One-On-One Meeting Questions for managers

50+ Great One-On-One Meeting Questions For Managers

One-on-one meetings between managers and their team members are essential for fostering employee engagement, building strong relationships, and driving performance management. These meetings provide an opportunity to address important topics, discuss career goals, offer support, provide feedback, and create a space for open and honest communication.

However, knowing what questions to ask during these one-on-one meetings can be challenging. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of essential questions managers can use to make the most of these meetings. These questions cover various topics, from achievements and challenges to work-life balance and professional development.

By asking the right questions, you can gain valuable insights into their team members’ goals, aspirations, concerns, and suggestions for improvement. This can help managers better understand their team members’ needs, provide support, and foster a positive and productive work environment.

Do you ever go blank thinking about what you should ask your team during the one-on-one meetings? Or, sometimes, everything seems too absurd or obvious to ask! In such moments, here are some tips to find good questions for one-on-one meetings with your team:

  • Keep the workplace boundaries alive: No one appreciates intruders, more so at the workplace. So, while you can impact and influence in many areas as a manager, be considerate about places that you should not approach. Avoid getting into personal matters or personalities; think of work and the professionals you work with—how can you best help them?
  • Approach from the point of care: Would you be open to sharing your most vulnerable side with someone you barely know? No, right? The same goes for your team members; they might not be very open from the get-go until they know that you are a well-wisher who wants to help them on their journey. Building bridges and relationships takes time, so be prepared to give it.
  • Personality and community differences exist: Some of your questions may not land precisely how you picture them. Think of the personality and communication style of the person you are talking to, and then proceed to set the agenda for the one-on-one meeting with their needs and attitudes in mind. You may need to ask some questions differently or wait multiple iterations before they are comfortable enough to open up.
With these ideas in mind, let’s examine some one-on-one meeting questions that you should ask your team at the next opportunity! 

We have grouped the questions along important areas that a manager should talk about with their teams.

Appreciating achievements of your team

As a manager, it is essential to acknowledge and celebrate your team members’ achievements. You show your support and interest in their progress by asking this question. It also allows your team members to reflect on their accomplishments and highlight their strengths. These question can provide valuable insights into your team members’ career goals and personal growth. It creates an opportunity for them to share their successes and for you to recognize their efforts.

  • Can you share any accomplishments or milestones you’ve reached since our last meeting?
  • What progress have you made on your goals, and is there anything you’re particularly proud of?
  • Have you received any positive feedback or recognition from colleagues or clients recently?
  • How do you feel about your performance over the past [time period]? Any standout moments you’d like to highlight?
  • Is there a specific project or task you feel you excelled in recently? I’d love to hear more about it.
  • What challenges have you overcome recently, and how did you navigate them?
  • Are there any accomplishments you feel haven’t been fully recognized or acknowledged yet?
  • Is there anyone on the team who has made a significant contribution that you think deserves recognition?

Supporting your team’s growth

Supporting your team members in reaching their goals is crucial for your employee’s professional growth and engagement. By asking questions about this area, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and open a dialogue about how you can provide the necessary support. It allows your team members to express their needs, share their career aspirations, and discuss potential action items.

  • How can I best provide you with feedback and guidance as you work towards your goals?
  • Are there any training or development opportunities you believe would be beneficial for achieving your goals?
  • Would you like more frequent check-ins or support meetings to discuss your progress and challenges?
  • Do you feel that your current workload aligns with your goals, or do you need assistance in prioritizing tasks?
  • Are there any additional responsibilities or projects you’re interested in taking on to further your development?
  • Are there any connections or networking opportunities that would help you advance towards your goals?
  • Would you benefit from mentorship or coaching to help you navigate your career path?
  • How can I adjust our team’s priorities or structure to better align with your individual goals?

Challenges are important to talk about, too!

Identifying and addressing challenges is crucial for your team’s personal and professional growth. Here are some questions for one-on-one meetings to help you figure them out. It allows them to share their concerns and seek your guidance or support as their manager. Plus, it makes you an absolutely trustworthy and reliable manager!

  • Are there any aspects of your role or projects that you find particularly challenging?
  • Are there any areas where you’re feeling stuck or unsure of how to proceed?
  • Are there any external factors or circumstances impacting your work that you’d like to discuss?
  • Have you noticed any patterns or recurring issues that are causing frustration or difficulty?

Questions on work life balance in one-on-one meetings

A healthy work-life balance is crucial for employee well-being and overall job satisfaction. By asking this question, you demonstrate your concern for your team members’ personal lives and well-being. It allows them to reflect on their work-life balance and share any problems or suggestions for improvement. These one-on-one meeting questions also shows your commitment to their overall happiness. It helps build a positive and inclusive work culture, thus building a relationship outside deadlines.

  • Are there any specific areas where you feel your work-life balance could be improved?
  • How do you prioritize your personal well-being amidst your professional responsibilities?
  • Are there any adjustments to your work schedule or workload that you believe would contribute to a better work-life balance?
  • What activities or hobbies do you engage in outside of work to recharge and relax?

Supporting learning and growth in one-on-one meetings

You encourage your team members to reflect on their skills and identify areas for improvement during one-on-one meetings. It allows them to express their interests and career aspirations. By understanding their skill development goals, you can provide resources, training opportunities, and guidance to help them acquire the desired skills. This question demonstrates your commitment to their professional development and fosters a culture of continuous learning within your team.

