One-on-one meetings are an essential management skill. Why? These are useful to both the manager and employee for many reasons. They are an opportunity for both parties to have regular time with each other to discuss various issues. A primary purpose is to agree on objectives and help the employee grow and develop. In turn, this will benefit the organisation as it provides a sound foundation for long term growth.

David Hassell, 15Five CEO, sums up one of the key benefits of effective one-on-one meetings:

“It seems counterintuitive that spending time will free up time, but that’s exactly what one-on-ones can do. These meetings help managers avoid overwhelm by ensuring the team is focused on the right task. Taking a few minutes to coach employees frees up your time to focus on your own work with the confidence that you won’t be putting out fires later." 

So, how can you make one-on-one meetings with employees effective? This article will outline why it is essential and what you need to do to improve your one-on-one meetings.  To make the most of your sessions, download this free “9 steps guide” and get all the benefits of effectively run sessions. 


Why Are One-on-one Meetings Important?

Too often, we see managers fail to deliver effective one-on-one meetings with their employees.  When one-on-one sessions are not prioritised, the manager misses a fantastic opportunity to:

  • Engage with employees and get close to team members and their challenges, understanding their strengths and weaknesses better.
  • Have dedicated time for both the manager and employee to talk through issues and listen to one another.  
  • Utilise this key communication event to increase productivity, employee motivation and success for the individual and the team. 

→ 🧠 How to expand your emotional intelligence (EI) to be a better leader? Follow these five tips and start building your EI today!


Benefits of Having Regular One-on-one Meetings

  • Employees know what is expected of them.
  • There is communication between manager and employee.
  • Potential workplace issues are resolved before they occur.
  • Staff are more efficient and goal-focused.
  • Productivity is increased.
  • Tasks are aligned to organisational objectives.
  • Motivation is increased.
  • Development opportunities can be established.

How Often Should One-on-one Meetings Occur

It can be too easy for managers to avoid having one-on-one meetings because they don’t know how to structure them or how to have challenging conversations. Also, it’s easy to cancel meetings that you feel don’t add value. But when executed well, one-on-ones have the power to boost team productivity, employee engagement, and morale significantly. 

Good practice dictates that managers should hold one-on-one meetings with their employees approximately every month. This ensures the manager and the employee have a good opportunity to discuss work-related and professional development agendas. 

One-on-one meetings are more than just ‘catch-ups’ with your team members. They are business-critical productivity tools that help your employees grow, build on their strengths and live more fulfilled lives at work. That’s why we have produced this useful “9 steps guide” to help managers maximise their team’s performance through effective one-on-one meetings.