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A 1-on-1 is a recurring meeting between a manager and one of their employees with the purpose of understanding how the employee is feeling, what’s on their mind, what concerns they may have, what they’re excited about, and how they can be better supported within the organization.
They’re a time set aside for the employee to have the opportunity to discuss what’s important to them, and what may fall outside a normal days work. The best 1-on-1 meetings center around open and honest conversation where the employee does the majority of talking and the manager actively listens.
They’re not a status update or the time to get up to speed on a given project. Together, the manager and employee should use 1-on-1 meetings to build trust, provide feedback, plan for the future, and improve.
The cadence of 1-on-1 meetings will depend on your employees and how often each of you would like to meet. Some employees may like more time than others, and if your schedule allows, you should accommodate your employees accordingly.
We commonly see managers meeting 1-on-1 with each of their employees for 30 minutes a week or 60 minutes every two weeks. Our recommendation is to meet 1-on-1 with each of your employees no less than 30 minutes every two weeks.
If there is ever a time you or an employee is unable to attend a 1-on-1 meeting, reschedule the meeting, don’t skip it. It’s an easy meeting to skip knowing the next one is coming up, however skipping a 1-on-1 meeting signals you have more important work to do than meeting with your employee. For any successful manager, their employees are a priority and the meeting is worth rescheduling, not skipping.
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In our experience yes, however you should decide for yourself what will yield the best conversation.
Our questions are aimed at getting the conversation started and allowing a more organic conversation emerge from there. Letting an employee know a few of your questions in advance will give the conversation a head start while perhaps easing some of the tension.
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