In order to keep the conversation focused and make the most of your time during a 1-on-1, it’s best to develop a consistent structure. The following is a one-on-one meeting template that can help you get started.
SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Guide to One-on-Ones
Make a List of Discussion Points
You and the employee should each make a list of talking points that you would like to cover during the meeting. Then, compare lists and decide which items should be prioritized. Or, you could break down discussion points to fit the following structure:
Recognize Great Work
Your prepared lists should include some wins or successes that have occurred since your previous 1-on-1. This creates a positive atmosphere for the meeting, allows employees to showcase their hard work, and gives managers an opportunity to reinforce positive behaviors that lead to success. Plus, “high-recognition companies” have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t consistently recognize employees.Plus, “high-recognition companies” have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates. Click To Tweet
Follow-Up on the Previous 1-on-1
Check on the status of previous action items. If items haven’t been completed, this step allows the manager and employee to troubleshoot, solve problems, and ensure that items stay on track toward completion.
Discuss Obstacles, Challenges, and Concerns
What hurdles is the employee facing? These could be related to a previous 1-on-1 or be new problems that have come up in the past week. You want to help employees break through any walls or sticking points as soon as they arise.
Check on Goal Progress
1-on-1s are a great time to discuss the progress of your employee’s monthly, quarterly, and/or annual goals. Regularly tracking goals gives you an opportunity to realign quickly as needed–rather than waiting until mid-year or end-of-year reviews.1-on-1s are a great time to discuss the progress of your employee’s goals. Click To Tweet
Get the Employee Talking
As a manager, your goal should be to only talk 10-20% of the time during 1-on-1s. It’s more about listening to and understanding your team, so asking the right questions is key. Questions should be more specific and focused than “How’s it going?” Here are some examples to get the wheels turning:
- What clarity can I provide in terms of our company’s mission, values, strategy, and goals?
- How could we improve collaboration within our team? And with other departments?
- Is there anything we should start or stop doing as a team?
- Is there anyone on the team that you would like to work with more? Is there anyone that you struggle to work with?
- Are you getting enough feedback? What type of feedback is most helpful? Least helpful? In what areas can I provide more feedback?
- What’s your favorite part of your job?
- What do you look forward to when you come to work?
- Which aspects of your work here are most in line with your long-term goals?
- Are there any projects that you would love to work on?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you at work?
- What are your biggest obstacles or time wasters on a daily basis?
- Do you feel over-worked, under-worked, or that you have a good workload?
- Do you feel consistently challenged or do you feel like you’ve plateaued? Do you ever feel bored?
- What could I do as a manager to make your job better?
- Are there any areas in which you feel you could use more coaching?
- What new skills do you want to learn? What additional training would be most useful for your long-term growth?
- What do you like about working here? What are your favorite aspects of our company culture? Anything you dislike?
- If you were the CEO, what’s the first thing you would change about our company?
Hopefully, the questions above can solicit feedback, but you can also ask more specifically if they have any feedback related to you as a manager, company culture, team dynamics, or their own strengths and weaknesses. Managers should also share any employee-specific feedback they have—this is a great opportunity for coaching.
Establish a Plan of Action
Create a list of action items/goals for the week(s) ahead. Establish a timeline with specific due dates, when relevant. These should be the first things you discuss during your next 1-on-1.
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Take Two Levels of Notes
On one level, managers should take notes on what was discussed, especially action items and issues to follow up on. On a second level, managers should also take notes on their own thoughts/feelings/ideas regarding an employee’s development, morale, and skills in which they could use more coaching.