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*