One of the most effective ways to foster open and honest communication is through a regular one-on-one meeting.
These meetings allow team members to connect personally, discuss their goals, challenges, progress, and offer support and guidance. It also develops a feeling of trust, which increases employee engagement, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. The result is a stronger bond between managers and their direct reports.
According to Gallup, there is a relationship between employee engagement and productivity, meaning one-on-one meetings can lead to increased productivity.
However, another challenge arises. How do you maintain a conversation that keeps your direct reports engaged without feeling like a monologue?
With so much on your plate, developing new and relevant one-on-one meeting questions can be challenging.
We’ve compiled a list of 100 one-on-one meeting questions that will fuel your management and help you get the most out of your meetings. If you’re keen to take your one-on-one sessions to the next level, these questions can be a great place to start.
Get the most out of your one-on-one meetings with our list of 100 tried and true questions. Whether you’re a manager or an employee, these questions will fuel your management and help drive productivity, communication, and growth.
What Kind of One-on-One Questions Can Managers Ask Employees?
As a manager, addressing the tasks and projects your team is working on and supporting their personal and professional growth is essential. Here are some categories of questions that can help facilitate these discussions:
Questions about growth and development: These can help managers understand their team member’s career goals and how they can support them. Examples include “What are your long-term career goals, and how can I support you in achieving them?” and “What skills or areas of knowledge do you feel like you need to develop to reach your career goals?”
Questions to help improve communication: Effective communication is essential to the success of any team. These questions can help managers gauge how team members feel and identify areas for improvement. Examples include “Do you feel like you have the information you need to do your job effectively?” and “Is there anything I can do to help improve the way we communicate as a team?”
Questions about employee motivation: Understanding what drives team members is crucial to motivating and engaging them. These questions help managers understand what motivates each team member and how to use that information to improve performance. Examples include “What motivates you at work?” and “What can I do to help you stay motivated and engaged?”
Questions to address challenges, roadblocks, and concerns: One-on-one meetings are an excellent opportunity for team members to discuss any issues or concerns they may face. As a manager, listening actively and offering support and guidance as needed is essential. Examples of questions in this category include “Is there anything that’s been holding you back or causing you to stress at work?” and “What can I do to help you overcome any challenges or roadblocks you’re facing?”
Questions for getting feedback from your direct report: Regular feedback is essential for personal and professional development. These questions help managers gather constructive feedback from their team members and identify areas for improvement. Examples include “What feedback do you have for me as your manager?” and “Is there anything I can/could do differently to support your development and success?”
One-on-one meetings allow managers to ask questions and employees to voice their concerns, seek guidance, and learn more about the company and their career development. Here are some categories of questions that employees can ask their managers during a one-on-one meeting:
Questions about career growth and personal development: These questions can help employees better understand their career path and what they need to do to advance within the company. Examples include “What are the key skills or experiences that will help me advance within the company?” and “Is there any specific training or development that you think would benefit me?”
Questions about priorities, productivity, and strategy: When employees understand how their role contributes to the company’s overall goals, they are more likely to be focused and productive. Examples of questions for the category include “What are the company’s top priorities right now?” and “How does my role fit into the overall strategy?”
Questions about communication and feedback: Clear communication and regular feedback are essential for personal and professional growth. These questions can help employees better understand how they’re performing and how they can improve. For example “Is there anything I can do to improve my communication with you or the team?”
Questions around company culture and motivation: Understanding the values and culture of the company can help employees feel more connected and motivated. These questions can help employees better understand what makes the company unique and what it means to be part of the team. A good example is “What is the company’s mission and vision?”
Questions around supporting your manager and managing up: One-on-one meetings allow employees to learn how to best support their manager and contribute to the team’s overall success. These questions can help employees understand how to be more effective and support their manager’s goals. For example, “How can I be more proactive in helping to achieve the team’s goals?”
In addition to coming up with thoughtful and relevant questions, a few other considerations can help make your one-on-one meetings more effective and productive.
While the focus of one-on-one meetings should be work-related topics, starting with an ice breaker or “getting to know you” question can help create a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. When meeting someone for the first time or when you haven’t had a chance to get to know one another well, asking these questions can be beneficial.
