9 Well-designed one-on-one meeting agenda: Driving growth and engagement

9 Well-designed one-on-one meeting agenda: Driving growth and engagement

Effective communication and collaboration drive team productivity and individual growth in today’s dynamic work environment. And when it comes to building solid manager-employee relationships, few tools are as powerful as the one-on-one meeting. These intimate and focused discussions provide an invaluable opportunity for managers to connect with their team members, provide guidance, and unlock their full potential.

A one-on-one meeting without a well-crafted agenda can easily become a wasted opportunity, meandering aimlessly from one topic to another and failing to achieve the desired outcomes. Therefore, it’s essential to have a purposeful and structured agenda in place.

In this blog, we will delve into the world of one-on-one meeting agendas meaningful conversations, facilitates employee growth, and strengthens the manager-employee bond. From setting clear objectives to addressing key focus areas, we will guide you through the steps to create an agenda that truly resonates with your team members and maximizes the value of your one-on-one meetings.

What is a one-on-one meeting?

A one on one meeting, or a 1:1, is a dedicated conversation between a manager and an individual team member. It is typically a private and confidential meeting scheduled regularly to discuss various topics related to work, performance, development, and other matters requiring attention or support.

Learn more here: 6 secrets To Make Your One-on-one Meetings With Your Team effective

What is one on one meeting agenda?

A one-on-one meeting agenda typically includes a range of topics and discussions relevant to the manager and employee relationship. At the same time, the specific agenda items may vary based on the needs and goals of the individuals involved.

9 common agenda items for a one-on-one meeting

  1. Check-in and rapport-building: Begin the meeting with a friendly and casual conversation to establish a positive and comfortable atmosphere.
  2. Progress and updates: Discuss the employee’s progress on current projects or tasks, accomplishments, and any challenges they face. This is an opportunity to review performance, provide feedback, and offer support or guidance as needed.
  3. Goal alignment: Review and align the employee’s short-term and long-term goals. If necessary, assess their progress towards previously established goals and set new objectives.
  4. Career development: Discuss the employee’s professional aspirations, growth opportunities, and training or development needs. Identify areas for skill enhancement or potential career paths and create a plan to support their development.
  5. Feedback and recognition: Offer specific feedback on the employee’s performance, highlighting their strengths and areas for improvement. Recognize their achievements and contributions to the team.
  6. Challenges and support: Address any issues, concerns, or obstacles the employee faces. Offer guidance, resources, or assistance to help overcome challenges and create an action plan if necessary.
  7. Employee’s perspective: Provide an opportunity for the employee to share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns regarding their work, team dynamics, or any other relevant topics. Actively listen and respond with empathy and support.
  8. Action items and next steps: Summarize the key discussion points and agree upon action items or follow-up tasks. Clarify expectations, deadlines, and responsibilities for the manager and the employee.
  9. Closing remarks: End the meeting positively, expressing appreciation for the employee’s contributions and commitment. Reiterate the manager’s availability for ongoing support and open communication.

Purpose of one-on-one meeting agenda

The purpose of one-on-one meeting agenda is to start a conversation between a manager and an employee. It serves several important purposes:

  • Efficient use of time: A predefined agenda ensures that the meeting stays on track and covers all necessary topics within the allotted time.
  • Alignment and clarity: The agenda helps align the expectations of both the manager and the employee. It provides a clear roadmap of the discussion, allowing both parties to come prepared.
  • Balanced conversation: An agenda ensures that the manager and the employee can bring up important topics and contribute to the discussion. It helps ensure a balanced conversation.
  • Focus on priorities: By setting agenda items, the meeting can prioritize critical topics and address them first. This ensures that key issues receive the necessary attention and discussion.
  • Accountability and follow-up: An agenda records the topics discussed and the action items identified during the meeting. It helps hold the manager and the employee accountable for their commitments and provides a reference for follow-up in subsequent meetings.
Overall, a well-defined agenda enhances the effectiveness and productivity of one-on-one meetings. 

