15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (2023)

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (1)

Because your people are the foundation of your business, building strong employee relationships is key to running a successful business. And the best way to build those relationships is to commit to regular 1-on-1 meetings with every employee.

Regarding a survey,48% of executiveshave regular weekly meetings. These meetings are used to build relationships with employees while providing them with direct support.

It might be difficult to start - and even more difficult to make a habit of. However, tools like TINYpulse Coach help automate scheduling and send 1-to-1 surveys ahead of time so managers can prepare for all meetings ahead of time. Using such tools not only makes scheduling and running meetings easier, but also keeps them consistent.

The importance of one-on-one meetings

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1-on-1 meetings may sound daunting from the start, for both the employee and the manager. But in reality it is exactly the opposite. That's because 1-to-1 meetings allow both parties to express themselves without having to worry about anyone else. In fact, according to Gallup, it's employees who have regular 1-on-1 meetings3 timesmore engaged than those who are not.

Some people fear that speaking up to their bosses, even in 1-on-1 meetings, can lead to negative repercussions. However, it has proven time and time again that the best time to raise concerns is at these meetings.

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In fact, this sharing of both professional and personal information leads to better employee-manager relationships. It helps employees trust their managers more and helps managers to understand and empathize with their employees.

In addition, 1-on-1 meetings also build a two-way feedback channel where both parties can praise, criticize, and provide feedback on various factors. This helps both the employee and manager to learn, adapt and develop new skills.

Ultimately, increased employee engagement leads to better employee retention as well as happier and more motivated employees.

(Video) 15 Questions To Ask Your Manager During Your 1:1 | Tips From An HR Professional

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (4)

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (5)

It may feel like it's difficult to get started and keep 1-to-1 meetings consistent. However, if you treat them like any other meeting with an agenda, you won't have any problems.

You can use the following list in the exact order as a template for your meetings. Once you get the hang of it, you can customize the questions to suit your needs, your business, and your employees.

Check-in questions about the life of the employee

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1. How are you feeling these days?

It's important to start with something simple, familiar, and something personal so you can gauge how an employee is feeling about the meeting. For example, a clear answer indicates that they are looking forward to this meeting - while a vague answer indicates that they are nervous and have something on their mind.

2. Since we last met, what are you most proud of and why?

Ask about their greatest accomplishments at work or outside of work. From there, give credit or connect with them on a personal level.

3. What support do you need from me this week? What's your top priority for next week?

Then you enter the working life of the employee. Communicate openly about obstacles and obstacles, and let employees know you're here to help them improve their jobs and advance their careers. Then inquire about her work-related plans for the next week. Align key deliverables and ensure people are tackling the right tasks at the right time.

Questions about career goals and aspirations

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (7)4. What achievement in your career are you looking forward to this year?

It's best to understand your employees' career progression and where they want their careers to take them. This can help you provide them with the means or help them achieve what they want.

5. What part of your job and role gives you the most energy and motivation?

(Video) 5 Questions to ask in EVERY One-on-One Meeting

This question is about understanding what an employee can specialize in to get ahead. It can help you offer them future projects they like and support their professional development.

6. Do you feel that your current responsibilities and job align with your future goals?

The answer to this question will tell you if this employee is the right person for the job. It can help you give the employee relevant responsibilities or offer them a position that fits their goals.

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Questions to discuss obstacles in the employee's life

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7. What do you think is holding you back from getting closer to your goals?

This is where you start checking if the employee has any issues or problems, both professionally and personally. This is an opportunity to help your employees achieve their goals. The answer to that can also be a precursor to question three in upcoming 1-on-1 meetings.

8. Do you feel that something or someone in the company is interfering with your work in any way?

This question helps weed out cross-company issues due to other employees, devices, or even a company process. This is also an opportunity to fix or improve business processes.

9. Are there any outside matters that make it difficult for you to concentrate on your work?

This helps paint a complete picture of what an employee might be going through. Knowledge of both personal and professional issues can help fully understand the issues an employee may be facing and gives you the opportunity to help resolve those issues.