  • What specific skills do you feel are important for your role, and would you like to focus on developing or improving?
  • Can you share any specific career goals or aspirations you have that involve skill development?
  • Are there any particular areas of your job where you feel you could benefit from additional training or support?
  • How do you envision your skill set evolving over the next year or two, and what steps do you think are necessary to achieve that?
  • Have you come across any learning opportunities or resources lately?

Make the feedback loop complete

Asking for feedback on your management style shows your openness to growth and improvement as a manager. It allows your team members to share their perspectives on how you can better support them and create a positive work environment. You can adjust your management approach and enhance team dynamics by understanding their feedback. These one-on-one meeting questions promotes open communication, trust, and collaboration.

  • How would you describe our team dynamics, and are there any areas where you think we could improve?
  • Can you share any experiences where you felt particularly supported or challenged by my management style?
  • What specific actions or behaviors do you believe contribute to a positive work environment, and how can I incorporate them into my management approach?
  • Are there any aspects of my management style that you find particularly effective or ineffective?
  • What suggestions do you have for me to better support you and the rest of the team in achieving our goals?

One-on-one meeting questions for professional growth

Discussing your team members’ career aspirations and goals is crucial for their engagement and retention. By asking this question, you encourage them to reflect on their long-term career path and share their aspirations. It allows you to align their goals with the team’s objectives and create growth opportunities. This question fosters a sense of purpose, motivation, and loyalty within your team.

  • What specific career goals do you hope to achieve within the next year?
  • What are your professional development goals for the next quarter?
  • How do you see your current role contributing to your long-term career aspirations?
  • Are there any skills or experiences you feel are essential for advancing your career?
  • What support or resources do you believe would be most helpful in achieving your career goals?
  • Have you identified any potential opportunities for growth or advancement within our team or organization?
  • Are there any areas of professional development you would like to focus on to further your career?
  • What steps do you think are necessary to progress along your desired career path, and how can I assist you in taking those steps?

Make the team a shared space with thoughtful one-on-one meeting questions

You can encourage your team members to share their perspectives on the team and suggest improvements through questions in one-on-one meetings. It allows them to voice their concerns, ideas, and suggestions for better collaboration and team operations. These one-on-one meeting questions promotes transparency, trust, and open dialogue within your team. It also helps them see the team as something of their own instead of just another set of people to handle.

  • Do you have any suggestions for improving communication channels or platforms within our team?
  • Are there any specific communication practices or protocols you believe we should implement to improve collaboration and clarity?
  • Do you think our team meetings are effective in promoting communication and collaboration? If not, what changes would you propose?
  • Are there any tools or technologies you believe could facilitate better communication and information sharing within our team?
  • What are your thoughts on the team’s current dynamics? Do you see any challenges that could be hampering our progress?
  • Is there anything you feel is missing in our current project management tools?
  • Do you feel your work aligns with your personal values and our company’s mission?
  • Are there any projects you’re particularly excited to work on?

Keep the conversation open-ended

Providing an opportunity for open discussion is essential for addressing any additional concerns or topics your team members may have. By asking these one-on-one meeting questions, you create a space for them to share anything on their mind. It allows for a more personalized and meaningful conversation, fostering trust and building solid relationships with your team. This encourages open communication, promotes engagement, and ensures all critical topics are addressed, even when you might have missed them on the agenda! Here’s how you can prompt your team to share their thoughts toward the end of the discussions:

  • Are there any personal or professional matters that you would like to discuss further?
  • Is there anything specific that has been on your mind lately that you’d like to talk about?
  • Do you have any questions, concerns, or ideas that you’d like to share with me?
  • Is there any feedback you have for me regarding our recent interactions or team dynamics?
  • Are there any challenges or opportunities that you think we should address as a team?
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving our work environment or team culture?
  • Is there anything that you feel has been overlooked or needs more attention within our team?
  • Is there anything else on your mind that you’d like to discuss?
In order to prepare effective one-on-one meeting questions, it is important to follow best practices that promote meaningful conversations and address important topics

  • Set a meeting agenda: Having a clear agenda for one-on-one meetings helps provide structure to the meeting and ensures that all important topics are covered.
  • Ask open-ended questions: Open-ended questions encourage team members to share their thoughts and feelings, leading to more meaningful conversations.
  • Use active listening skills: Actively listen to your team members’ responses and show genuine interest in their perspectives. This helps build trust and strengthens the manager-employee relationship.
  • Tailor your questions: Each team member is unique, with different needs and goals. Tailor your questions to their individual circumstances to ensure that the conversation is relevant and impactful.
  • Follow up on action items: After discussing important topics, follow up on any action items or commitments made during the meeting. Provide the necessary support and resources to help your team members achieve their goals.
In conclusion, effective one-on-one meetings are vital for fostering strong relationships and boosting team morale. By asking thoughtful questions tailored to each team member, you demonstrate your support and commitment to their growth. Remember, listening actively and providing constructive feedback are key elements in making these meetings successful. Implementing these best practices will not only improve individual performance but also contribute to the success of the entire team. Embrace the opportunity to connect, understand, and empower your team members through meaningful one-on-one interactions.

How strong are your one-on-one meetings?

Find out now for free with Risely’s one-on-one meeting assessment for managers.

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