Important Questions Managers Should be Asking in One-on-One Meetings

Regular one-on-one meetings with your direct reports are an excellent opportunity to build trust, enhance relationships, and help everyone on your team grow in their roles and perform to their maximum potential. They’re a win for everyone involved: the improved job satisfaction, engagement, and productivity that stem from such conversations ultimately means better business results and profitability.

During one-on-one sessions, you should let your employee do most of the talking. It’s your job to actively listen until you get the answers you’re looking for. But it all starts with asking the right questions to begin with. Here are five to get you started down the road to effective, results-oriented communication:

1. “How are you?”

This question may not seem relevant to work on the surface, but starting your meeting on a personal note can be the ice breaker your employee needs to begin speaking openly about projects and business issues. Moreover, it shows that you truly care.

  • Find out how they’re feeling, both about work and outside of it. How are they doing as a person? What’s going on in their life?
  • 2. “Do you have any updates from our last meeting?”

    Before you begin discussing new topics, tie up any loose ends from your most recent meeting. Don’t assume everything is copasetic; be absolutely sure. This is a great question to clear up any miscommunication or misunderstandings and make sure all the key details of a project or development have been attended to. And it will lead right into:

    3. “What are you currently focusing on?”

    Encourage your employee to discuss their priorities and current “hot” assignments. Manage expectations on both sides and make sure they align.

  • Is your direct report on track to meet deadlines and achieve desired goals?
  • Are they focusing on the right things?
  • Do they have everything they need to be successful?
  • 4. “How do you think your team is doing?”

    This question serves several valuable purposes. It enables you to get your employee’s perspective on how things might be more collaborative or improve workflow. In addition, it allows them to provide valuable input, as well as feel empowered. They’ll likely feel revitalized returning to work, knowing they’ve been heard.

    5. “Do you have any questions for me?”

    A one-on-one meeting is a good opportunity to determine whether an employee needs assistance, clarification, or more information on anything – from whatever they’re working on to what’s going on with your business. They may be hesitant to ask, so this opens the door. Be as transparent as you can when you reply.

    For additional guidance in holding successful meetings, strengthening communication and active listening skills, and other team training and development aspects, consider partnering with PrideStaff Fresno. Our mission is to deliver what matters most when it comes to staffing and talent management in areas including administration, customer service, IT, accounting and finance, legal support, healthcare, and production. Contact us today to learn more.