Employee Basics

How do I conduct effective one-on-one meetings?

The upside of well-run meetings with your employees isn’t exactly a secret. When you have a strong connection with your employees, they’re often happier and more productive. It’s no stretch of the imagination to say that your one-on-one check-ins are the main way you can show your employees that you support their development and are here to empower their work. So how can you make those meetings the best they can be?

1. Put your employee in the driver’s seat

Encourage them to proactively set goals and then provide your guidance for how to achieve them.

2. Be consistent

Set (and don’t cancel) your regular one-on-ones. It’s important to have a consistent connection with your employees.

3. Make your meetings a safe space

Have a special spot. Going to a rarely-used conference room or even getting out of the office will help mentally differentiate this meeting. Then kick it off with some positive feedback to set the mood. Nothing calms people down — and puts them in a more receptive mindset — like hearing about something they did recently that impressed.

4. Be prepared

Just because you aren’t in the driver’s seat doesn’t mean you can come unprepared. Come in with context. Know what your employee has been working on and how it fits into larger organizational priorities. This will help you give meaningful guidance and support your employee.

5. Put in the work after your meeting

Your job isn’t over when the meeting ends. For your employee to continue to put effort into this meeting, they ’re going to need to feel like their words were both heard and that they resulted in actions. Make sure you follow up on action items and help with whatever you can.

This article provides general information and shouldn’t be construed as tax, benefits, legal, or HR advice. Rules and regulations may change over time and may vary by location. So, please consult an appropriately certified expert (such as a lawyer, CPA, tax advisor, licensed broker, or HR expert) for advice specific to your circumstances.