Guides One-on-one meeting

In this guide, you will learn about what is one-on-one meeting and how to successfully set up and conduct it.

What is one-on-one meeting?

One-on-one meetings are private, recurring meetings between the manager and the employee. It is the venue for employees to get support from their manager. Effective one-on-one meetings help employees clarify issues, get their job done, and grow personally.

Meetings schedule

The duration and frequency can vary depending on employee experience. A manager might decide to meet less frequently with a senior employee.

As a guideline, less experienced employees normally meet with their manager every week, from 30 minutes to 1 hour. A senior member might only meet with their manager on a biweekly basis.

Meeting agenda

You can discuss almost anything in a one-on-one meeting, yet it is best to give each meeting a central theme for better focus. Consider to start your one-on-ones with the following structure.

  • First one-on-one - create a shared understanding on what the meeting is about.
  • Check-in meeting - Weekly or biweekly meetings for ongoing works.
  • Career conversation - Quarterly meetings for longterm topics such as career planning, personal goals, skills learning.

During the meeting

Start with the employee’s agenda first. One-on-one meetings aim to support the employees, let them decide what is most important to discuss. The manager could ask what topics the employee has in their mind before going into the manager’s agenda.

During the conversation, ask open-ended questions and listen with the intent to understand. Asking open questions is a great way to help people open up, allowing the discussion to go deeper.

Whenever an action item or decision has been made, note it down as they are discussed to keep track of it.

Closing

At the end of the one-on-one meeting, summarize the important points discussed during the meeting. This forms the basis for the next meeting, then during the next meeting, spend some time to review the items discussed in the previous meeting.

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