A 1-on-1 is a regular meeting between two team members within an organization, usually between an employee and their manager.
One-on-one meetings provide an effective way for employees and employers to touch base. They provide an opportunity to meet face-to-face and connect in a meaningful way, uncover roadblocks, and assist with career development.
While larger team meetings are valuable, these meetings provide a safe space to conduct an employee performance review, discuss career growth and offer constructive feedback.
When to organize a one-on-one meeting
One-on-one meetings are most effective when hosted regularly. Depending on the nature of the organization and the workload of each employee, you may decide to organize these meetings weekly, bi-weekly, or even once a month.
These meetings are conducted to boost morale, streamline productivity and strengthen relationships. One-on-one meetings are especially useful in the following instances:
- Working through agenda items and key priorities
- Exchanging constructive feedback for performance management
- Practicing personalized coaching and mentorship
- Discussing career goals, employee development, and opportunities
- Getting to know employees on a personal level and build trust
- Touching base on job satisfaction and challenges
Allocating a dedicated time for one-on-one meetings on a regular basis ensures that the brand’s purpose and mission is aligned and that issues are resolved early on, before they develop and impact working relationships.
Tips for running a one-on-one meeting
A little bit of preparation can go a long way to making the most of your one-on-one meeting. Consider the following preparation tips as a starting point.
Add regular one-on-one meetings to the schedule
Various experts recommend that managers schedule regular one-on-one meetings, even if there are no specific talking points. While it’s important to be flexible, adding a 30-minute meeting to your calendar on a bi-weekly basis proves valuable.
Recurring meetings increase the value of time spent together as you build on the relationship and stretch the talking points. If you do have to cancel the meeting, make an effort to reschedule for a different time.
Use a template to run one-on-one meetings
High-performing teams are strategic with their meetings, and that’s where a templated meeting agenda comes in. Using meeting templates and keeping an agenda helps streamline the meeting and ensures that all necessary issues are addressed.
On some days, you may have a long list of talking points. On other days, you may need to ask open-ended questions as part of your employee check-in routine. Using an agenda template for your weekly meetings offers value, guiding the conversation while covering all status updates.
A recent Gallup poll revealed that only 20% of global employees are engaged at work. One way to boost employee engagement (and retention) is by emphasizing collaboration. Conducting a meeting with candor contributes to a collaborative environment and improves teamwork.
One-on-one meetings should mimic a conversation rather than a lecture. Senior employees should adopt an open-minded attitude before settling down in the conference room (or joining the meeting via video chat) so that employees feel comfortable opening up about their employee experience.
Sharpen interpersonal skills
The digital revolution has impacted the way that humans communicate. As Slack has replaced whiteboards, managers must focus on interpersonal skills to connect with employees in real-time ways.
Listening actively, inquiring about employees’ personal lives, and asking relevant questions are all useful practices when hosting a one-on-one meeting.
Top tip: soft skills are also useful when interviewing candidates.
Keep notes - and action them
How often have you sat down for a meeting and forgotten to follow up on the key takeaways from the past week? Documenting talking points and determining action items ensures that the one-on-one meeting is productive with positive long-term effects.
Robust 1-on-1 meeting tools are effective in both scheduling regular meetings and taking notes. The agile approach to meetings ensures that no details fall between the cracks while laying a strong foundation for productivity.
Make the most of one-on-one meetings with Deel
As a leading HR platform focusing on global teams, we offer useful tools and resources for managing global teams and boosting professional development.
Our Global Hiring Toolkit helps managers navigate international hiring and managing employees worldwide. We also have a selection of tools to help streamline 1-on-1 meetings, boost employee morale, strengthen relationships and improve productivity.