Management Skills

6 One-on-one meeting templates

4 min read

6 different types of one-on-one meetings that are probably already in your calendar 🗓 and what you should add to your next agenda.

One-on-one meetings are the most important opportunities for managers to give and get feedback, build trust and discuss growth and development with their direct reports. While every team member is different (and your one-on-ones should be tailored to each person!) here are 6 different types of one-on-one meeting templates to jump-start your next conversation.

First one-on-one meeting

In your first meeting with a new or inherited employee, what do you discuss to lay the foundation for a productive working relationship? Instead of sharing historical context on the team or company, use this initial meeting to learn as much as you can about how your new report likes to work, who they are outside of the office and what success looks like to them:

  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • How do you like to communicate? (Phone, email, Slack, etc.)
  • What time of day do you do your best work?
  • What kind of projects are you most excited to work on?
  • What are your 1 year, 3-year, and 5-year career goals?
  • What does success look like for you in 30 days?

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

Weekly one-on-one meeting

Recent findings from our 2019 State of one-on-ones survey show that 48.5% of managers have one-on-ones weekly. If you’re a manager having one-on-ones weekly with your team, chances are your agenda will be shorter as you’re syncing more often. Try using these questions to prompt discussions:

  • What has been the highlight and lowlight of your past week?
  • Goals – how are you tracking this past week? Any blockers I can help remove?
  • What, if anything, feels harder than it should be in your day to day work?
  • If there was one thing I could do differently to help you more, what would it be?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how happy are you with your work-life balance? How can we get closer to 10?

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

Monthly one-on-one meeting

With a larger team of direct reports, your one-on-ones might be monthly instead of weekly or bi-weekly. If that’s the case, you’re hopefully syncing up between meetings via other communication tools, but regardless, your agenda will be a bit more robust. Here’s an agenda to keep the conversation focused and not just another status updates:

  • What were your work and non-work highlights this past month?
  • Goals – how are you tracking and feeling about all things numbers/statistics?
  • What, if anything, feels harder than it should be in your day to day work?
  • How have you felt about my level of presence/support over the past month?
  • What is one thing I could experiment with doing differently this month to help you more?

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

Remote one-on-one meeting

Managers with remote direct reports face different challenges than on-site managers. Often times they’re coordinating different time zones and using additional technology to facilitate their meetings. This 121 meeting template focuses on engaging remote workers that don’t have the added benefit of things like water-cooler chats, or peer lunches:

  • How are things going?
  • What’s something you’re really jazzed about outside of work?
  • What have you been working on this week?
  • What has been the work highlight/lowlight from the past week?
  • What are you working on next week?
  • Where do you need help?
  • Are you happy with our level of communication? How would you change it?
  • What’s top of mind right now that we haven’t talked about yet?

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

Skip level one-on-one meeting

One-on-one meetings that skip a level of management are often more infrequent, happening on a monthly or quarterly basis. The intention of the meeting isn’t to get employees to rag on their boss, but rather to share important information with the employee on larger company objectives, get a pulse on how the employee is engaged and collect feedback. Here are 4 items to discuss in a skip level one-on-one:

  • What are you LEAST clear about – in terms of our strategy and goals?
  • What professional goals would you like to accomplish in the next six to 12 months, and what makes you say that?
  • Are you happy in your role? What could make it better for you?
  • What’s one thing we should start, stop and continue doing as a company?

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

Quarterly performance review one-on-one meeting

Quarterly reviews are unique to every company. Some focus heavily on self-assessments and peer feedback, while others focus on goals and objectives. This template marries performance feedback with goals to prompt a well-rounded discussion:

  • Self-assessment and peer feedback review
  • Performance against objectives
  • Wins, strengths and opportunities to grow
  • Areas for improvement
  • Concerns, questions and clarification

👉 Try this template in SoapBox.

For more one-on-one meeting templates, check out our gallery of free agenda templates.