How to Make Effective One to One Meetings Part of Your Work Culture

How to Plan and Properly Partake in Effective One to One Meetings.


Nearly 80% of managers leave one to one meetings feeling more motivated. But only 58% of employees can say the same. Effective one to one meetings should leave all involved parties feeling invigorated and positive about their contributions and goals.


As a manager, here is what you need to know and do to make sure your employee’s one to one meetings make an impact.


The Purpose of a One to One Meeting

One to one meetings can be productive or a waste of resources depending on how you execute them. When properly planned and performed, these intimate sit-downs between a manager and employee can create transparency and trust needed for both to grow.


Though not exhaustive, the following list should paint a picture of the main benefits of one to one meetings.


  • A manager can learn current morale, stress, and engagement levels of employees. For example, is a position more than a new hire bargained for? Or is an experienced employee looking for a new challenge?
  • Both parties will discover hurdles in the way of development and goals. They can then brainstorm solutions and focus on setting SMART goals.
  • Managers and employees can provide both positive and developmental feedback.
  • When promoting honest discussions, it opens the door for a culture that’s inclusive and supportive.


Just a few successful one to one meetings can pour the foundation for healthy relationships that promote a respectful and engaged work culture.


How to Plan Effective One to One Meetings

When it comes to holding one to one meetings that make a difference, the planning stage is arguably just as important as the meeting stage. Whether you’ve been holding such meetings for years or are just beginning to implement them into your schedule, a written process should be constructed, shared with all parties, and strictly adhered to.


Here are the details to consider when developing a one to one meeting process.


  • Participants: Obviously a manager and an employee will participate, however, make sure each participant is aware of their role in the meeting. Who will run the meeting? Who will bring the agenda? Will you require this type of meeting between all managers and employees company-wide?
  • Frequency: Decide on the minimum number of meetings that should be held per month or quarter and ensure each team adheres to the same frequency. You may want to meet with new hires more often to help them navigate their new role (don’t forget to define ‘new hire’ as part of the written process). Meetings may be less frequent or of a shorter duration for more experienced staff and management.
  • Duration: When it comes to effective one to one meetings, the time spent connecting matters. It also may depend on the frequency established. You want to give meetings with new hires enough time to ensure the employee is on track and has all the answers and direction needed to continue to do his or her job. Meetings with senior staff may be shorter in length or less frequent, depending on the employee’s needs.
  • Preparation: Provide an agenda template for employees to fill out prior to scheduled meetings.
  • Agenda: Several criteria should be addressed at each meeting. After spending a few minutes building rapport, focus should shift to any remaining open items from the last meeting before transitioning into new concerns or observations. Managers should then spend time providing individual feedback, both on accomplishments and areas in need of improvement. A short wrap-up should follow that both closes out the meeting and provides action steps to take until the next sit down.


Investing in Meetings

One to one meetings are great for team development and support. When supervisors learn more about their team members in these personal meetings, the benefits help transform company culture and perspective for the better.


Effective one to one meetings are most beneficial when routinely conducted. If you’re concerned about losing work hours, think of one to one meetings as what they really are – investments. A MetrixGlobal LLC study found that regular one to one meetings produced a 529% ROI.


Ready to implement one to one meetings into your schedule. Take the time to plan and fully commit so you can make the most of each opportunity.


For more information call 630.928.0510 or fill out the form and one of our Business Development Managers will contact you.

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