One-on-one meetings have the power to boost engagement, productivity and job satisfaction, but only if we’re smart about how we manage them. To get the most out of these catch-ups, we need to be organised and well-prepared, but it’s not quite as labour-intensive as it sounds. It’s about creating a cadence for 1:1 meetings, so they can be as impactful as possible.
There are essentially two ways to do this. You can use a checklist like the one we've provided, or use supporting software like Frankli’s free 1:1 Meetings space.
Our checklist was designed for regular one-on-one meetings between managers and employees, but of course, you can edit it to suit more focused meetings, for example, you might remove “check on goal progress” if you’re having a dedicated discussion on job satisfaction.
The Ultimate One-on-One Meeting Checklist for Managers
Before the Meeting:
Schedule your One-on-One Meeting
A recurring meeting or a meeting series is best, as it ensures regular catch-ups are taking place, and shows a strong commitment to your people. Make sure a time, location and meeting length are all agreed. Learn how to automate 1:1 meeting scheduling with Frankli.
Schedule Some Prep Time
This time will be used to set talking points for the meeting and gather information on the employee’s performance or other topics on the agenda. Some managers also like to block out 10 minutes before each one-on-one meeting so they can review any relevant information and ensure they don’t run late.
Set Some Talking Points
Choose some talking points that you can use to guide the conversation - our free library of one-on-one meeting questions should come in very handy here. If you’re a Frankli user, these are already waiting for you in the app.
Share the Agenda
This allows your teammate to review the talking points in advance.
Ask your Teammate for their Input
They may have alternative talking points to suggest. Some employees find it useful to provide written answers to one-on-one meeting questions in advance, making your meeting time more focused.
Gather Relevant Information
Round up any useful information on the employee’s performance or other topics on the agenda. Be sure to save this information in a location that's easy to access. In Frankli, we do this part for you.
Depending on how you like to work, you might like to set reminders about upcoming meetings. Some employees will appreciate this, too. This is another step we've automated in Frankli.
Review Meeting Information
Take a couple of minutes just before the meeting to review the talking points, preparatory material and this checklist. Set them up so they’re easy to view in the flow of conversation. The Frankli 1:1 Meetings space is ideal for this.
During the Meeting:
Start With a General Check-In
You'll find our list of one-on-one meeting icebreakers helpful for this.
Work Through your Talking Points
Aim to follow the talking points closely, but be prepared to change the direction of the meeting if needed, for example, if an employee raises an issue that needs attention right away.
One-on-one meetings are perfect channels for providing detailed, high-quality positive and constructive feedback, as well as quick praise and recognition.
Check on Goal Progress
Review any progress that’s been made on personal or team goals since the last meeting.
Ask About Challenges
Make time to discuss any obstacles that your team member might be facing right now.
Take Notes, if Needed
We don’t recommend spending the entire meeting tapping away on your keyboard. But it’s often useful to make a few personal and/or shared notes to reference at your next catch-up.
Create Some Action Points
Concrete, clearly-assigned to-dos are best, but something like, “pick up where we left off next week” works well when you haven't made much progress on a particular subject. The goal here is for both teammates to know where they stand on each talking point.
After the Meeting:
Follow Up and Follow Through
Follow up after the meeting with any information you need to share, or any action points you need to complete.
Set Reminders for Action Points
Some managers like to set reminders for to-dos to ensure tasks don’t fall through the cracks.
Start Planning your Next 1:1
Go back to the start of the list to begin planning your next one-on-one meeting.