10 questions to ask in every one-on-one meeting

Emerald Nwanne

Each time you engage in a one-on-one meeting with one of your team members — whether an employee works on-site, remotely, or according to a hybrid schedule — it is an opportunity to add value to your organization for years to come, asking high-value manager one-on-one questions.

Here are 10 questions for one-on-one meetings:

  1. How is life going in general? You and your employee know the objective of the one-on-one with meeting with their manager is to learn more about your employee's overall work productivity, performance, engagement, and productivity. Still, you also need to acknowledge and show that you care about who he or she is as person.
  2. What do you think of the new workplace model? If your organization offers a hybrid workplace model, it's important to gauge what your employees think of it, regardless of where they fall in the hybrid model. It helps to know how employees feel about engaging in new ways, such as via video conferencing and text messages versus in-person exchanges.
  3. What's on your desk this week? One of your top priorities as a manager, especially while conducting one-on-one meetings, is to ensure your employees are working on meaningful projects to achieve your organization's objectives.
  4. Are there any tasks you feel are challenging? Do you need any additional instruction, guidance, or assistance? Let your employees know that they don't have to continue to struggle with a problem. Encourage them to ask for insights or assistance to help assure the task is successfully completed.
  5. Of what recent accomplishment are you most proud? Give your employees a chance to share some professional wins that have recently benefited their department or the organization, such as streamlining a process.
  6. Would you like more engagement with me or your team members? This question is especially important for your remote workers who might feel isolated. There is almost no way for you to know the answer to this without asking, unless you see a downturn in mood or productivity. You still can't assume anything about the reasons.
  7. Do you feel like you have enough challenging work tasks or projects? Ask your employees if they would like more work or more challenging work if you suspect they aren't engaging with their tasks and are becoming bored. 
  8. Would you like more encouragement from me? Ask your employees if they would like more input from you and a coaching plan to improve productivity or work toward a promotion.
  9. How does your current role align with your goals? Let your employees know that their goals are important and that you want to help them achieve them within the organization.
  10. How do you feel about our one-on-one meetings? Ask whether your employees feel like they are getting value out of your meetings and what you can do to improve them.

Charma is the best practice toolkit for managers to organize, motivate, and engage their teams, beloved by managers, HR, executives, and ICs alike. Find tools to help manage agendas for one-on-one meetings and team meetings, action items, team collaboration, continuous feedback, recognition, and goals — all in one place.

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