Start with a light, open-ended question. What’s been keeping you busy?
What milestones have we hit since our last check-in? Note progress on important initiatives and emphasize takeaways.
What’s stopping you from being more productive? How can management help you be more productive?
Plan to remove specific inefficiencies or roadblocks. Create action items.
What are we doing well? What can we do better? Discuss ways to create value for manager, employee, and the organization.
Provide space for open discussion. What’s got you excited? Worried? Annoyed?
When is our next one-on-one check-in? Summarize any action items arising from the one-on-one.
Out of sight, out of mind might be a nice way to think about stuffing loose paper into a drawer, but it doesn’t work if you want to effectively manage remote employees. Remote employees benefit from regular one-on-ones just as much (if not more) than your on-site reports. So these meetings are critical.
Of course, holding the meeting is only half the battle—you also must make sure you’re structuring the discussion so it’s as valuable as possible. To help you do that, we’ve created this agenda to give your direct reports and yourself a space to share feedback, eliminate roadblocks, and build rapport.
Plus, since this template so easily integrates with any of your project management software, you can quickly add action items or relevant notes that surface during your meeting to whatever software your team uses.
As far as the template itself, you should think of this agenda as a framework you can build on to suit your needs. As you start to hold these meetings, you’ll undoubtedly come up with new discussion structures that might suit your team better.
But with all that said, remember that one-on-ones are typically best used as a way to connect more intimately with your direct reports. While it might be tempting to get into status updates, keep the focus on the person in front of you. Solicit feedback on your performance as a leader, challenge them to level up, and seek to understand what they’re up against. There’s a time and a place for all the other stuff.