Questions to measure how happy and satisfied the employee is

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10. On a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with your current job, responsibilities and position?

It is important to understand how your employees feel about their work and responsibilities. You can dive deeper by asking each employee to highlight their reviews. This can also be an indicator of whether it's a good time to promote someone.

(Video) 10 Questions to Ask in One on One Meetings

11. Do you feel that your work makes a positive contribution to the company/industry/the world?

Ask this question based on your company's size, goals, and values. It helps you understand how motivated the employee is when it comes to their work.

12. Do you think you have a good work-life balance? If not, why do you think this is and what can we do to improve it?

This question provides insight into your day-to-day organizational practices and shows whether employees are under- or over-worked or whether they are doing well. It also provides insights into an employee's psychological profile, so you can use this information to achieve a better work-life balance (as the employee sees it).

Self Improvement Discussion Questions

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13. Do you think you receive appropriate feedback? How often do you think feedback sessions should be held?

The answers to this question are used to check how employees feel about feedback and whether they consider it necessary. If the employee wants to increase the frequency of feedback, it shows that these meetings and feedback sessions are working. If the opposite is true, this is an indication that some part of the meeting or feedback session is not up to standards.

14. What feedback and suggestions do you have for me and the company?

Since the idea is to develop a two-way feedback channel, you should ask the employee for feedback and suggestions. You might get some good, insightful information while giving your employees a chance to feel empowered. If you respond to any of their suggestions, they will surely remember it positively.

15. Is there anything I can help you with after this meeting? Is there anything we missed that you would like to discuss?

Ending the meeting open-ended is important because it leaves the door open for further discussion, which can even take place after the meeting itself. It's also a good way to set the agenda for the following meeting. On the other hand, it gives the employee the opportunity to express his thoughts freely.

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Bonus: Questions to Ask in Your First 1-on-1 Meeting

15 questions to ask in every 1-on-1 meeting (13)

If this is your first time running 1-on-1 meetings, you can still ask the above questions (with minor adjustments). However, it is more important that the first meeting is relaxed and smooth.

You need to set the time and agenda, and agree on certain guidelines. It's also important to ask employees what they expect from these meetings and how they think these meetings can help them.

Here are some questions to include in your first 1-on-1 meeting.

1. Are you comfortable with 1-on-1 meetings? How well do you accept constructive feedback?

This question is only used to see if the employee is nervous about the meeting. The second part can show you how deep you can take the meeting. It's best to offer some form of constructive criticism after the employee has answered this question to gauge their responses.

2. Do you think these meetings should be every week/month/quarter?

This way you can find out whether the interview had a positive effect on the employee. It also tells you how many 1-on-1 meetings you can have with this employee without getting in the way of their work or angering them.

3. What are your expectations of these meetings? Do you think they will help you and the company?

This is the most important question of your first meeting, but it's best to ask it at the end. It shows you how positively the employee responded to the meeting and how excited they are about future meetings. It also gives you the ability to streamline your future meetings to be more helpful to each individual employee.

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Build better relationships with personalized meetings

The whole idea of ​​1-on-1s is to hold personalized meetings so that relationships between managers and employees can be nurtured. A safe space to talk allows both the employee and manager to be more open and direct with each other.

(Video) How to have EFFECTIVE 1:1 MEETINGS - Just ask these four questions...

Privacy is a major concern for most employees when it comes to speaking out about issues. This is why 1-to-1 meetings are successful; They ensure privacy and allow any controversial information to remain between the manager and the employee.

At the same time, it gives the manager the opportunity to fix problems without setbacks.

All in all, 1-to-1 meetings always result in better employee engagement, higher employee retention, and higher employee satisfaction and motivation. What's not to like?


What do you talk about in a 1x1 meeting? ›

1-on-1 agendas should be collaborative. Managers should encourage direct reports to share what they would like to discuss. Common topics can include current goals, feedback, recognition, career aspirations, and more.

