Communication is key to almost anything in life, and even more so in a manager-employee relationship.
A one-on-one meeting (also known as 1 on 1, 1:1, 121, check-ins, monthlies, weeklies, etc.) is a meeting that takes place regularly. It’s when both sides discuss anything they need to, for better or for worse. This includes sharing feedback, resolving issues, and producing professional development.
Here’s GoRetro’s quick guide to everything you need to know about one-on-one meetings.
How to ‘Do’ a One-on-One Meeting
Our first tip would be to set a regular date and time for one-on-one meetings, which should only be switched or changed under urgent circumstances.
Otherwise, having a one on one meeting could be as easy as the employee and manager sitting down for a cup of coffee, setting up a regular Zoom link, or anything they deem productive.
As far as the one-on-one meeting agenda is concerned, that really depends on what the purpose of the meeting is. See more about this in the ‘Different types of one-on-one meetings’ section, below.
Why are One-on-One Meetings Important?
But just why are one-on-one meetings important, you might ask? Well, they’re the dedicated time for both managers and employees to sit down together, and are beneficial for several reasons:
- You can give and receive feedback.
- You can provide professional development.
- You can discuss potentially difficult issues privately with your employee.
- You can give and receive feedback in a safe space.
- You can share personal issues, as well as professional ones.
- You can discuss your career development path.
What Questions Should You Ask During One-on-One Meetings?
This really depends on your manager-employee relationship, and how hands-on you like to be.
Some general (but important) one on one questions to ask to keep you in the loop:
- How do you feel about your work?
- Do you have any issues, either with me or the rest of the team, that you'd like to discuss?
- Do you have any feedback for me?
- What can I do to help you achieve your targets, during this time period or in general?
- Am I creating a bottleneck for anything?
Different Types of One-on-One Meetings
Of course, not all one-on-one meetings are created equally! Here is a general list of the types of one on-one-meeting agendas you might encounter:
- One-on-one with managers: This is a regular one-on-one meeting that allows managers and employees to discuss work in a more private setting.
- Skip level meetings: These are meetings that managers hold with staff that they don't manage directly, helping them gain more insights into the business in general.
- Weekly, monthly or daily one-on-one meetings: These are any types of settings where two people meet, according to the time-delineated criteria (e.g., once a week, once a month).
One-on-One Meeting Templates
One-on-one meeting templates can vary depending on who’s attending the meeting and what the criteria of the meeting are.
This could be according to:
- The first one-on-one meeting.
- A weekly/monthly one-on-one meeting.
- A one-on-one meeting that’s a skip level meeting.
- Any other type of one-on-one meeting.
Tips to Help You Navigate One-on-One Meetings
Setting the one-on-one meeting agenda is just the start of your planning. For truly effective 1:1 meetings, here are some basic tips:
- Take notes. This will help both sides to keep on track with any outcomes, next steps and more.
- Set action times and next steps. This will help to keep everyone accountable and actionable.
- Have an idea of what to discuss in one-on-one meetings before you go in: preparing yourself mentally beforehand is the best and most effective way to participate in a one-on-one meeting.
Tools for Effective 1:1 Meetings
The best way to set, manage and monitor your 1:1 meeting agenda is with a handy set of tools!
Tools such as GoRetro can help you keep track and make sense of all areas of your Scrum agile sprint. From your sprint planning meetings, sprint reviews and sprint retrospective, everything you need can be found in this free-forever (and well-loved by multinational companies) gadget. It's a solid tool to help manage your one-on-one meetings related to scrum agile sprints too!
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Other tools you could use include project management software such as Trello, Asana or Jira, which will help you to organize and follow up on any action items, one-on-one meeting agendas, or even your sprint planning.