Maximizing One-on-One Meetings: A Guide for Managers and Employees

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Effective one-on-one meetings are a key driver for career and organizational growth. These meetings offer a platform for mutual understanding, feedback, and professional development.

For managers, the aim is to listen actively, provide support, and foster employee growth. Employees should approach these meetings as an opportunity to demonstrate value, seek guidance, and align personal aspirations with company goals.

Below are 15 tips to help managers run effective one on ones. And 15 tips to help employees get the most from their time with their manager.

Best Practices For Managers:

1. Empowerment Through Listening: Managers should approach one-on-ones as the employee’s time to shine, actively listening and offering support.

2. Consistency is Key: Scheduling regular meetings and maintaining them shows commitment to the employee’s development.

3. Structured Flexibility: While having a structured agenda, managers should also be open to addressing the employee’s immediate concerns.

4. The Right Environment: Finding a quiet and private space can make these discussions more open and productive.

5. Personal Interest: Starting meetings by taking an interest in the employee’s personal well-being can build rapport.

6. Focused Attention: Giving undivided attention, free from digital distractions, conveys respect and importance.

7. Open-Ended Questions: Asking how you can support the employee invites direct feedback and actionable insights.

8. Actionable Feedback: Offer specific feedback with examples, making it a tool for growth rather than just criticism.

9. Goal Setting Together: Collaboratively setting goals helps align the employee’s aspirations with the company’s objectives.

10. Skill Development: Sharing knowledge and strategies can help employees improve their skills and performance.

11. Self-Improvement: Asking for feedback on your management style shows humility and a willingness to improve.

12. Documentation: Keeping notes of key points and action items ensures accountability and follow-through.

13. Progress Tracking: Regularly monitor progress and offer guidance to reinforce the employee’s trajectory towards set goals.

14. Recognition: Celebrate achievements to reinforce positive behavior and accomplishments.

15. Accountability: Encourage employees to take ownership of their roles and the outcomes of their projects.

Best Practices for Employees:

1. Own the Meeting: Treat the one-on-one as your platform to discuss your path within the organization.

2. Preparation: Come with a clear agenda of what you wish to discuss or achieve from the meeting.

3. Showcase Value: Use this time to highlight your contributions and articulate your support needs.

4. Highlight Achievements: Share your successes with evidence to back them up.

5. Clarify Challenges: Clearly state the areas you need help with, offering specifics.

6. Long-Term Aspirations: Discuss how your current role aligns with your long-term career goals.

7. Growth Opportunities: Enquire about opportunities for professional development and what’s required for advancement.

8. Transparent Obstacles: If there are hurdles affecting your performance, be upfront about them.

9. Comprehensive Requests: Use this time to ask for the resources or support you need to be successful.

10. Feedback on Feedback: If you’re unsure about any feedback, ask for clarification to avoid misunderstandings.

11. Communication: If you feel unheard, find different ways to express your concerns.

12. Note-Taking: Document key points from the meeting to ensure you can follow up on discussed items.

13. Implementing Feedback: Act on the feedback received to show adaptability and commitment.

14. Progress Updates: Keep your manager informed about your progress on goals and projects.

15. Maintaining Visibility: Regular updates can help keep your career growth on your manager’s radar.

By adhering to these steps, both managers and employees can ensure that one-on-one meetings are productive and contribute to personal and organizational success.

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