Why 1-on-1 Meetings Are Essential to the Success of Employee Management

We’ve covered Why Your Direct Reports Wish You Were Better at 1-on-1s, How to Start 1-on-1s With Your Team, and our 1-on-1 Meeting Checklist, now let’s examine three reasons why 1-on-1 meetings are vital to the success of employee management.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to One-on-Ones

Employee Engagement

Low employee engagement is an epidemic. Only about one in every three employees is engaged at work, and 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for new job openings, according to Gallup.

And a recent study of high-turnover companies found that an organization’s willingness to “listen to an employee’s perspectives” was the second-highest rated issue for employee engagement.

In addition, only 40% of employees surveyed by Gallup strongly agree that their manager holds them accountable for their performance goals, but those employees are 2.5 times more likely to be engaged than those who are not held accountable for their goals.

Only about one in every three employees is engaged at work. Click To Tweet

Why is this important? Because one-on-one meetings provide the best setting for a manager and employee to consistently discuss and track goal progress. One-on-ones also make the “Open Door Policy” a reality, giving employees an opportunity to share their perspectives and speak freely about their successes, challenges, frustrations, and ideas.

Having a manager who respects employees, listens to them, and puts their ideas into action makes for a more engaged workforce and potentially reduces turnover.   


Let’s look at goals again. They’re an essential part of development and growth, allowing employees to master new skills and reach new levels in their performance. Yet, only 30% of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in setting goals, and even fewer (19%) say they’ve recently spoken to their manager about steps to reach those goals.

Without a stake in the goal-setting process, or a clear plan for how to achieve them, employees have little motivation to accomplish their goals. Without goals guiding their development, people are unlikely to see significant professional growth.

That’s a major issue when you consider that professional development is the number one driver of engagement for employees under age 25 and the number two engagement driver for those under 35.

One-on-one meetings allow managers and employees to discuss and prioritize development, which sends a message to younger employees that the company is invested in them.

Bryant Ott writes for Gallup, “If your managers understand how their people are innately talented and what they naturally do best at work, as well as employees’ performance needs and barriers to success, then your managers can consistently lead their teams to high performance.”

The deeper understanding that one-on-one meetings provide is also vital in helping managers identify employees who possess leadership traits. That’s extremely important, especially when you consider that organizations name the wrong person as manager about 80% of the time, according to Gallup research.


People want to work for companies with an inclusive culture—where employees of all backgrounds hold leadership positions and have an equal voice and opportunities for advancement. And research has shown that teams who operate in inclusive cultures outperform their peers by 80%.

Teams who operate in inclusive cultures outperform their peers by 80%. Click To Tweet

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Managers should take the lead in fostering inclusivity. 1-on-1s provide a forum for employees to share their unique perspectives, opinions, and concerns. These conversations are essential for companies to grow and re-examine their core values.