What Are One-on-Ones and Why Are They Important? (With Tips)


Why should you hold one-on-one meetings in your workplace?

There are a variety of reasons why managers decide to have one-on-one meetings with their staff, including:

Building relationships

It might be difficult to stay in touch with every member of your staff on a regular basis depending on the size of your team. One-on-one meetings allow you to spend time getting to know and understand each member of your team. Understanding your assets and knowing your employees are crucial management skills. You can do this by having one-on-one meetings with the other members of your team. You can create a positive working environment for your team and create open lines of communication by posing appropriate personal questions during one-on-one meetings.

Demonstrating dedication and consideration

Depending on the size of their team and how frequently they hold the meetings, one-on-ones with management can take a lot of time. Holding one-on-ones with every member of your team because they can last up to an hour demonstrates your commitment to and care about your employees. By scheduling these meetings, you demonstrate that you value the opinions and time of your team members.

Improving workplace atmosphere and morale

Employee morale is more likely to be high when they feel valued for their time and contributions. You can hear your employees’ worries and resolve issues together by having regular one-on-one meetings with them before they have an impact on the team or the success of a project. A one-on-one meeting is also an opportunity to compliment your team members and let them know that you are aware of and grateful for their efforts.

Gaining feedback about a product or service

Depending on the sector you work in, your team probably engages daily with the goods or services provided by your company. Speaking with the personnel responsible for product development can be a great opportunity for managers to learn how to enhance or change the product or service for success. Employees may experience greater fulfillment if you show them that their work has value by paying attention to their product concerns.

Enhancing coaching and mentoring skills

Skills in mentoring and coaching are extremely valuable for managers and team leaders. Because of this, one-on-one meetings are advantageous for both you as a leader and your team members. You can advance the team as a whole by taking advantage of the chance to grow as a leader and improve your management abilities.

What are one-on-ones?

Meetings between a manager or team leader and a worker they are responsible for are known as one-on-ones. Many managers decide to have these meetings once a month or once every three months with each of their employees. One-on-ones are an investment that managers make in their teams. Team leaders hope to increase output, uplift morale, intensify the work environment, and identify and address issues before they become major ones by holding one-on-one meetings.

Tips for better one-on-ones

The following advice will help you succeed in one-on-one meetings, whether you’ve held them before or want to start now:

Schedule them as a repeating event

Planning your one-on-one meetings in advance will help you be more aware of how they fit into your schedule and estimate how long they will last. You can also treat your staff with greater consistency if you maintain a consistent one-on-one schedule. Your team members will be aware of what to anticipate and may value the predictability a schedule provides. One-on-one meetings should be scheduled as recurring events every month or every three months, especially if you are just starting to implement them at work. This makes it possible for you to be responsible for those meetings.

Avoid being late or canceling

You can demonstrate to your staff that you value their time and consider them a priority by holding one-on-one meetings with them. It’s crucial to arrive at meetings on time and try not to cancel if at all possible in order to convince them of this. Prepare for the meeting in advance, and only postpone if there is no other choice. If you have to postpone the meeting, try to notify them as far in advance as you can and do so within the same week.

Create an agenda before the meeting

Consider creating an agenda before your meeting. It may contain a short list of questions you intend to ask or specific topics you’d like to address. Although an agenda can help you organize your time, it’s also advisable to maintain flexibility and take your employees’ needs into consideration while the meeting is going on.

Ask open-ended questions

During your one-on-ones, use open-ended questions to determine an appropriate conversational tempo. You can encourage your staff to be truthful with you about their experiences and provide more information than a simple yes or no by asking open-ended questions. To ensure that your team member is prepared to respond to these questions during your time together, send them these questions in advance of the meeting. You can tailor your questions to each person by using your knowledge of their interests and hobbies.

In your one-on-one conversations, you might bring up the following open-ended questions:

Keep a positive attitude

Making employees anticipate one-on-ones is one way to make them successful in the workplace. You can accomplish this by remaining upbeat throughout each meeting. Think about beginning the meeting with positive comments, bringing up constructive criticism in the middle, and concluding the meeting with positive remarks. It’s crucial to maintain a positive outlook when solving problems or talking about potential problems in order to concentrate on the employees’ strengths and how they can strengthen their weaknesses.

Take notes during the meeting

Taking notes during your meeting with a large team can help you remember what you discussed with each team member. Taking notes demonstrates to your team member that you value their input and consideration. In order to prepare for any developments from the previous meeting, it is also a good idea to read over the notes from previous sessions before your next one-on-one.


What are one on ones for?

Managers regularly schedule one-on-ones (also known as 1:1s) with direct reports to check in. 1:1s assist employers in learning how staff members feel about their day-to-day tasks, professional development, and the organization.

What does it mean to have a 1 on 1?

A 1:1 meeting is a regular check-in between two people in an organization, usually a manager and an employee. It is pronounced one-on-one or one-to-one meeting.

How do you do a 1 on 1 meeting?

Here are ten tips for having motivating and meaningful one-on-ones:
  1. Get it on the Calendar. Make one-on-one meetings a regular occurrence and a top priority.
  2. Have A Plan. …
  3. Focus on Them. …
  4. Celebrate Wins. …
  5. Focus on the Future, not the Past. …
  6. Specify Desired Results. …
  7. Focus on Strengths. …
  8. Ask Good Questions.

What do you call a one on one?

One-on-one meetings are a set aside time for a worker and their manager to connect on work, career development, and growth. They are also referred to as check-ins, 121s, 1:1s, and one-to-ones.

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