Open and frequent communication is the key to any relationship. It is especially important to a manager or supervisor and their direct reports, and this is usually achieved through one on one meetings. This article helps you prepare for this type of meeting by providing sample questions and a high quality one on one meeting template.
- How to Conduct a Productive One-On-One Meeting Part 1
- Free Downloads: Sample Questions and Templates Part 2
- How to Spend Less Time on One-on-One Meetings Part 3
- One-on-One Meeting Summaries Part 4
- Additional Sources Part 5
A supervisor usually conducts a one-on-one meeting with a staff member to find out how they are at that moment. It is also done to keep track of the employee’s performance and if they are meeting their targets and goals. A 1-on-1 is an excellent opportunity to discuss any problems or issues that are hindering the employee from achieving their goals.
On the part of the supervisor, the one-on-one meeting is a great opportunity to conduct coaching and to provide feedback to a staff member.
The value of these meetings lies in the fact that they present an opportunity for the supervisor and the employee to communicate on a personal level. This increases the employee’s feeling of involvement and allows them to feel more confident in performing their job.
The interval between meetings shouldn’t be more than two weeks. However, if the circumstances within the organization mean this is not possible, no longer than one month should elapse between meetings. The meetings shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes, and should not be take an excessive amount of the supervisor’s or the employee’s time.
Here are some ways on how to make one-on-one meetings productive:
- Have a regular schedule for the one-on-one meetings and commit to it. While meeting on an ad-hoc basis can sometimes be a good idea, the supervisor and the employee will be much better prepared for the meeting if they know when it is going to happen in advance. There may be times that the one-on-one meeting will need to be rescheduled due to other pressing matters. If it’s necessary to change the time of a meeting, it’s important that supervisors don’t make their staff feel that their meeting is a dispensable part of the schedule.
- The supervisor should not dominate the discussion. This session is conducted to monitor how the employee is doing and to clarify anything that may seem vague to them. The key to making this one-on-one meeting as effective as possible is to allow both the supervisor and the employee to feel comfortable. The supervisor can get the most out of it by making the conversation less formal and thus more substantive.
- Encourage the employee to raise issues. This way, both the supervisor and employee can think of ways to better address any problems.
- Document everything discussed during the meeting by using a one on one meeting template. Using a template will makes the job easier. The template is structured into fields, columns, and rows that the supervisor can complete instead of having to write a full narrative of the discussion. One-on-one meeting templates may be in Word or Excel formats, depending on which option the supervisor prefers to use. The organization may also prescribe a uniform template to be used by everyone.
Lastly, the supervisor should give the employee his full, uninterrupted attention during the one-on-one meeting.
One On One Meeting Template: Free Download
How to Spend Less Time on One-on-One Meetings
Solution 1: Use regular status reports with the option to share feedback.
Solution 2: Implement meeting summaries and use the summary from the previous meeting as a base for the next meeting.
How to use status.net for status reports:
- Easily implement daily or weekly status reports for your team members by creating a status feed with questions like “What did you do today?” or “How did you contribute to the team’s goals this week?” and get regular answers on autopilot.
- Peace of mind: No one forgets to fill in their status reports because it sends timely reminders according to the recurrence schedule you chose.
- Increase workplace satisfaction by improving transparency: Each status update has a separate section for comments, which is used by team members to clarify information, including upcoming goals, and by leaders to provide feedback and coordinate better without micromanagement.
- Use status reports for future reference and decrease time and efforts spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, CRM, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status feed.
- Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Sharing: Status reports can be either
— exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
— shared with manager online (in this case, an email with the full text of the status report will be sent automatically); or
— shared online as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other.
How to configure status reporting:
- Create a “One-on-One Meeting Agenda” feed and set up a recurrence.
- Configure who will write and read reports by choosing the “Participants” tab and then clicking the “Cog” button near “Feed Participants” title.
- Set the status feed as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can allow access to status reports for certain participants only (such as yourself if you’re a team lead). In this case, turn “Team-wide” mode OFF and restrict viewing by unchecking “View” properties for other participants. Team members with the “View” checkbox unchecked will only be able to view their own status reports.
- If you’re a manager and you don’t plan to share your status reports with your team, uncheck “Update” for yourself – in this case, you won’t receive reminders to fill in this status report.
- The Recurrence setting configures how often participants receive email reminders to fill in their status reports. This feature is optional and can be turned off.
- You can add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 2: The text of the status update should be added to the “Update” field of status feed.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their accounts. They will also automatically receive emails with the full text of status reports.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
- Choose dates
- Choose people
- Click “File” button
- Choose type of report and click “Generate Report”
One-on-One Meeting Summaries
In some cases, one-on-one meeting summaries which list the results of the meeting and an actionable plan need to be shared after the meeting. Here is how to use status.net for one-on-one meeting summaries:
- Make meeting summaries instantly available to the meeting participants and save for future reference.
- Peace of mind: Recurrence can be configured for regular meetings. In this case, assigned persons will receive timely automatic reminders to write the latest meeting summary.
- Option to have post-meeting comments in context: Each meeting summary has its own section for comments.
How to configure meeting summaries:
- Create a “One-on-One Meeting Summary” feed and set up a recurrence (for regular meetings, set how often you usually hold meetings; for irregular meetings you can leave this setting blank).
- Configure access: Turn “Team-wide” mode OFF and invite viewers; restrict viewing by unchecking “View” properties for other team members. In this case, you can view and manage all one-on-one meeting summaries in one feed for all your team members, but each of them will only be able to view his/her own one-on-one meeting summary.
- Leave the “Update” checkbox ON for those who are assigned to update meeting agendas. They will receive timely reminders to write the meeting summary, according to the “Recurrence” setting you configured in Step 1. The Recurrence feature is optional and can be turned off.
- If you don’t plan to write meeting summaries yourself, uncheck “Update” for yourself – in this case, you won’t receive reminders to create the upcoming meeting agenda.
- You can add, remove, and assign participants at any time.
Step 2: The meeting summary should be added to the “Update” field of the feed.
- Mention those people who you want to take action or pay attention by using @ before their names. These people will receive personal notifications on their status accounts and by email.
Info such as the date and the name of the person who wrote that meeting summary will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting summary is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their accounts. They will also automatically receive an email with the full text of the latest meeting summary.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a meeting summary report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share meeting summaries online and don’t print them).
- Choose date range
- Click “file” button
- Choose type of report (“By Date” – to sort meeting summaries by date) and click “Generate Report”
Sign up now to make your team happier and more productive.