How to Make One-On-Ones More Effective - Docket

How to Make One-On-Ones More Effective

One-on-one meetings are just what they sound like — a meeting between two people, usually a manager and an employee. These meetings may also be called (or written as) 1:1s, 1 to 1s, one to ones, and more. For many organizations, employees having a regular one-on-one meeting with managers is common practice, but these meetings aren’t always productive or effective.

Creating a collaborative one-on-one meeting template before the session can help both managers and associates get more out of this practice. But what exactly does a one-on-one meeting with employees look like, and how can you ensure yours is healthy and functional? Keep reading to learn more. 

One-On-Ones: What’s the Point?

One-on-ones give both managers and employees the opportunity to connect and communicate. Though these kinds of meetings often happen between team leaders and their direct reports, one-on-ones can also be a great chance for people from different teams to get to know each other and collaborate on projects.

As is the case with all meetings, the point of one-on-ones is to provide clarity to all parties regarding a certain subject. It doesn’t matter whether that subject is an employee’s performance, progress toward a goal, or an up-and-coming project.

Benefits of One-On-One Meetings

According to Gallup, only 15% of employees that don’t regularly meet with managers are likely to be engaged at work. The good news is that “managers who regularly meet with their employees almost tripled that level of engagement.” This is a clear sign that employees could benefit from a regular one-on-one meeting with managers.

Another benefit of one-on-one meetings is the information that managers and team leaders can collect. If a team member is having performance issues, one-on-ones can shed light on the situation. Alternatively, if a team member has a wealth of brilliant ideas for the organization, a one-on-one is the perfect setting for discovering and collaborating on those ideas.

How to Create a Healthy One-On-One Meeting

First and foremost, each party should go into the meeting understanding how it will be led. Will it be employee-led or manager-led? This allows all participants to plan ahead. You can also create a context-appropriate list of one-on-one meeting questions employees and managers can ask one another.

To prevent the meeting from being awkward and unproductive, consider utilizing step-by-step agendas and templates so that no time is wasted or filled with dead air.

Finally, remember that one-on-one sessions are a time to connect!


Conducting the first one-on-one meeting with employees can be daunting for everyone involved. One to one meeting templates and pre-planned agendas can help the session go smoothly and leave both associates and managers feeling like the meeting was worthwhile.

About the Author

Sarah Jones

With an educational background in psychology, linguistics, and French studies, Sarah enjoys researching and writing about marketing, current events, positive global change, and holistic health. When not creating content, her time is spent outdoors with a book in hand.

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