Some examples of ice breaker questions include “What do you like to do in your free time?” and “What hobbies are you into when you are not at work?”
There are several advantages to owning a one-on-one meeting agenda. They include:
Sharing ownership of the agenda is an essential aspect of effective one-on-one meetings. While the manager should facilitate the meeting and ensure that all critical topics are covered, team members are also responsible for raising issues or concerns during discussions.
One way to ensure that both parties have a stake in the agenda is to involve team members in the planning process. This could mean asking for their input on what topics they would like to discuss or allowing them to suggest items for the agenda. This approach can foster a sense of ownership and collaboration and align the meeting’s focus on the needs and concerns of both parties.
If you’re looking for a more structured approach to one-on-one meetings, Airgram offers a range of template agendas to help you get started. These templates include:
An OKR goal-setting one-on-one meeting agenda template: This agenda assists managers and team members in setting clear goals for the meeting. This template can define specific objectives, metrics, or key results (OKRs) for a project or initiative.
A weekly one-on-one meeting agenda template: This tool helps managers and team members track progress, discuss issues, and set weekly goals. It can review and evaluate performance from the previous week, identify potential problems or roadblocks that may arise in the coming week, and outline redress measures.
A career development meeting agenda: Managers and team members can use this tool to discuss career development needs, set goals for job performance and professional growth, and create action plans for implementation. This template helps managers identify an employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential growth areas and create a plan for addressing those needs.
Peer one-on-one meeting agenda template: This agenda template is for coworkers who meet regularly to discuss projects, coordinate activities, and make decisions. The purpose is to keep coworkers updated on ongoing projects, share information and resources, and facilitate group decision-making. The template includes sections listing team sync, teamwork challenges, and feedback.
Compensation review meeting agenda template: This agenda template facilitates a discussion between an employee, their manager, and HR about compensation. The purpose of the meeting is to review the employee’s performance and determine whether they are eligible for a raise or merit increase. This meeting helps managers identify areas where the employee excelled so they can highlight them during discussions about compensation.
Other templates that Airgram offers include:
Each template has a list of topics and questions to guide your discussions. There are also tips and best practices to make the most of the one-on-one meetings.
In general, a typical one-on-one meeting agenda might include the following:
A structured agenda can help keep one-on-one meetings focused and productive. Still, it helps to be flexible and allow spontaneous conversations or unexpected issues that may come up.
One-on-one meetings allow managers to connect with team members personally, discuss their goals and challenges, and offer support and guidance. To help you make the most of these meetings, here is a list of 50 one-on-one questions to ask your employees:
Challenges and concerns:
Work and projects:
Communication and collaboration:
Company culture and values:
Asking these questions during one-on-one meetings can help managers better understand their team members, goals, and challenges and offer support and guidance as needed. By fostering open communication and collaboration, managers can create a more positive and productive work environment for their team.
One-on-one meetings also allow employees to ask their managers questions to discuss their goals and career development, address any challenges or concerns, and get feedback and support. Use this list of 50 questions to help you prepare for your upcoming one-on-ones with your manager:
Company goals and strategy:
Communication and feedback:
Support and resources:
Work and projects:
Company culture and values:
By asking these questions in a one-on-one meeting, you can better understand your manager’s expectations and goals and get valuable feedback and support for your career development.
One-on-one meetings are an excellent way for managers and their immediate reports to keep in touch, share updates about work progress, and set goals.
Having a script (or template) on hand can help keep conversations on track, reduce stress, and ensure that both parties get what they need from the meeting.
The following is an example of what a one-on-one meeting template could look like:
This template helps managers and employees set clear, measurable goals and work together to achieve them. It includes several sections:
The OKR goal-setting one-on-one meeting agenda template helps managers and employees set clear and achievable goals as they work towards common objectives. This can help drive productivity, engagement, and overall business success.
One-on-one meetings can be a powerful tool for managers and employees to build strong relationships, increase productivity, and drive business success. You can make the most of these meetings by using a clear agenda, asking targeted one-on-one questions, and fostering open communication, collaboration, and growth.
Use these 100 one-on-one meeting questions and templates outlined to create a structured and meaningful one-on-one meeting experience that drives actual results.
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