What are some good questions to ask in a meeting? ›

Top 10 questions for team meetings in 2022
  • What's our biggest challenge as a team? ...
  • What are the biggest time wasters for you each week? ...
  • When's the best time to give feedback on your work? ...
  • How can we improve the way our team works together? ...
  • As a team, is there anything we should START doing?

What questions we can ask in all hands meeting? ›

Questions to Ask in All Hands Meeting
  • What's the future direction for the company? ...
  • What are some growing threats in our industry that we should be aware of? ...
  • What challenges is the company currently facing? ...
  • How are we planning to address [enter relevant topic]?
  • What upcoming projects are we working on?
Jan 5, 2023

What are the four questions to lead a meeting? ›

Getting Started with Four Types of Questions- ORID

ORID is derived from the four levels of inquiry: Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional.

What are good questions to ask senior leaders? ›

Strategic questions to ask senior leaders
  • What are the biggest challenges facing our industry?
  • How did you get where you are today?
  • What do you see as the next big trend in our field?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to career growth in our industry?
  • What are some tips for success in our field?
Nov 12, 2022

What are some fun questions to ask coworkers? ›

Quick icebreaker questions
  • What's your biggest claim to fame?
  • What's your best party trick?
  • What is a weird fact that you know?
  • Who is your favourite comedian?
  • Who is your favourite actor?
  • What is your favourite book?
  • What is your favourite movie?
  • What is your favourite song?

How do you ask smart questions in a meeting? ›

If you're struggling to ask the right questions, try these tips in your next meeting.
  1. Clarify the purpose of the meeting.
  2. Question the questions.
  3. Broaden your group.
  4. Draw in quiet participants.
  5. Look to sustainability and scalability.
  6. Look for faults.
  7. Identify the next step.
Jun 14, 2017

What are 10 questions to ask? ›

Questions to Ask People to Get to Know Them
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • What is your astrological sign?
  • What motivates you to work hard?
  • If money were no object, how would you spend your time?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

What are some creative questions to ask? ›

Interesting questions to ask someone
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • If you could choose a brand new name for yourself, what would it be?
  • If you could learn one skill instantly, what would it be?
  • If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
  • If you suddenly had powers of invisibility, what would you use them for?
Jun 3, 2022

What are the best 21 questions? ›

21 Questions List
  • What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?
  • If you could travel to any year in a time machine, what year would you choose and why?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • What's one of the most fun childhood memories you have?
May 5, 2021

What are the 7 key questions? ›

Ask the right question: Who, What, Why, When, Where, How, How Much? - Consultant's Mind. These 7 key questions are a great checklist, but also a sanity check.

What are the 6 critical questions? ›

Instead of blending the two cultures into a stew, the new leadership team used the six critical questions to prompt open dialogue.
In short, they include:
  • Why do we exist? Beyond making money.
  • What do we do? ...
  • How will we behave? ...
  • How will we succeed? ...
  • What's most important, right now? ...
  • Who does what?

What are the 3 P's of a meeting? ›

The 3 P's stand for Purpose, Process and Product. They are, in short, the reason why, the how and the what next of every meeting agenda, formal correspondences, project plans and every other type of problem-solving that you may encounter at work, at home, in your volunteer activities or in your lifelong learning.

What are the three big strategic questions? ›

He taught that the three most important strategic questions each company must answer are:
  • What is our business? (Mission)
  • What will our business be? (The changing environment that we are certain about)
  • What should our business be? (Vision)
Apr 11, 2017

What are strategic questions? ›

STRATEGIC QUESTIONING is the skill of asking the questions that will make a difference. It is a powerful tool for personal and social change. It is a tool for giving service to any issue ... as it helps people discover their own strategies and ideas for change.

