A Guide for Setting Effective One on One Meeting Agendas

If there’s one thing that has the potential to spark stress and anxiety in employees and managers alike, it’s one on one meetings. Managers may feel overwhelmed with finding time to create one on one meeting agendas for everyone on their team, or they may be nervous about the idea of having that tough conversation with a certain employee. Meanwhile, team members may find themselves intimidated at the thought of a one on one meeting with their manager, especially if it’s not a routine occurrence. 

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. One on one meetings are actually one of the most impactful things managers can do to improve morale, increase productivity, and boost employee retention. That said, an effective one on one meeting agenda is the key to executing these important sessions successfully.

Read on to discover more about why 1:1 meeting agendas are so important and get tips for having effective 1:1 meetings. Plus, we’ll give some examples of one on one meeting questions managers should be asking their team members. 

Why one on one meeting agendas matter

Before diving into the specifics of one on one meeting agendas, it’s important to understand why these meetings are so critical. 

Managers who already feel pressed for time may not see the value in spending even more time meeting with all their team members individually. However, one on one meetings are a time investment that can lead to improved performance and even end up saving you and your team more time in the long run. 

One on one meetings build deeper connections and stronger rapport between managers and workers. Conversely, when managers continually postpone or reschedule meetings with those they manage, employees may feel undervalued and unappreciated, which can lead to disengagement and ultimately turnover.

Gallup found that managers who regularly meet with employees saw engagement levels triple. What’s more, management at Adobe saw a 30% reduction in attrition by simply instituting regular check-ins. 

When it comes to effectively planning and executing these check-ins, 1:1 meeting agendas are a key component. Having an agenda will help keep your one on ones focused and productive while minimizing time waste. Let’s look at some meeting agenda best practices to help you get up and running. 

What are meeting agenda best practices? 

The first tip for planning an effective one on one meeting agenda is to actually prepare one. Without an agenda, it’s unlikely you’ll remember all the points you wanted to discuss, and the meeting is more likely to go off track or take longer than necessary. 

Here are a few more meeting agenda best practices to keep in mind: 

  • Use a tool that allows you and your employees to collaboratively build the agenda and add items or points of discussion. This will instill a sense of ownership in team members and show that you actually care about hearing their concerns.
  • Keep a running agenda that you and your employees can add to in the time between each one on one meeting. This way, you’ll both be able to capture ideas and topics that you want to discuss at the next meeting as they come up.
  • A running agenda also allows you to glance back over what was covered last time, so there is continuity between meetings, and you aren’t left scratching your head and trying to remember what you last talked about. You’ll also be able to follow up on items from previous meetings. 
  • Finally, be consistent with your one on one meetings. The biggest benefits of 1:1 meetings are realized when they occur regularly over the long term. So, decide on a schedule you can stick to, whether it’s one hour every month, half an hour every week, or something in between. 

One on one meeting questions good managers ask

Productive one on ones serve a few different purposes: building trust and rapport, giving and receiving feedback, and identifying ways to improve performance and the organization overall. Here are some example questions you can ask at your next one on one meeting:

  1. How is your work/life balance? What changes could be made to improve it?
  2. What motivates you in your work?
  3. Do you feel you’re getting enough feedback?
  4. What areas of your job do you feel you’re strongest in? What areas would you like more help or support in?
  5. What’s your favorite part of our team or organizational culture? 
  6. If you were in charge, what’s the first thing you’d change?

With Wrike, you’ll be able to create and maintain collaborative one on one meeting agendas that help you connect and build strong professional relationships with your team members. Try it free for two weeks — just fill out the form below to get started today!

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