The best employees value one-on-one meetings with managers because they value the managers that they work for. An organization is only going to be as good as they treat their employees. Once the managers see that their employees genuinely pay attention to them, they are more likely to get more productivity out of their employees. That is why it is imperative that managers include employees in every decision they make, especially if it is going to have an impact on the employees.

Why Are One-on-One Meetings with Managers are Important?

For employees to perform up to their manager’s standards, one-on-one meetings are important in achieving that goal consistently.

Real-time feedback: Employees get real-time feedback from their managers, you would be able to point out areas that have not been doing well or areas that need improvement.

Improved communication: Having one-on-one meetings with managers improve communication between the employee and the manager. Whether it’s catching up about the status of a project, or a big picture conversation about the direction of their career, better communication is encouraged for both the employee and manager.

Promote from within: More one-on-one meetings can lead to promotions. After employees are promoted from within, they feel much better about themselves and that they are being appreciated for the hard work they do.

How to Conduct One-on-One with Managers

The purpose of recurring one-on-one meetings with managers is to keep track of your progress as an employee. Using a meeting management software like Yoyomeeting can help you keep track of tasks and questions during the series of your 1v1 meetings.

When it comes to getting the most out of your 1v1 meetings, there are many considerations for employees to improve the quality of their meetings. From setting up 1v1 meetings to during the meeting, here are some things to keep in mind for managers, and how to run meetings effectively:

Before the 1v1 meeting:

  1. Always promote an open-door policy
  2. Set a recurring meeting
  3. Don’t cancel
  4. Go somewhere private to talk
  5. Don’t try to make it too formal

During the 1v1 meetings:

  1. Breaking the ice
  2. Discuss career development
  3. Provide honest feedback on their performance
  4. Set measurable short-term and long-term performance goals
  5. Listen to what they need to be successful
  6. Ask follow-up questions if necessary
  7. Give employees praise when necessary
  8. Ask for feedback

Preparing for the next 1v1 meeting:

  1. Take notes during the meeting
  2. End on a positive note
  3. Establish next steps for a meeting

What Managers Can Do For Their Employees

Before the 1v1 meeting:

1. Always promote an open-door policy:

When managers assure employees that their door is always open for them, they can take their concerns, suggestions, and queries related to a workplace outside their chain of command without having to worry about anything.

2. Set a recurring meeting:

Managers need to make sure that their meetings take place repeatedly, so the employees feel like their managers do put an effort to listen to them.

3. Don’t cancel:

Instead, reschedule: While it is true that sometimes due to unseen circumstances, managers have to cancel their meetings, but they can always reschedule it instead of abandoning them altogether.

4. Go somewhere private to talk:

Employees would be more cooperative and comfortable with talking about their experiences at the workplace if managers take them somewhere private to talk instead of talking in a place where every other employee passing by would be able to hear their conversation.

5. Don’t try to make it too formal:

The whole point why managers should arrange one-on-one meetings with employees is so they feel comfortable with the managers, but if managers are stern and being too formal, then the employee would see no reason to voice their concerns.

During the 1v1 meetings:

1. Breaking the ice:

It doesn’t matter whether it is your first day as a manager or you are an experienced one, you need to understand that there are some employees who are never going to break the ice. That is why it is upon you, the manager, to break the ice by adopting from a number of ice-breaking activities. Whenever you are arranging an ice-breaking activity, start with something simple as a lot of employees would not be comfortable talking about themselves right off the bat.

2. Discuss career development:

There are a lot of employees who join organizations with certain careers in mind. While they might not be comfortable talking about themselves, they will be open to discussing what they expect from the organization.

Jeff Butler, On Career Development

Author, keynote speaker, and workplace strategist.

“When you’re working with someone, you need to make sure where they want to go in their career. If you have an idea of this, you can map out where you want to go. Based on that, you can track their progress toward that destination. People can feel success because they know where they’re going and how long to get there.”

3. Provide honest feedback on their performance:

Being transparent with your employees about their performance has a lot of benefits. When you provide honest feedback on how your employees are performing, it would bring out their best.

Jeff Butler, On Providing Honest Feedback on Their Performance

Author, keynote speaker, and workplace strategist.

“When employees are looking to move forward in their careers, people need to know if they’re on-course or off-course. That’s where honest feedback comes into play. If they’re off-course, you need to let them know immediately and don’t try to paint it – being honest is best.”

4. Set measurable short-term and long-term performance goals:

Like everyone else working around the industry, employees who join your organization have some short-term and long-term performance goals. Once managers get employees to discuss it with them, it would be beneficial for both of them.

5. Listen to what they need to be successful:

The relationship between a manager and an employee is a two-way relationship. Hence, listening to employees during meetings would boost their morale in a big way.

6. Ask follow-up questions if necessary:

Having one on one meetings with employees is certainly a great way to maximize employee productivity. However, managers can take it up a notch by asking if the employees have any questions related to their meeting.

Jeff Butler, on Asking Follow-up Questions if Necessary

Author, keynote speaker, and workplace strategist.

“This is very complex because as a manager, it can be very biased to ask people “how am I doing as a manager”? I think a way to get the answer you want without having to ask that question is to instead ask ‘is there anything we can do to help you reach your goals more effectively’. The answers from this should start opening up anything you can do to improve as a manager.”

7. Give employees praise when necessary:

Sometimes, there are employees who go beyond their way to complete a project. When managers praise them for it, they are more likely to do the same the next time. Moreover, this would encourage other employees to do the same.

8. Ask for feedback:

There is absolutely nothing wrong if a manager asks for feedback from his employees. The only way for them to move forward is if both the groups are aware of the areas they are lacking in.

meeting with my boss

What Employees Can Do to Prepare for the next 1v1 meeting:

1. Take notes during the meeting:

Taking meeting notes during a meeting can help employees take note of how they can improve in the areas they didn’t perform well during the meeting.

2. End on a positive note (no matter how the meeting goes):

Regardless of how the meeting goes, both the employee and manager should end the one-on-one meeting on a positive note. This will energize employees for the next meeting.

3. Take note of any next steps for a meeting:

Once you have carefully analyzed how well you did during your meeting, you should work on improving your next meeting by establishing steps for it.


Employees tend to perform well when managers work with them every step of the way. As their leader, it is a manager’s duty not only to tell them how it is done but rather show them. At the end of the day, how well a business does ultimately rests on the hands of the employees and the feedback they get during one-on-one meetings with managers.

Yoyomeeting Helps Managers Schedule & Manage Their Meetings

Finally, an easy-to-use plug-in that helps managers schedule and manage their meetings with their team. Yoyomeeting, a Microsoft meeting minutes software, helps employees and managers keep track of their one-on-one meetings – everything from meeting planning, to meeting recording to meeting recaps.

Here are some of its amazing features:

Learn more about how it works here, or get our 2-week free trial:


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