Unlock the Power of 1 on 1 Meeting: Benefits, Tips & Templates for Managers and Employees

By Rad Aswani

In today’s fast-paced work environment, the key to a successful team often lies in the quality of communication between managers and employees. 1 on 1 meeting sessions have emerged as a powerful tool to foster this communication, leading to higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and improved business outcomes. But how can you harness the power of these 1 on 1 meeting opportunities to benefit both managers and employees? In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of 1 on 1 meeting strategies, from their purpose and importance to effective planning strategies, templates, and tips for successful conversations.

Short Summary

  • 1:1 Meetings are essential for fostering trust, increasing employee engagement & driving team performance.
  • Benefits include improved feedback and personal growth to higher productivity and better business outcomes.
  • Successful 1:1 conversations involve active listening, open communication & building rapport strategies.

Understanding 1:1 Meetings


One-on-one meetings, also known as one on ones, are a useful tool in managing teams. They are also referred to as 1:1s and involve regular conversations between managers and team members. These meetings provide valuable opportunities to review progress, address concerns, and improve job satisfaction for both parties. By focusing on key talking points and fostering a productive working relationship, one on one meetings can significantly enhance employee engagement and collaboration. 

In fact, the 90:10 rule suggests that managers should aim to listen 90% of the time and speak only 10% during these meetings to ensure effective communication.

Definition and purpose

One-on-one meetings are regular check-ins between a manager and an employee to discuss work progress, personal growth, and address any relevant matters. The purpose of these meetings is to gain an understanding of the individual’s sentiment in recent weeks, explore their career interests in other departments within the organization, and gain insight into their perspective on the team restructuring. Topics discussed in a 1-on-1 meeting may include current objectives, feedback, appreciation, and career ambitions.

By establishing a trusting and productive work relationship, one-on-one meetings can lead to increased job satisfaction, personal development, and overall well-being for employees. In addition, these meetings provide a platform for managers to offer constructive feedback and recognize the accomplishments of their direct reports, further enhancing employee motivation and engagement. According to Gallup, whenever managers offer weekly feedback, as compared to annual feedback, their team members have a much higher degree of motivation.

The Importance of Regular 1:1 Meetings

Consistent one-on-one meetings can lead to numerous benefits, such as increased employee engagement, better communication, and improved overall team performance. Transparency and upward feedback are particularly important in 1:1 meetings, as they enable managers to gain insight into their team members’ performance and development while fostering trust between both parties. Bi-weekly meetings are recommended, as they ensure that managers and their direct reports stay connected and informed about each other’s progress and challenges.

Project Oxygen, a research initiative by Google, has revealed that managers who actively engage with their team members in regular one-on-one meetings generally receive better ratings of performance. On the contrary, those without such close involvement usually get comparatively lower grades. This highlights the importance of maintaining frequent communication and feedback to drive team performance, employee engagement, and overall business success.

Benefits of 1:1 Meetings


One-on-one meetings offer a range of benefits at various levels within an organization. For employees, they provide valuable feedback, support, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Managers can use 1:1 meetings to guide team development, address issues, and receive feedback to improve their leadership skills. At the business level, regular one-on-one meetings contribute to higher employee engagement, increased productivity, and better business outcomes.

In the following subsections, we’ll delve deeper into the benefits of 1:1 meetings for employees, managers, and the business impact, shedding light on the advantages that come with effective and regular one-on-one communication.

Employee Benefits

One-on-one meetings provide employees with valuable feedback, support, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. By discussing career goals during these meetings, managers can gain insight into an individual’s ambitions and interests, both in and beyond their current role. Open communication during 1:1 meetings is crucial, as it enables employees to effectively convey their experiences, objectives, ideas, and obstacles while giving their manager the necessary information to provide support.

Collaborating with managers through proactive preparation and active participation in one-on-one meetings can facilitate productive discussions that lead to:

  • Meaningful career development
  • Enhanced job satisfaction
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Higher motivation
  • Stronger commitment to work and the organization

Manager Benefits

Managers can utilize one-on-one meetings to direct team growth, tackle problems, and gain feedback to enhance their management abilities. By inquiring about team members’ needs and gaining insight into their managerial expectations, managers can continuously improve their performance and better support their direct reports. Weekly feedback, as opposed to annual feedback, has been shown to result in more motivated and engaged team members.

Gallup’s State of the Workplace 2021 Report reveals that a 20% pay raise is necessary to motivate most employees to switch away from a manager who engages them. Surprisingly, almost no incentive is needed for most disengaged workers to change companies. This emphasizes the importance of effective one-on-one meetings in fostering employee engagement and retention.

