70 One to One Meeting Questions All Great Managers Should Be Asking Their Employees

06/02/20

One to one meetings are hugely beneficial, not just to the company but for employees too. In fact, 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing peer feedback and check-ins are key for successful outcomes. Any great manager will agree that holding weekly check-ins and one to one meetings are vital in enhancing employee satisfaction and productivity. A company with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable, so it is important to nail these meetings to a tee.

However, you will only see the benefits of one to one meetings if they are implemented correctly. So, what questions should you be asking as a manager? How can you be sure that your one to one meetings are beneficial for both the employee and the organisation? Here we will outline the most important one to one meeting questions to ask employees.

One to one meeting questions to ask employees

Organisation is key when executing a great one to one meeting. It is best to arrange your one to one meeting questions into sections. This will help the meeting flow and it will be easier to write your notes up after. The sections you can find detailed below are:

·      Building loyalty and trust within the workplace

·      Career progression for employees

·      Giving and receiving feedback

·      Employee suggestions on how to better improve working environment

·      General employee happiness/wellbeing

·      Questions to ask remote employees

·      One to one questions to ask your manager

One to one meeting questions to ask for building loyalty and trust within the workplace

Building trust and loyalty with employees is crucial for high engagement rates and employee retention. Hiring new employees costs time and money, so it’s best to appreciate the staff you have. Any successful manager will agree that most businesses are built on relationships and the foundation of any strong relationship, is trust. However, 58% of workers say they trust strangers more than their own boss and 70% of employees who quit their job cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as the reason. Truly shocking statistics.

One to one meeting questions for building loyalty and trust within the workplace

How to build trust in the workplace

With the facts and figures in place, it’s time to start working on building trust and loyalty in the workplace. But, where to start? Trust is built through actions and the first thing to do as a manager is to trust your employees. After all, you did hire them for a reason. This means no micro-managing. When you respect and trust employees, they will automatically trust and respect you back. You also need to ensure that your employees feel valued and cared about. Allowing teams to make decisions and have a voice when it comes to key organisational changes will make them feel appreciated, therefore increasing employee loyalty. You should also be taking an interest in your employees as people. Chat to them, find out about their hobbies and interests and who they are as a person. If your employees feel like you care about them as a person, then they will be more willing to trust you as a boss.

A great way to ensure trust is being built within the workplace is holding one to one meetings with employees. It gives the staff a chance to raise any issues or concerns they may have.

One to one meeting questions to ask when building trust and loyalty

  1. How are you? Are you having a good week?
  2. What did you do over the weekend? / Have you got any exciting weekend plans?
  3. What do you do in your free time?
  4. Do you have any hobbies that you are passionate about?
  5. How do you feel your current work/life balance is?
  6. What can I do to make your work/life balance easier?
  7. What is one thing you wish you could change about your work life that would help improve your personal life?
  8. Do you feel comfortable with your current workload?
  9. What motivates you to come to work each day / What can I do to improve your motivation to come to work each day?
  10. Do you feel that your voice is heard when it comes to organisational decision making?

These one to one meeting questions to ask your employees are a great way to ease into the meeting and get the conversation going. It’s important not to jump straight into work questions and to ask about how they are in general before the serious work chat begins.

One to one meeting questions to ask for career progression for employees

If your employees work a regular 9-5 job, then that’s 1/3 of their waking hours spent in the workplace. However, a staggering 52% of employees are not happy with their careers. What’s more, is that 87% of millennials say professional development opportunities are very important. It is now more important than ever to keep up to date with what your employees’ aspirations are and how you as a manager can help them get to where they want to be.

One to one meeting questions for career progression for employees

Establish your employees’ goals

First and foremost, you can only help your employees achieve their goals if you know what those goals are. Sometimes, an employee will know exactly what they want to do, be that a Managing Director for a large organisation, an entrepreneur with a great start-up idea or maybe they want to climb the ranks in their current workplace. Whatever their aspirations are, it is your job as a manager to enable career growth and opportunities that will help your staff achieve their goals. For some, they won’t have a structured idea of where they want to be or what their niche is as of yet. For these employees, you will want to work more closely with them and find out where their talents lie so you can give them a nudge in the right direction. You can read our post on how to make a good presentation for training employees here.