What is the best leadership question? ›

Here are some common questions that are often asked during a leadership interview: Tell me about a time you improved your company performance in some way. Tell me about a time you took the lead in a team project. Tell me about a time you struggled with work-life balance.

How do you structure a 1 1 meeting? ›

Follow these steps to create an effective one-on-one meeting agenda:
  1. Set up the document. The agenda is an actual document that you can see and adjust. ...
  2. Set the date, time and location. ...
  3. Set the objective. ...
  4. Determine the agenda items. ...
  5. Create and share an employee's copy. ...
  6. Update the agenda.
Sep 29, 2021

What should you not do in one-on-one meeting? ›

We hope they will help you get started with one-on-one meetings the right way and bring all the benefits!
  • No agenda, no preparation. ...
  • No notes, no follow-ups. ...
  • Talking too much. ...
  • Not keeping the conversational tone. ...
  • Rushing through the meeting. ...
  • Turning One-on-Ones into the status update. ...
  • Not meeting regularly.

How do you run an effective one-on-one meeting? ›

Don't do all the talking. While it's important to ask questions, provide feedback, and coach your employees during a one-on-one, by no means should you be doing all the talking in your meetings. Instead, encourage your employees to lead your one-on-ones, and kick off the agenda with what they want to discuss first.

How long should one on ones be? ›

How long should a one-on-one be? The length of your one-on-one meetings is tied to the frequency because you might decide to have shorter meetings more often, or longer meetings less often. If you only meet with your direct reports monthly, schedule a full 45-60 minutes to make sure you have time to cover everything.

What makes a successful meeting? ›

An effective meeting brings a thoughtfully selected group of people together for a specific purpose, provides a forum for open discussion, and delivers a tangible result: a decision, a plan, a list of great ideas to pursue, a shared understanding of the work ahead.

What is the most common mistake that happens in a meeting? ›

Mistake #1: Too Many Meetings

One of the biggest complaints of professionals is too many meetings on the calendar and not enough time to get important work done. Often people will disengage from meetings when there are too many, making it nearly impossible to have a productive and effective team meeting.

What should I ask my manager during one on one? ›

Here are some examples of what to ask your manager during one on one meetings to check in with their expectations:
  • What am I doing well and why?
  • What do I need to change? Why and how?
  • What I should stop doing? And Why?
Apr 20, 2020

Does and don'ts minutes in a meeting? ›

Ask for clarification during the meeting so that your minutes can be accurate. Do not switch tenses throughout the minutes. Use one tense (past tense works well). Personal observations or judgmental comments should not be included in meeting minutes.

What are the seven steps you can do to run an effective meeting? ›

Seven steps to better meetings
  1. Pin down the purpose. Be clear about the purpose of the meeting and what you expect from the participants. ...
  2. Invite the right people. ...
  3. Send out background info. ...
  4. Set an agenda. ...
  5. Meeting environment – make sure the technology works. ...
  6. Dynamic – include everyone. ...
  7. Follow up quickly.

How do you start a one on one? ›

You'll have to do a bit of homework prior to every one-on-one, especially if you are starting from scratch.
  1. 1) Set the context of human care. ...
  2. 2) Paint a picture of what excellence looks like. ...
  3. 3) Set an agenda. ...
  4. 4) Create a plan. ...
  5. 8) Discuss challenges. ...
  6. 9) Hold your employees accountable. ...
  7. 10) Ask about morale.


1. 6 Tips for Productive 1:1 Meetings with Your Manager
(Jeff Su)
2. The Basics Of One-On-One Meetings
(Bernd Geropp)
3. One on One Meetings With Your Manager & Direct Reports - Tips & Tricks
(Productivity ACE)
4. How To Conduct a 1:1 Meeting With Your Direct Reports
(Dan Martell)
5. The Power of 1-on-1 Employee Meetings: What Questions Should You Ask?
(We Are Macaw)
6. Questions for Your First One on One Meeting | Weekly Dose | Fellow.app
(Fellow App: Meeting Productivity & Management Tips)


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