short note after each meeting, thanking the person for their time, and summarizing what you discussed. This will help you stay on track with your goals and ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.

If any action items or decisions need to be made, plan how those will get done. This can include assigning people who will be responsible for taking action, timeframes and deadlines, and even reminders of what needs to happen next.

For example, if you need someone's input on a project by the end of the week and they don't respond quickly enough, send them another email asking when they think they will have an answer for you.

Questions to ask in a one-on-one meeting

The goal of a 1-on-1 meeting is to create a safe space for employees to share their concerns and ideas. When you're the manager, it's up to you to set the tone for these meetings.

Here are some questions and talking points that can help you get started.

Talking points in a one-on-one meeting

Image Source

Employee wellbeing

In 1:1 meetings, asking about employee wellbeing can help you identify how you can assist your team members in improving their mental wellbeing and feeling more fulfilled in their roles.

  • How is life outside of work? What do you like to do in your free time?
  • What happened this week that made you happy? What was difficult?
  • What stresses you out most at work?
  • What's one thing you would like to change about your job?
  • What makes you feel valued?
  • What gets in the way of your well-being?

Learning and development

Asking about employee learning and development can help you know your employees better and find out what they want from their career, their goals, dreams, and more.

  • How do you feel about the training and development opportunities in the organization?
  • Do you have a career plan that sets out your goals for 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years from now?
  • What do you want to learn this year?
  • How would you like to grow your career here at XYZ Corp.?
  • Do you get the opportunity to work on projects that interest you most?

Team communication

As a leader, you must know how well your team works together and understand any issues so you can address them early on.

  • What kind of communication do you prefer—written or verbal?
  • What do you find most challenging about working in a team environment?
  • Do you feel there are any barriers to effective communication on your team?
  • How do you think your current role contributes to the company's overall mission and objectives?
  • Would you like to give your colleagues feedback about their work performance?

Performance goals

Ask employees about their performance goals to make the most of your 1:1 meetings. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss and set goals to help drive employee performance.

  • How would you describe your current level of performance?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals for this year?
  • Are you struggling with achieving any goals, and what can I do to help?
  • What are some things we can do to ensure you reach those goals?

Manager improvement

One-on-one meetings between managers and employees should be a two-way street. Employees have valuable feedback to offer their managers, just as managers can help employees improve their work performance.

  • What feedback do you have for me as your manager?
  • How can I improve my management style to meet your needs better?
  • How can I better collaborate with you to achieve our goals?
  • How well do I communicate the company's vision and mission to you?

Final thoughts on improving your 1:1 meetings

1:1 meetings are a great way to get work done, but they can also be a source of stress if you don't plan them well. Make sure you have the right tools and mindset before diving into your next one.

Whenever you are running a meeting, preparation is the most critical aspect. The more prepared you are, the better you can ensure the meeting goes well, leading to better results.

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