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 Make Meeting Agendas and Minutes 10x Easier Part 3
- How to Spend Less Time on Meetings 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
Free online tools for work:
1. Fluxes.com — Free Project and Task Management Software
2. Status.net — Software for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
How to Make Meeting Agendas and Minutes 10x Easier
How to configure online meeting agendas and/or meeting minutes:
- Create a “Meeting Agenda” or “Meeting Minutes” applet on status.net — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders
- Configure who will submit it by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it in and submit it.
- Participants can comment on a meeting agenda in its comments section, which ensures the right context for discussion and further reference.
- 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.@mention a team member in your meeting agenda or in its comments section by using “@” and your team member’s name.Example comment: “@Peter and @Mary, do you have any comments regarding the “Metrics” section? @Don, are you coming to the meeting?”
In this case, Peter, Mary, Don will automatically receive an additional personal notification, so they know they’re expected to take action or pay attention and won’t forget to add their input in the meeting agenda’s comments section.
Info such as the date and the name of the person will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting agenda/minutes record is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their status.net accounts. They will also automatically receive an email notification.
Step 3 (Optional): Print it.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas and minutes online and don’t print them.)
- Choose date
- Click “file” button
- Click “Generate”
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- Make meeting agendas and minutes instantly available to the meeting participants.
- Save time with auto completion:
Fields such as date, name, formatting, etc. are inserted automatically by software.
- For regular meetings:
Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas and/or minutes.
- For irregular meetings:
Start your agenda with info about the meeting date, time and place and this will work as mass-notification: status.net will automatically send emails with full text to all participants as soon as you submit it.
- Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
- Draw attention of specific team members by using the “mentions” feature, if you need input or comments from those people. When you @mention your team members, they will receive a separate personal notification by email.
- Easy sharing:
Meeting agendas and minutes can be either
— exported to files and printed;
— shared online with selected people (in this case, an email with the full text of the meeting agenda will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
— shared online company-wide or team-wide (the latest meeting agenda will be available online and a notification email will be sent automatically to each team member).
How to Spend Less Time on Meetings?
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?”.
- Peace of mind:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net 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 free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- 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 reports on status.net:
- Create a “Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
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.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
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.)
Click “Generate Report”.