Five Ways to Make One-on-One Meetings Between Managers and Direct Reports More Effective | MIT Sloan Management Review

Talent Management

One enabler of effective performance management (PM) is ongoing and frequent PM conversations between managers and employees. While this philosophy is widely endorsed, several barriers can impede these discussions, including a misalignment on topics that both managers and individual contributors want to discuss in regular one-on-one meetings (see image below). To address this issue, the authors of this article offer five crucial questions for managers to pose during one-on-one meetings to ensure appropriate time allocation to topics of interest to both managers and direct reports:

  1. What’s going well? (fosters self-reflection and recognition)
  2. Where can I help? (clarifies direction and addresses roadblocks)
  3. What are your top priorities these days? (enhances visibility into employees’ work)
  4. Is there anything new or upcoming you’d like to put on my radar? (proactively identifies potential issues)
  5. How are you feeling outside of work? (can help build personal rapport and trust).

Managers and individual contributors can modify this framework to their liking as they prepare for more effective 1:1 discussions.

To supplement this article, I’m resharing my PM playlist with five resources that help answer questions on PM, ranging from what PM practices do organizations use (and don’t use) today and how can employee well-being be integrated into PM?