Employee Motivation

75% of managers discuss growth and development during one-on-one meetings

3 min read

If you're not talking about growth and development in your one-on-ones, it's time to start.

In our recent report, The 2019 State of One-on-ones, we surveyed over 200 managers across multiple industries, experience levels, departments and physical locations to learn more about how they approach one-on-ones, their goals, challenges and more. 

The survey found that 74.5% of managers surveyed discuss growth and development within their one-on-one meetings. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 74.5% of managers discuss growth and development
  • 57.7% of managers discuss performance
  • 48.5% discuss employee motivation 
  • 46.9% talk about an employee’s connection to the people and work within the company
  • 44.9% discuss topics related to autonomy and accountability 
  • 23% discuss an employee’s alignment to the company mission and vision

Why managers need to discuss growth and development in every one-on-one 

One-on-ones are dedicated time for managers to hyperfocus on one direct report. They help managers gain a better understanding of how a direct report is feeling about their role, and how they would like to progress within an organization. 

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace found that when employees have consistent performance feedback, they become emotionally and psychologically attached to their work and their workplace. As a result, that individual’s performance is boosted and experience higher levels of productivity, safety and quality. There are four levels of an employee’s performance development needs: 

  1. Basic needs
  2. Individual needs
  3. Teamwork needs
  4. Personal growth needs

Personal growth needs include: 

  • “In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.”
  • “This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.”

Growth and development conversations are directly tied to an individual’s level of engagement. So, as a manager, it’s an extremely important conversation to continuously have with each direct report. 

Growth and development one-on-one questions

Try adding one of these questions to your next one-on-one agenda:

  • What areas of the company would you like to learn more about?
  • What skills would you like to develop right now?
  • What professional goals would you like to accomplish in the next 6 to 12 months, and what makes you say that?
  • Do you feel you’re getting enough feedback on your work?  If not, where would you like more feedback?
  • Who in the company would you like to learn from? What do you want to learn?
  • If you could improve one skill between this meeting and the next, which would you choose?
  • How can I better support you?
  • How would you like to use your education budget this year? 
  • What’s something you’d like to focus on more next quarter?
  • What’s one thing you really wanted to do last quarter but didn’t get a chance to?
  • Where do you see yourself within the team in the next year?
  • What conferences and/or events are happening in your space that you’d like to attend?
  • What resources can I or the company provide that would help you excel further in your role?

According to Gallup’s State of The American Manager report, “managers who want to build stronger relationships with their employees should make regular meetings a priority, but they should also strive to communicate, in some way, with each team member every day.”

For managers who are talking about growth and development on an ongoing basis, keep it up! For those who aren’t, it’s as simple as adding in an agenda item during your next one-on-one meeting.