One to one meeting questions to ask for career progression

  1. What do you want to be doing in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years?
  2. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?
  3. What are your career goals? Have you put much thought into them?
  4. What do you enjoy most in regard to your work?
  5. Do you feel as if you are learning new things at work?
  6. What skills would you like to develop? Do you feel like you need any additional training?
  7. What area of the company interests you most?
  8. What can I do to help you achieve your goals?
  9. Do you feel like your current job role is contributing to achieving your career goals?
  10. Do you feel like you can achieve your career goals whilst at this company?

These one to one meeting questions are a great way of establishing where your employees see themselves in the future and will give you the opportunity to discuss appropriate career paths.

One to one meeting questions to ask for feedback

Feedback and constructive criticism are vital for any organisation to improve. As a manager, it is your job to give feedback to your employees. Tell them what they are excelling in and where extra attention needs to be paid. It is also important for your employees to give you feedback. What can you do to improve employee satisfaction? Where do your employees feel support is lacked? How do your employees feel the business can be improved? Your team are the people who are in the office every day and know the areas of the business that need some TLC.

One to one meeting questions for feedback

Feedback methods in the workplace

Feedback can be received and given in many different ways. You can have weekly performance reviews, group meetings and one to one meetings. However, 80% of Gen Y said they prefer on-the-spot recognition over formal reviews, so as a manager you may need to work on your confrontational skills! Vice versa, managers who receive feedback on their strengths showed 8.9% greater profitability. Giving and receiving feedback is critical for any successful business, so holding one to one meetings for this purpose is beneficial.

One to one meeting questions to ask for feedback

  1. Do you feel like I give you enough feedback?
  2. Is the feedback you receive constructive?
  3. Do you feel you get rewarded and praised for good work?
  4. Do you feel like you are given enough constructive criticism?
  5. How do you prefer to receive feedback?
  6. What can I do as a manager to better support you?
  7. What do you like about my management style? What do you dislike?
  8. What is something you feel I could do better?
  9. What have your past managers done that you like?
  10. What have your past managers done that you disliked?

These one to one meeting questions for giving and receiving feedback are a great starting point to find out the management styles your staff likes and dislikes. It is an opportunity for your employees to find out the areas of work they need to focus on and where you as a manager need to improve.

One to one meeting questions to ask for improving the working environment

Your staff are more often than not the underdogs of the company. They know the business inside out and can often have some great ideas on how to improve the workplace or organisation as a whole. It is important that as a manager you take the time to listen to their ideas for improvement and take serious consideration of their thoughts.

One to one meeting questions for improving the working environment

Improving the workplace environment

Your staff comes to work for you 5 days a week. It is important to have a balanced working environment, keeping it both professional yet comfortable for employees. You don’t want to be too strict on your employees, however, you also don’t want productivity levels to decrease due to irrelevant outbursts. According to a recent report, strong office design can make employees 33% happier at work. We all know that happy employees = higher productivity.

One to one meeting questions to ask for improving the working environment

  1. Are there any aspects of our work culture you would change?
  2. Are you happy with the current working environment?
  3. Do you feel as if you could be more productive if the working environment changed?
  4. What changes would you make to the work environment?
  5. Do you feel the team work well together?
  6. Is there anyone on the team you work particularly well with? Why is this?
  7. Is there anyone on the team you dislike working with? Why is this?
  8. Do you feel as if you can give your peers constructive criticism?
  9. Do you feel as if there is mutual respect among employees?
  10. What are the main distractions around the workplace?

These one to one meeting questions for improving the work environment are a fantastic way of knowing the areas of distraction that need to be improved on. It maybe you introduce a ‘power hour’ or maybe you need to rearrange the current seating structure of the office. It is also a great way of highlighting any employees that may be more distracting to the workplace than others.

One to one meeting questions to ask for general happiness/wellbeing

It is important that your employees are happy outside of work and that their mental health and general wellbeing is in a stable state. Sometimes if an employee’s productivity decreases, it can have nothing to do with the workplace at all. In fact, your employees could be dealing with a number of personal issues like a death in the family, marital problems or problems with their mental health. Your employees must know that in these circumstances, they are not going to get in trouble and that you as a manager are both understanding and willing to help with any issues they may be facing. At the same time, you must also be willing to respect the employee’s privacy and not overstep the line.

