One tool at a manager’s disposal that’s incredibly effective at boosting employee engagement and managing performance is one-on-one meetings. It’s a chance to discuss a worker’s achievements and struggles, as well as provide guidance that can help them grow their skillsets and advance into higher-level positions at the company.

However, for one-on-one meetings to be effective, they need to be productive. Fortunately, by embracing the right strategy, you can ensure the conversation is meaningful and leads to the desired results.

Here’s a look at how managers are improving one-on-one meeting productivity.

Review Any Notes from Past Meetings

Before scheduling the next one-on-one meeting, managers should review any notes they have from the previous one. This helps refresh your memory on the points discussed, allowing you to revisit topics as needed. Plus, it can help eliminate redundancies, ensuring you don’t focus on subjects that you’ve handled previously.

Creating a Formal Agenda

Many managers treat one-on-one meetings with employees like casual conversations. While keeping a friendly tone is potentially wise, having a formal agenda is essential. It allows you to organize your thoughts, ensuring critical points are covered. Additionally, it gives you something that you can share with the employee, allowing them to sufficient prepare.

By inviting the employee to have input into the agenda, you’re also creating opportunities for them to feel heard. This may allow you to discover challenges that you weren’t aware of previously, giving you a chance to act.

Focus on Rapport and Trust Building

When you meet with an employee one-on-one, you have a chance to engage with them on a different level. It’s an opportunity to learn about how their doing, offer coaching, and provide support. Plus, you can get to know them in a way that isn’t often possible in group meetings, giving you insights that may help you make key decisions, embrace the right management style, or develop solutions to obstacles they face.

Ideally, the tone of the meeting should remain welcoming and supportive. Keep an open mind while discussing various topics, and use active listening to ensure you fully hear what the employee shares. As needed, ask probing questions to learn about challenges or concerns they’ve mentioned, allowing you to gather enough information to offer constructive guidance.

Identify Goals for the Employee

A one-on-one meeting with an employee should always include new goals. Along with setting clear expectations, which give workers critical insights that can improve their performance, talk with them to learn about objectives they’d like to accomplish. These could relate to their current work, potential training opportunities, or journeys toward a higher-level position.

By setting goals, you’re giving the employee a roadmap for success. Additionally, inviting their input is customized, keeping them enthusiastic and engaged. Together, that can be incredibly powerful, giving them the direction and guidance they need to thrive.


Ultimately, one-on-one meetings are critical tools that managers should use regularly. If you’d like to learn more about how you can support your employees and turn them into top performers, the staff at PrideStaff wants to hear from you. Contact us today.


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