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One-on-One: Goal Setting 1:1

Create an aligned roadmap for success with your team member using this sample agenda
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Big Picture

Where do you see your career going in the short/long-term? 

Career Growth — Organizational Mandates Alignment 

Where do the organization’s mandates most closely align with your career goals? Discuss how [the direct report’s] job function fits into organizational goals.

Goal-Setting Part 1 - Aspirational

Brainstorm measurable, meaningful short and long-term career goals

Goal-Setting Part 2 - Actionable

Brainstorm measurable, meaningful short and long-term goals to create stepping stones towards achieving specific organizational mandates.


Do we need solo time to build on this? Should we review our goals again? When will we connect again to measure progress? 

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One-on-One: Goal Setting 1:1

Goal-setting one-on-ones between employees and managers take many forms. At a high level, you should be looking to create a roadmap for the future. How far in the future you set goals may vary but this template encourages thinking about goals in two parts: short-term and actionable and long-term and aspirational. 

Short-term goals create specific steps. Ideally, once these goals are set, it’s easy for both manager and employee to monitor progress. A useful mental model for this kind of goal-setting is the SMART goals framework.

Long-term goals provide a vision. They may not be precisely quantifiable but they do provide—at minimum—a qualitative baseline. In other words, when these goals are set, the manager and employee can look back on them later to get a sense of whether things are trending in the right direction.

What Should You Ask in One-On-Ones?

Do you ever feel isolated at work?
How do you like to receive recognition?
What type of feedback are you missing?
...and 300+ other questions
Browse 1:1 Questions
One-on-One: Goal Setting 1:1

Another important point to cover in goal-setting meetings is alignment between the employee’s and the organization’s goals. This is built into the beginning of this meeting agenda to help managers frame the goal-setting discussion around what’s most important to the employee. Of course, that doesn’t mean every goal you set will dovetail perfectly with the employee’s career goals. But it does provide a framework you can use to identify opportunities for greater alignment.

All that said, this agenda is meant as a baseline. It should evolve with you and the focus of your meetings. And because we created this template, it integrates with all of your favorite project management tools. That way, you can create action items that immediately translate into concrete tasks.

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