We are proud to present an in-depth look into how managers approach one-on-ones.

Surveyed 200+ managers

Across 30+ industries

Collectively managing 985 direct reports

Collectively over 1280 years of management experience

Across 5 continents!

01

The State

The State of One-on-ones report uses data collected from over 200 different managers from various industries and fields of expertise to present a holistic view of how managers approach one-on-one meetings. Scroll through some of the key findings and download the full report for industry breakdowns, remote work statistics, and more.

Two managers in a one-on-one meeting

Who is having one-on-ones?

94%

of managers

surveyed are having one-on-ones.

Of the 6% who aren’t, the most cited reason is lack of time.

How often are one-on-one meetings? 📅

48.5%

of managers have weekly one-on-ones.

02

The Meeting

75% of managers reported discussing growth and development in one-on-ones with their team, while only 23% discuss alignment to company mission. Nearly half of managers surveyed report that the agenda for one-on-one meetings is a shared responsibility.

A manager and employee drawing on a whiteboard

What is the purpose of one-on-one meetings?

70.4%

Understand and eliminate roadblocks

60.7%

Pulse check (i.e. Are they engaged, happy, upset?)

53.6%

Status update (i.e. How are specific projects coming along?)

What are the topics managers speak most about in one-on-ones?

75%

Growth and development

47%

Connection to people and/or work

58%

Performance

45%

Autonomy and accountability

49%

Employee motivation

23%

Alignment to company mission

Who is responsible for the meeting agenda? 🙋🏻‍♀️

49%

of managers say that both the manager and employee own the meeting agenda

15%

of managers own the meeting agenda but wish their direct reports would

03

The Challenges

The biggest challenge managers reported having with one-on-ones is ensuring they are providing value to their direct reports. An overwhelming 68% of managers say juggling their responsibilities along with managing a team is their biggest challenge as a people leader.

Managers and employees working together

What are the biggest challenges managers have with one-on-ones?

The top 3 challenges managers face when it comes to one-on-one meetings are:

34%

Ensuring I’m providing value to my direct report

22%

Getting my direct reports to contribute to the agenda

17%

Having meaningful productive conversations

What tools are being used for agendas and notes in one-on-one meetings? 📝

41.3%

Personal productivity/note-taking tools

(Google docs, Apple notes, etc)

34.2%

Pen and paper

27%

Communication tool

(Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc)

21.4%

1:1 and team meeting software

(SoapBox, Humbledot, etc)

14.8%

Project management tool

(Asana, Trello, etc)

15.3%

Other tools

(Wiki, HR, collaboration tools)

10%

No tools

What is the biggest challenge managers have as people leaders?

68.3%

Juggling managing my team with my other responsibilities

14.4%

Hitting team goals

10.6%

Getting my team to collaborate with one another

3.8%

Retaining my employees

2.9%

Other

04

The Manager

54% of managers say they use Slack as their primary communication tool with their team. 41% of managers said they use personal productivity tools for one-on-one meetings.

What’s the most important part of a manager’s role?

37% - Keep the team on track to achieve goals

26% - Provide direct reports with growth and development opportunities

22% - Remove any blockers from my team

13% - Create a safe working environment for my team

2% - Other

Download the full report for more insight into:

  • Remote vs onsite managers (who has a harder time retaining employees?)
  • Do larger organizations run one-on-ones differently from smaller organizations?
  • Do tech and software companies approach one-on-ones uniquely?
  • Which departments spend the most time in one-on-one meetings?
Download the report