Business Impact

Regular one-on-one meetings can lead to significant benefits for the business, such as heightened employee engagement, improved productivity, and enhanced business results. Google’s Project Oxygen research indicates that managers who have 1:1 meetings with their reports show higher performance ratings. Those who do not have such meetings tend to receive lower ratings.

Furthermore, replacing annual reviews with one-on-one meetings provides a continuous feedback system, encouraging prompt communication of any issues and enhancing employee motivation and engagement. By offering employees the opportunity to gain insight into the company’s direction and the role of their work in the overall plan, regular 1:1 meetings also increase employee engagement within the organization.

Combined, these factors contribute to a more successful and thriving business.

Planning and Conducting Effective 1:1 Meetings


Effective planning and execution of 1:1 meetings are essential for strengthening relationships, promoting candid communication, and ensuring that nothing critical is overlooked. To achieve this, it is important to consider the following factors when planning and conducting 1:1 meetings that lead to productive conversations:

  • Frequency and duration of the meetings
  • Meeting location
  • Agenda
  • Meeting goal

By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your 1:1 meetings are effective and beneficial for both you and the other party involved.

In the following subsections, we’ll explore these factors in detail and provide tips for setting up and conducting successful one-on-one meetings.

Setting the Frequency and Duration

Determining the ideal frequency and duration of one-on-one meetings is crucial for maintaining regular contact and effective team management. It is generally recommended that one-on-one meetings occur weekly or bi-weekly for a duration of 30 to 60 minutes. Weekly meetings should be the default to ensure that no one falls out of touch, as a lot can happen in a month. However, given the size of the team or the nature of the work, it may be acceptable to hold 1:1 meetings every other week.

By batching up topics to be discussed with one’s manager or direct report over a specific time period, such as the past week, managers and employees can make the most of their one-on-one meetings. Rather than scheduling a separate meeting for every issue that arises, it is beneficial to identify a mutually convenient time in both schedules to address any matters that come up between meetings.

Choosing the Meeting Location


Selecting an appropriate meeting location is crucial for facilitating a conducive and productive atmosphere for both parties. When choosing a meeting location for 1:1 meetings, it is important to ensure that it is comfortable, quiet, and easily accessible for both parties, whether in-person or via video chat. 

For managers looking to increase speed of communication and productivity, they may want to explore using a communication tool the replicates the benefits of a physical office. Kumospace is the leading video conferencing product for increasing speed and efficenty of team communication.

By choosing a suitable location, managers and employees can fully focus on the conversation at hand and address important topics without distractions. This encourages open communication and strengthens the manager-employee relationship.

Creating an Agenda

Creating an agenda for 1:1 meetings is important to ensure that the meeting is productive and efficient. An effective agenda should include:

  • Date, time, and location
  • Objectives
  • Check-in and call-back questions
  • Main agenda items
  • Achievements
  • Expectations/goals

It should prioritize the most important topics, avoid status updates, and set a deadline for both parties. Additionally, it is essential to structure the meeting as a conversation rather than a report-out, ensuring effective meeting notes are taken.

Requesting feedback on a 1:1 meeting agenda template offers the advantage of:

  • Gathering input and recommendations from direct reports and colleagues
  • Enhancing the efficacy of the template
  • Involving employees in the agenda creation process
  • Ensuring that all relevant topics are covered
  • Focusing and making the conversation productive

Templates for Different Types of 1:1 Meetings


A variety of one-on-one meeting templates are available to suit different situations and objectives, including:

These templates can help structure the conversation and ensure that all important topics are discussed.

In the following subsections, we’ll explore different types of 1:1 meeting templates and their specific purposes.

Regular Check-in Template

A regular check-in template is designed for routine check-ins between managers and their direct reports to discuss progress, challenges, and goals. This type of template can help keep meetings focused and organized while ensuring that all pertinent topics are addressed. By regularly evaluating progress and addressing any difficulties, managers can provide guidance and support to their direct reports, fostering a positive working relationship and contributing to overall team success.

By using a regular check-in template, managers can ensure that their one-on-one meetings with employees are productive and effective, ultimately leading to better communication, increased employee engagement, and higher overall team performance.

New Team Member Template

The new team member template is designed for the first one-on-one meeting with a new team member to establish trust and set expectations. During this initial meeting, managers should take the time to greet the new employee, identify their inclinations, and facilitate their onboarding process. Questions to ask during this first meeting may include inquiries about their experience working remotely, their preferred method of communication, and their long-term and short-term goals.

By using a new team member template, managers can:

  • Create a positive foundation for their relationship with the new employee
  • Ensure that the new employee feels supported and engaged from the very beginning
  • Set the stage for a successful working relationship
  • Contribute to overall team cohesion and performance.