One to one meeting questions for general happiness/wellbeing

Happiness in the workplace

Employees must also be happy at work to be more productive. In fact, companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%. Not to mention that if staff are happy at work then employee retention will be better, therefore saving you time and money on training new starters. There are many factors to take into consideration when it comes to happiness in the workplace such as the environment, workload and flexibility. Holding a one to one meeting to discuss employee’s general happiness and wellbeing will let them know that you genuinely care about how they are doing. If the trust is there, then they will feel more comfortable to open up about how their personal life may affect their working life.

One to one meeting questions to ask for general happiness/wellbeing

  1. How have you been doing? Are you generally well and happy?
  2. Is there anything that currently worries you? Anything on your mind?
  3. Do you feel happy at work?
  4. Is there anything at work affecting your happiness?
  5. Is there anything in your private life affecting your happiness / wellbeing? You do not have to tell me anything personal if you don’t want too.
  6. Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
  7. Are you happy with the work you are producing?
  8. What can I do to make you feel happier in the workplace?
  9. Do you feel the company is understanding of mental health in the workplace?
  10. How can the company improve on staff wellbeing?

These one to one meeting questions will provide a great insight into how happy your staff are in the workplace. It is also a great opportunity for staff to open up about any personal issues they may be facing which could be impacting their work. However, it is important not to pry into people’s private affairs.

One to one meeting questions to ask for remote employees

Although modern technologies can help with remote workers, managing employees who work from home can be difficult. Emails can more often than not be interpreted in the wrong way and if someone is deep into their project, you may not receive a reply for a few hours. Unless you use tools like Toggle and Asana it can also be difficult to keep track of the work your employee is producing, making it hard to outline areas of improvement.

One to one meeting questions for remote employees

Remote working in the 21st century

In today’s society, remote working is a huge part of our culture. In fact, globally, 52% of workers work from home at least once a week. Working for a flexible company is a box that must be ticked now for a lot of employees. The ability to work from home is crucial for parents and employees who travel from afar. Nowadays companies are also more open to hiring full-time remote workers as it means companies can save money on office space.

When organising a one to one meeting for remote workers, it is important to incorporate a balance of work questions and general wellbeing questions as working remotely is sure to get lonely at times.

One to one meeting questions to ask for remote workers

  1. Do you enjoy working remotely?
  2. Do you ever feel lonely? If so, how do you overcome this?
  3. What is your current setup like for your workspace? Do you feel you have everything necessary to be productive?
  4. Do you feel like I support you enough? Do you feel workers who work in the office are supported more?
  5. How can the company improve on supporting remote workers?
  6. Do you feel you can come to me or your co-workers for help?
  7. What do you find most challenging about working remotely?
  8. Do you feel you have the same career progression opportunities as your peers?
  9. Do you feel you get equal training opportunities as your peers?
  10. How do you manage distractions during the day?

These one to one meeting questions for remote workers are a great way of gaining an understanding of the different challenges remote workers may face. It can also give you ideas of how the company can better support remote workers.

One to one meeting questions to ask your manager

An effective one to one meeting doesn’t just go one way. If you are an employee, then it is important to be asking questions back. One to one meetings are a great opportunity to discuss any issues you have with the current workplace and to highlight any changes you think should be made.

One to one meeting questions to ask your manager

Preparing for a one to one meeting with the boss

As an employee, you should always arrive to your one to one meeting with the manager being prepared. Before your meeting begins, you should write down everything you want to know, all the questions you wish to ask and any issues you want to discuss. Remember that the point of one to one meetings is to improve your overall happiness in the workplace.

One to one meeting questions to ask your manager

  1. What areas of work need improving?
  2. What aspects of my work are you happy with?
  3. Is there anything extra I can be doing that would be helpful for you?
  4. What do you feel are my strengths?
  5. Is there anything I can be doing to help me reach my goals?
  6. What can you do to help me reach my goals?
  7. What parts of my work are important for me to keep you up to date on?
  8. How trusting are you of my work?
  9. What’s one thing you would change about my work ethic?
  10. Are you happy with my current progress?

These one to one meeting questions are great to ask your manager and will get a conversation flowing.

One to one meeting questions toa ask concluded

So, in conclusion, there are literally hundreds of good one to one meeting questions you can ask to make it beneficial to both employees and the company. These 70 one to one meeting questions should be a good starting point and will help to point you in the right direction.

Yarnfield Park are a conference and event venue based in Staffordshire. We have over 32 meeting rooms for hire, which are perfect for one to one meetings. So give us a call today and we will be happy to assist or you can read up on why meetings outside the office are beneficial here.

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