Managers have different tools for helping their team members succeed, but one-on-meetings are one of the most common, simple, and effective tools managers can use to ensure their team members are being productive and to build honest direct reports. However, to ensure the effectiveness of one-on-one meetings, they require structure.
One-on-one meetings are a dedicated space for managers and employees to discuss performances, personal development, outcomes, and upcoming projects. They are a powerful tool for managers because they allow them to circulate through a variety of topics over a specific period, depending on what you’re choosing to prioritize.
One-one-meetings should not only be used for operational task-focused questions because they also allow managers to cover other aspects such as their team member’s wellbeing, growth, career aspirations, and alignment. If you’ve conducted one-on-one meetings in the past, and you feel you haven’t truly gotten value from them, you most likely need to check your fundamentals. A lack of a good one-on-one meeting structure can easily prevent managers from making the most of their time, because the truth is, without taking the necessary steps before and during each meeting, it’s easy to have your meetings come up short of their true potential.
In general, one-on-one meetings help managers and their employees function better as a team: they enable managers to provide feedback and, at the same time, they allow employees to discuss things they would like to do or change. Most managers use their one-on-ones to check up on a project’s status but they are also an excellent tool to discover interpersonal issues before they can develop into a problem and hinder the employee’s future in the organization.
It’s safe to say one-on-one meetings allow managers to help their employees succeed. Managers can also use this time to discuss career paths, share tips, and assign projects that truly suit their employee interests.
Effective one-on-ones circulate through different topics, however, several questions provide a valuable context for your meeting. These questions are important to ask during every meeting because they help to understand how employees are doing as far as work-life and wellbeing. These are the key questions you can ask:
1. How is everything going today?
2. What were the most relevant things about last week?
3. What’s on your mind this week?
4. What are your plans and priorities this week?
These are the typical check-in questions, but there are also great alignment questions you can regularly ask employees to discuss how connected they are with their job and the organization:
Here are also great questions you can ask during your one-on-one meetings to build rapport, set priorities, and support employees, whether they work remotely or not:
We’ve created a template in Instagantt that allows you to structure your one-on-one meetings. It’s very easy to use and to update, and, by using this online project management software, you can easily plan, and update your one-on-one meetings, and also create reports based on your employee’s performances.
You can create a basic template that allows you to plan and quickly gather information. For managers, this is a great thing because it saves hours of manual work. By using Instagantt, you can create as many templates as you need, access this information from anywhere, share it, or print it via image, PDF, or Excel.
You can keep track of updates, wins, performance, and challenges. You can color-code employee’s names or projects to leverage this information and to get a quick overview of your team’s performance and status. Moreover, by keeping track of this information in one single place, you can always make sure it’s accessible for you and analyze it whenever you need it.