The manager and direct report relationship is fundamental to the success of your entire organization and the key to building those interpersonal and professional relationships are effective 1:1 meetings.
To make a 1:1 meaningful, you must aim to develop rapport and boost motivation, to improve morale and increase workplace involvement. When done right, you'll reinforce a sense of ownership and accountability for your report that leads to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity.
Even if you already know the benefits of 1:1 meetings, it can be a challenge to come up with fresh new ideas and conversation topics every time you have one. To help you out, we've compiled a list of suggested 1:1 meeting questions:
Questions to Expand the Status Update
What priorities are top of mind for you?
Where are you currently stuck/blocked?
What's going well? Any big (or small) wins?
What's going on outside of work lately?
What would you like to be doing more of but haven't had the time for lately? What are your non-work highlights over the last week/month?
How comfortable are you with your work-life balance right now? What's one thing we could change for you right now that would improve it?
Questions to Identify How You Can Help
How can I help you?
What's one thing I could help with this week to lighten your load?
What's one thing I should know about you that would help me to support you better?
Do I give you enough feedback? What's your preferred type/way to receive feedback?
Do you have any suggestions for improvements in the way we work together?
Would you like more or less direction from me?
What do you like about my management style? Dislike?
How has my level of support/presence been over the last week/month?
Do you find my communication/direction clear and easy to understand?
What have your past managers done that you'd like me to do or not do?
Is there anything that would be beneficial for me to re-explain to our team?
Questions to Identify Areas for Improvement
What are your biggest time-wasters right now?
Is there anything specific you keep putting off or dreading starting?
Are there any specific tasks you'd like taken off your plate?
What changes can we make to better optimize your day?
What do you find most demotivating right now?
Is there something outside your current role where you feel you could be contributing?
Are there any meetings or projects you feel you should/or would like to be a part of that you're not?
What are you least clear about in terms of strategy and goals?
Is there anything falling short of your own expectations lately? Or the teams?
Does anything feel harder than it needs to be?
How do you manage distractions throughout the day?
When you have a creative idea/thought, what do you do with it?
Questions to Identify Areas for Growth & Development
What are your long term goals? Have you thought about them?
What other roles at our company do you find interesting/appealing?
What are you doing here that you feel is most inline with your long term goals?
Do you feel like you're developing skills you need to move closer to accomplishing your career goals? How can I or the company help you? Is there any additional trainings or events you'd like to attend? Any classes to take?
Are you comfortable with the pace you're advancing your career? Why/Why not?
What are some skills you'd like to develop in the short-to-mid term?
What are some experiences you would like to gain?
Do you have any concerns when it comes to your role or career opportunity?
Is there anyone, or someone working a specific role that I could introduce you to that you'd be interested in talking to?
Is there any part of the company you wished we (as a team) or you interacted/collaborated more closely with?
Questions to Build & Align Your Team
How's everything going with the people on our team?
Do you feel like your voice and opinions are being heard?
What is something you feel is underrated that you contribute to the team?
Is there a project or task you're interested in taking more ownership of?
Are there any recent interactions you'd like to discuss?
What makes you excited and motivated to work on a project?
Would you like to receive more feedback from other team members?
What are your favorite parts of our culture?
Do you have any suggestions for improvement in the way we work together
Who's doing a great job on the team? What have they done?
Are you comfortable giving anyone on the team constructive criticism? If so, why?
How well do you relate to your coworkers?
Questions for Remote Employees
How well do you feel you know your coworkers?
What helps you feel more connected to others? Is there anything we could do to help you feel more connected?
How is your work set up? Is there anything you're missing?
Do you feel the company supports remote staff effectively? How could we improve?
Do you think our decision-making process involves those working remotely well?
How do you manage distractions during the day?
Questions to End On
Do you feel better prepared going forward after our meeting?
Do you feel good about your tasks/priorities for the week?
Is there anything you'd like to change about our 1:1?
Are our meetings a good use of your time? What can be improved?
What can I hold you accountable for for the next time we talk? What can you hold me accountable for for next time we talk?
What was the most useful part of our conversation today*?
*You can also request this as a piece of feedback at the end of the end*