One-on-ones are an important part of the management process. Getting core answers is just as important as asking the right questions and both can be very difficult. There are a few focuses for a one-on-one, but more importantly there is one main objective - listen to your employee and digest what they tell you.

Main Focus: What is working? What isn't?

The main focus of a one-on-one should be getting at what things are currently working and what things are not. Taken one at a time, these answers give you insights into what energizes and what drains a particular employee. Taken in aggregate, they can give you insights into the major concerns your team has right now.

Secondary Focus: Building Brag Docs

Secondarily, a one-on-one should focus on keeping a list of things an employee has done that are worth bragging about - a brag document. These could be things that went above and beyond their usual job, things they did that had outsized impact on the team, and

Some one-on-one questions ideas

  • What are you hoping I won’t bring up?
  • How was it working with person X on project Y this week?
  • Is there anything happening on our team that is worrying you?
  • What else is on your mind?
  • What are you doing for self-care?
  • How has your work-life balance been lately?
  • Do you have any advice for me?
  • How are you doing? How’s life?
  • Is there anything that you need from me or the company?
  • Are you getting the help you need from your colleagues?
  • What is the most inefficient workflow or process you own?
  • What major roadblocks are you facing that I can help you solve?
  • How would you rate your job satisfaction right now? How can I improve that?
  • What skills or career areas do you want to grow?