Blog·HR Management

November 21, 2019

40 Questions for a successful one-on-one meeting

It doesn't matter if you are a manager or an employee, we've got some great one-on-one questions to help get the conversation started!

One-on-one meetings are still an integral part of performance management. They are essentially a forum in which the managers and employees discuss everything work related. Performance, development, concerns, issues, queries and more are all included in an archetypal one-on-one meeting. Don’t get confused, this isn’t a manager to employee directed conversation, it’s more like 360°Feedback, with conversation meant also to be employee to supervisor directed.

Who do they benefit?

For managers, one-on-one meetings represent two positive opportunities. Firstly, they provide opportunity to gain valuable strategic insight into how the employee is performing and their opinions concerning the workplace. Secondly, they provide ample opportunity for a manager to help build upon their relationship with the employee, providing recognition where it should be, demonstrating to them their value and trying to understand developmental needs they may have. All top correlates of employee engagement.

For employees, one-on-one meetings provide them with the opportunity to understand manager’s expectations, gain insights into operations, receive feedback and coaching, air out any concerns and ask for help in areas which need improvement or development. The one-on-one environment can seem daunting for employees, but done correctly they can make you stand out, enlighten you as to the manager’s current perspective and kickstart you into development gear. Gola alignment and completion as well as improvements insight are also important correlates of a good one-on-one meeting.

There are some important details to know about one-on-ones, aka what the good and the bad ones look like, what should be on the agenda for a great one on one and how a one-on-one meeting should run and also what questions to ask in a one-on-one meeting.

Let’s expand on this last one… what questions should you be asking in your next one-on-one? Well it depends if you’re the manager or the employee. Let’s start with the manager…

Questions for the one-on-one for a manager

So, you’re prepping for the next one-on-one with an employee, you’ve got your agenda and you’ve got the topics you want to talk about, but you’re struggling on some questions that you want to use. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered…

1. What sort of progress have you made on the next steps we discussed last time?

2. What, if anything, would you have done differently?

3. What do you think has gone well? What do you think you could have done better?

4. What ideas can you bring in from past successes?

5. What additional resources from me would be helpful for you as you solve this problem?

6. Imagine it’s two years from now, and things have gone well: What has been your role in that? What does your role look like?

7. What actions will you take before our next 1-1 to make progress on X?

8. What development areas do you want to work on in the coming weeks?

9. What additional resources can I provide for you between now and the next time we meet?

10. Is there anything as management we could do to help improve the performance of your team?

11. If we had the budget for it, what would you like to help make the team more effective?

12. How much time would you say you are spending on ‘individual work’?

13. Are there any significant bottlenecks that affect the way you and the team operate?

manager one on one meeting questions

14. What, if anything, would you like to do, but haven't been able to?

15. Would you want to meet more, less of the same with respect to these and other type meetings?

16. How might I make this project more challenging or interesting for you?

17. Going forward, how would you like to receive feedback from me?

18. What have you done exceptionally well since our last meeting?

19. How do you feel your career progression is going?

20. If we could improve in any way as an organisation, how would we do it?__

Questions for the one-on-one for an employee

It’s that time of year again and you’re prepping for your one-on-one meeting with your manager, you’ve got some ideas about what you want to talk about, but you don’t know how to formulate it into questions. Maybe some of these will spark what you need. Adapt these questions to suit your needs!

1. With respect to Project Y, how did you arrive at target outcomes?

2. Who are the top performers on the team? How can I become more like them?

3. As a manager, how best can I provide you with information?

4. What are your expectations of me in the upcoming quarter?

5.What do you think of our communication as a team? How, can we make improvements, if any?

6. Do you have any comments of how issue X was carried out?

7. What are your opinions on my career progression?

8. As a team, do we have lower priority items which can possibly be postponed or cancelled?

9. What is the highest priority for you?

10. Are there any areas which I need urgent improvement in?

11. Are there any areas with untapped potential in?

12. Where do you see the team or company a year from now, and what do you think my role is in achieving that vision?

13. In the forthcoming year, what do you envisage the biggest challenges to be for the company and for the team?

14. Is there anything that I am doing that needs change?

15. Can you please give me X responsibility, I believe this is something I can develop in/something that I feel I excel in?

Employee One on One Questions

16. What skills should I develop to support my career progression?

17. Can you think of any people which would benefit my network? Would you be able to put us in contact together or even work with?

18. There are certain resources (X) that I need, is this something that would be possible?

19. Is there any way I can support you with your own boss?

20. Are there any deficits in my knowledge or skillset? >

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