Goal-setting Template

The goal-setting template is designed to focus on setting and reviewing individual and team objectives during one-on-one meetings. While there is no specific or standard goal-setting template for 1:1 meetings, it may vary depending on the company and manager’s preferences. The intent of this template is to facilitate the setting and review of individual and team objectives in a focused and organized manner.

By using a goal-setting template during 1:1 meetings, managers and employees can ensure that they are aligned on key priorities and expectations, fostering a more productive and successful working relationship.

Performance Review Template

The performance review template provides a framework for discussing performance evaluations, feedback, and areas for improvement during one-on-one meetings. The agenda and pertinent talking points for the performance review template may vary based on the company and the manager’s preferences, but it is essential to have an agenda and pertinent talking points to discuss.

By utilizing a performance review template during 1:1 meetings, managers can provide constructive feedback, recognize employee achievements, and identify areas for improvement in a structured and clear manner. This not only contributes to an employee’s personal and professional growth, but also enhances overall team performance.

Tips for Successful 1:1 Conversations


To ensure open, honest, and productive one-on-one meetings, there are several strategies that both managers and employees can employ. In the following subsections, we’ll explore tips for fostering active listening, encouraging open communication, and building rapport during 1:1 conversations.

By implementing these strategies, managers and employees can effectively address concerns, share ideas, and strengthen their working relationship.

Create approachability

In today's rapidly evolving work landscape, the role of managers has become increasingly vital in fostering collaboration, communication, and cohesion within their teams. One essential trait that managers must possess is approachability, as it creates an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas, concerns, and seeking guidance. 

With the rise of remote and hybrid work models, the challenge of maintaining approachability has grown even more significant. However, platforms like Kumospace have emerged as powerful tools to bridge the physical divide and enable managers to be more accessible to their remote and hybrid teams. 

By leveraging Kumospace's virtual work environments, managers can recreate the spontaneity and casual one-on-one interactions that often occur in traditional office spaces. This not only helps establish a sense of camaraderie and connectedness but also allows for impromptu conversations, brainstorming sessions, and team-building activities. 

The use of Kumospace empowers managers to break down barriers, foster open communication, and ensure that every team member feels valued and heard, regardless of their physical location. Ultimately, by prioritizing approachability and utilizing tools like Kumospace, managers can promote a collaborative and inclusive work culture that drives productivity and success in the modern workplace.

Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial skill for effective communication during one-on-one meetings. It involves intently focusing on and comprehending the speaker’s message, paying attention to both verbal and nonverbal cues. Some examples of active listening include repeating what the speaker has said, asking clarifying questions, and paraphrasing the speaker’s message.

By practicing active listening, managers can effectively support their direct reports and foster stronger connections with their team members. This not only contributes to a more productive and successful working relationship, but also enhances overall team performance and employee engagement.

Open Communication

Encouraging open and transparent communication during one-on-one meetings is essential for creating a safe space for discussing difficult topics. Fostering open communication requires transparency, honesty, and active listening from both parties. By doing so, managers and employees can effectively address any concerns or issues that may arise, ultimately leading to a more productive and successful working relationship.

In addition to promoting open communication, it is essential for managers and employees to be receptive to feedback and willing to make adjustments based on the input received. This not only helps to address any concerns in a timely manner, but also contributes to a more positive and supportive work environment.

Building Rapport

Developing strong relationships with employees is important for fostering a positive and meaningful working relationship. Building rapport involves finding common ground, actively listening, and leading with empathy and respect. Managers can foster rapport by sharing personal anecdotes, asking about employee interests, and showing genuine interest in their well-being.

By building rapport with employees, managers can create a supportive and trusting work environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns. This not only leads to more productive and successful one-on-one meetings, but also contributes to overall team cohesion and performance.


In conclusion, one-on-one meetings are an essential tool for fostering open communication, building strong working relationships, and enhancing overall team performance. By understanding the purpose and importance of 1:1 meetings, implementing effective planning strategies, and utilizing various templates for different meeting scenarios, managers and employees can unlock the power of these meetings for personal and professional growth.

As we have explored in this blog post, the key to successful one-on-one meetings lies in active listening, open communication, and building rapport. By incorporating these strategies and tips, managers and employees can pave the way for a more engaged, motivated, and successful work environment.

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Headshot for Rad Aswani
Rad Aswani

Rad has over 7 years of experience in Marketing. Currently, she is the fun Digital Marketer at Kumospace. She leads initiatives such as influencer marketing, SEO management, and social media to name a few. Outside of work, Rad enjoys traveling, working out, and spending time with her family and friends.

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