One on One Resources

In This Guide

The Value of 1:1 Conversations

One-on-one meetings (aka 1:1) are scheduled, regular meetings between manager and employee. 1:1s allow the manger to set the employee up for success by having bigger picture discussions about challenges and solutions as well as goals and overall professional development.

As a part of intentional leadership, 1:1s have several benefits for both manager and employee, including:

  • Surface and discuss issues and concerns
  • Provide and receive informal feedback; increase accountability
  • Discuss goals and professional development
  • Develop trust and build the relationship between employee and manager
  • Allow dedicated time for performance management
  • Promote employee engagement, retention, and improved performance
  • Create time to follow up on previous discussions

Tips to have effective 1:1 Conversations

  • Schedule weekly meetings for 30-60 minutes with each of your direct-reports
  • Choose a format that best suits your employee's needs
  • Let the employee drive the meeting
  • Spend time preparing before each meeting
  • Bring a learner mindset that welcomes two-way dialogue to the meeting
  • Although you might discuss project status as a part of the bigger conversation, this meeting is not focused on status updates
  • Take notes
  • Have the conversation in a private space
  • Document and follow-up

What to Discuss

  • Personal Check-In: How are they doing?
  • Priorities: Goals, challenges, and progress
  • Recognition: Celebrate, inspire, and motivate
  • Feedback & Coaching: Identify areas for improvement and encourage future effective behavior
  • Development: Discover ways to employees reach full potential
  • Career Aspirations: What are the next steps in their career development?


Sample Questions

Employee Engagement

These kinds of questions help better connect the employee to their job.

Are there skills you have that are not being utilized in your current role and on your projects?
Is there any support or resources you feel like you need?
What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?
Is there be anything you wish you could change about this role?
What things demotivate you at work?
What talents, skills, or interests do you have that you would like to use more?
What do you find most rewarding about your current job?
Employee Goals

Goal-oriented questions provide an opportunity to align goals of management and the University overall with those of the employee.

Are there any barriers in the way of you achieving your goals?
Are any of your goals causing you concern?
What can I do as your manager to help enable you to reach your goals?
Professional and Career Development

Questions about professional development helps identify resources and next steps to develop and progress in their current role.

What types of training or development opportunities most interest you in the next few months?
What are your career aspirations, both short and long-term?
What training or professional development do you see has helping you in your career progression?
Are there any specific skills, abilities, or knowledge you hope to gain in this role?
As your manager, what can I do to help you in your career development?
Current Projects Checkpoint

Questions about current progress help the manager learn more about the employee and can help to understand how the employee contributes to the department and University.

What was the biggest takeaway from your most recent project?
In what ways did your last project influence the way you will approach your next project?
What are you most proud of from your last project?

Additional Resources