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It has been said for years that people do not leave companies, they leave managers. With the hiring, retention, and employment/unemployment challenges in today’s environment, this is truer than ever. Because of that, good one-on-one (1:1) management is critical. Below are some of the best ways to perform meaningful 1:1’s using technology and good leadership.


To facilitate great meetings, we also recommend that you consider a platform focused on good 1:1 meetings. There are a few good systems available, and your payroll or HR platform might have options.

For a great 1:1, the key requirements include the following:

  1. Information must be secure.
  2. Information should be portable from manager to manager (should a manager change).
  3. Information can be completed in advance for better preparation.
  4. The system should allow for scoring.

Items that aren’t required but are nice to have:

  1. Private notes for the supervisor.
  2. Reminders for both individuals (reminder to discuss anniversaries, birthdays, etc.).
  3. Reminders to prepare for the meeting.

One of our favorite solutions is MeetingZen, which can be used for 1:1’s as well as other meetings. If you would rather not invest in another system, a good one-on-one can also be facilitated by adding a form into Microsoft Teams. You can find instructions for that here. Simply set up a team between the two individuals and add the form as necessary. You might even add one form for a weekly meeting and one for a quarterly or annual check-in.


To ensure consistency, developing a good agenda is critical. We recommend that the meeting have at least three parts: operational challenges, personal development, and professional development. The tool you use can simply have a section designated for each topic. You can add sections to your meeting agenda as you feel the need.

Next, add questions to the platform that make the most sense for the organization and the two people meeting. We recommend picking five to eight questions and keeping them the same for at least a quarter, but some can go on for years. Obviously, some of these questions do not need to be asked weekly, but others certainly can and should be. To provide you with an example, over the years, we have found that the following questions create the best outcomes:



  1. What operational challenges are you dealing with that you’d like to discuss? This could be deadlines that aren’t realistic, workloads that are too high or too low, resources that you don’t have, training you may need, etc.
  2. Do you feel like you know what success is for your role?
    1. Are you set up for success? If not, why?


  1. What is the biggest challenge that you are dealing with right now?
  2. Is there anything causing you an abnormal amount of stress, work-related or otherwise? You can say yes and share—or just let me know there is something without sharing.
  3. What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment since we last met?
  4. Is there something you feel is undervalued that you contribute to the team?
  5. How do you prefer recognition? Would you prefer that it stay between you and me, or can I share with the team so others can hear about your achievements?


  1. Is there an aspect of your job with which you would like more help or coaching?
  2. If you were the supervisor evaluating yourself, what area would you focus on as needing improvement?
    1. What would you make sure to point out as a success, capability, or accomplishment?


  1. On a scale of one to five, how do you feel you have performed since our last meeting?
    1. Why?
    2. As your supervisor, I would put you at a ____ on the same scale. Here is why my answer is the same or different. Let’s make sure we agree on the scale and your performance, so there are no surprises.
  2. What is something you are proud of that you have accomplished or done since our last meeting?
  3. What is something that you wish you would have handled differently since the last time we met?
  4. Is there anything that has occurred since our last meeting that you’d like to discuss?


  1. Are you committed to the goals we have set?
  2. On a scale of one to ten, how committed are you?
    1. What issues do we need to address to make sure you can commit to a ten?


  1. How would you rate the performance of the team?
  2. How would you rate the culture of the team?
  3. Is there a skill or set of skills you believe the team needs to be more successful?
  4. Is there someone on the team you’d like to brag about? What about anyone on other teams you work with?
  5. Is there someone on the team you are concerned about for any reason?
  6. Is everyone pulling their weight on the team?
  7. How could we improve the ways our team works together?
  8. Would you like more direction—or less—from me on your work?
  9. What do you think we should focus on the most over the next three months?


  1. What is one thing we’d be crazy not to do in the next quarter to improve our product/service?
  2. If you were CEO, what’s the first thing you’d change?
  3. What is the number one problem at our company? Why?


  1. During what part of the day do you have the most energy and focus?
    1. When do you have the least?
    2. What changes could we make to your work schedule to accommodate this?
  2. What are the biggest time wasters for you each week?
  3. What makes you excited and motivated (what creates the most energy)?


  1. What are your superpowers?
  2. What powers would you like to develop?
  3. What is one thing we could do today to help you with your long-term goals?


    1. What do you like about my management style? What do you dislike?
    1. What aspect of their work are they an unsung hero for doing? Recognize their efforts and achievements that might be taken for granted.
    2. What is a recent situation you wish you had handled differently? What would you change?

By putting the questions into a consistent platform, both parties can prepare in advance. Ideally, the information would be populated the day before the meeting, so both parties have time to read through them and prepare. Supervisors can list operational challenges, complete the ratings, or just put in notes.

If you simply cannot put a platform or solution in place at this time, at the very least, you can create and maintain a shared spreadsheet to help facilitate collaboration and keep a record of progress stemming from one-on-one discussions.

Great 1:1 meetings are critical to ensure your team is happy and aligned for success in business today. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help make sure you have the right technology in place, just schedule a call here.

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