Types of one on one meeting agenda

Common types of one-on-one meeting agenda:

  • Progress and Performance Review
  • Goal Setting and Planning
  • Career Development and Growth
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Feedback and Recognition
  • Check-in and Employee Well-being
  • Developmental Conversations

Benefits of one on one meeting

Some key benefits of conducting regular one on one meetings:

  • Enhanced communication: One-on-one meetings provide a dedicated platform for open and honest communication between managers and employees.
  • Increased employee engagement: Regular one-on-one meetings demonstrate that managers value employees’ contributions. These meetings give employees an opportunity to voice their thoughts, seek guidance, and actively participate in discussions. As a result, employees feel more engaged, motivated, and connected to their work.
  • Improved performance and productivity: One-on-one meetings allow managers to provide timely feedback, address performance issues, and recognize achievements. By addressing challenges and providing support, one-on-one meetings improve performance and increase productivity.
  • Personalized support and development: Through one-on-one meetings, managers can identify individual strengths, interests, and development needs of their employees. They can offer personalized support, discuss career aspirations, and create individual development plans tailored to the employee’s goals.
  • Increased retention and job satisfaction: Regular one-on-one meetings demonstrate a manager’s commitment to their employees’ growth and well-being. By addressing concerns, providing support, and fostering a positive working relationship, these meetings contribute to higher job satisfaction. This, in turn, improves employee retention and reduces turnover rates.
  • Proactive issue resolution: One-on-one meetings allow for identifying and addressing potential issues or conflicts early on. By discussing concerns and seeking resolutions in a timely manner, managers can prevent the escalation of problems and maintain a harmonious work environment.
  • Alignment and goal achievement: Through one-on-one meetings, managers and employees can align their goals, expectations, and priorities. This ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards shared objectives. Regular check-ins enable progress tracking and course correction and celebrate successes.
By investing time and effort in these meetings, managers can build stronger relationships with their team members and foster a culture of collaboration, growth, and success.

What are some practices for effective one-on-one meetings?

Here are some best practices for conducting effective one-on-one meetings:

  • Be Prepared
  • Set a Regular Schedule
  • Create a Safe and Open Environment
  • Focus on the Employee
  • Structure the agenda in advance
  • Balance Positive Feedback and Constructive Criticism
  • Ask Open-Ended Questions
  • Be an Active Listener
  • Take Notes and Follow-up
  • Acknowledge and celebrate achievements
  • Continuously Improve

What should the one-on-one meeting agenda not be used for?

While one-on-one meetings can be valuable for communication and collaboration, some topics or purposes may not be suitable for inclusion in the meeting agenda. 

  • Performance reviews: One-on-one meetings should not replace formal performance review processes. Performance evaluations, ratings, and salary discussions are best suited for separate, designated performance review sessions.
  • Disciplinary actions: Serious disciplinary actions or reprimands are generally inappropriate for discussion in a one-on-one meeting. 
  • Confidential or sensitive information: One-on-one meetings should not be used to share highly sensitive or confidential information irrelevant to the employee’s performance or development. 
  • Gossip or rumors: One-on-one meetings should not be used to gossip or discuss rumors about other team members.
  • Administrative tasks: One-on-one meetings should not be overly consumed by administrative tasks or operational matters that can be addressed through other channels. The agenda should prioritize strategic discussions and employee development.
The purpose of one-on-one meetings is to foster a supportive and productive relationship between the manager and the employee. Therefore, the agenda should address topics directly contributing to employee growth.


In conclusion, a well-structured and purposeful agenda is the cornerstone of a successful one-on-one meeting. It provides a roadmap for meaningful conversations, fosters open communication, and nurtures the professional growth of both managers and employees. 

By following the abovementioned principles, managers can ensure that their one-on-one meetings are routine check-ins and transformative moments that fuel personal and professional development. Managers can reap the benefits of enhanced communication, increased employee engagement, and improved performance by investing time and effort into creating an effective one-on-one meeting agenda. 

What’s making your one-on-one meeting ineffective?

Identify the key areas and hurdles to an effective one-on-one meeting with a free assessment.

Frequently asked questions

How do you plan a one-on-one meeting?  

To plan a one-on-one meeting, follow these steps:
– Schedule the Meeting
– Share the Purpose
– Prepare an Agenda
– Seek Input
– Set the Tone
– Actively Listen
– Provide Constructive Feedback
– Set Actionable Next Steps
– Follow Up

What is the purpose of a one-on-one meeting?

The purpose of a one-on-one meeting is to create a dedicated space for open communication and collaboration between a manager and an employee. It is an opportunity to align expectations, recognize achievements, address concerns, and promote growth on an individual level.

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