The Leader’s Ultimate Guide to Effective One-on-One Meetings: Part 1

Hey, want another meeting on your calendar? I’m sure your first reaction is a hard no.

Well, what if we told you that a standing one-on-one meeting between a leader and each of their direct reports results in employees that are three times more engaged than employees whose leaders do not check in with them regularly? 


According to a Gallup survey, consistent communication between managers and employees – whether in person, over the phone, or via video – is undisputedly connected to higher employee engagement. That’s why Montani Consulting recommends that leaders schedule one-on-one meetings with their direct reports weekly or bi-weekly. 


These meetings can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour, depending on the employee, the nature of the business, and how much coaching the individual employee needs. These meetings aim for you and your employees to leave feeling energized, motivated, and engaged in their work. Here are important topics we suggest you cover:


  • The personal check-in. How are you doing today? How’s your week going? Talk to your employee like a human and connect with them on a level and a subject outside work to build rapport and strengthen your relationship.
  • Roadblock and issue resolution. How can I make your job easier? What is something standing in the way of your success this week? Clearing roadblocks and resolving issues for employees to better do their job is crucial to being an effective leader. Don’t assume you know what they’re up against. Take the time to ask and listen before offering a solution or the next steps. 
  • Goal and project check-in. Where are you on your quarterly goal? Let’s review the numbers for this week. Check in on the progress of any measurable goals set for the employee, providing support and feedback. If they don’t currently have any goals, work together to develop them. Engaged employees are always working on challenging and meaningful projects.
  • Straightforward task and action takeaways. Finish the meeting by re-iterating any agreed-upon action items or critical takeaways from your conversation, and express your appreciation for them.


Once you’ve mastered the items above, you’ll be amazed at the progress one half-hour meeting can accomplish. Get that standing 1:1 meeting on your employee’s calendars and watch the engagement increase, the surprise pop-in meetings decrease, and your projects sprint to the finish line.

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