Best Employee One on One Meeting Template

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Why do you need one on one meetings with employees? Is there a good employee one on one meeting template you can follow?

Depending on the size and structure of your team, you may find that you often need one on one meetings. Having an employee one on one meeting template can help make sure your meetings are productive.

Check out the employee one on one meeting template.

Employee One on One Meeting Template

The goal of the employee one on one meeting template is to provide a guide to help you exchange information and maintain professional relationships. 


The only attendees of this kind of meeting are you as a manager and one subordinate.

The subordinate’s job is to:

1. Give you detailed information about her work and concerns.

2. Plan the agenda and give it to you in advance. This is for two reasons:

  1. The subordinate is attending only one one-on-one, while you’re attending several because you have several subordinates. It would be too time-consuming for you to plan several agendas.
  2. Preparing an outline forces the subordinate to reflect on their work and potential problems. It also allows you to pace the meeting to spend more time on what’s most important.

The employee one on one meeting template should include a discussion of:

  • Indicators, especially indicators that suggest problems on the horizon.
  • Potential problems, even if there are no indicators except intuition. If a subordinate feels like something is going to go wrong, you can look at indicators in more detail.
  • Important events that happened between this meeting and the one before.
  • Anything in the “hold” file, which is where you and the subordinate file anything that’s important but not urgent for discussion in subsequent meetings. (This is a method of batching.)
  • Anything that’s bothering the subordinate, including her feelings about work—for example, whether she finds a particular part of her job frustrating. Try to broach this earlier in the meeting rather than at the end so you have time to address it in depth.

3. Take notes on the agenda during the meeting. This is because:

  • It helps her pay attention.
  • It helps her absorb the information because she has to connect it to what’s already on the page.
  • It’s a form of commitment. When she writes down a note, this implies she will take action.

Your job, as a manager in one on one meeetings, is to: 

1. Soak up the information the subordinate provides.

2. Help the subordinate articulate her problems. When you think the subordinate is finished talking about something, ask another question to determine if she thinks she’s finished talking about it. Keep asking questions until you both feel you’ve covered everything.

3. Take notes on the agenda. This is for the same reasons the subordinate should take notes, and additionally, your notes will help you monitor the subordinate as she carries out the actions discussed in the meeting.

Scheduling and Frequency: More From the Employee One on One Meeting Template

According to the employee one on one meeting template, schedule the next meeting at the end of the current one rather than using a set schedule. Otherwise, a set schedule may conflict with vacation or a commitment. Plan for every one-on-one to take at least an hour to give subordinates time to talk about complicated issues. (If a subordinate knows she only has 15 minutes, she’s not going to bring up anything that seems thorny or delicate.)

There are two factors to consider when determining how often to have one-on-ones:

  1. Task-related experience. For subordinates that are working at a specific task they don’t have much experience with, one-on-ones more should be more frequent, such as once a week. For more experienced subordinates, every few weeks is appropriate.
  2. Speed of the industry. If things change quickly in your department (for example, marketing is always a fast-paced field), then you may need to schedule more frequent one-on-ones to keep up. 


Hold the one-on-ones near the subordinate’s work area. This allows you to observe her and learn more about her, such as whether her work area is organized and how often she gets interrupted.

If it’s not possible to meet face-to-face, you can do the one-on-one remotely, but because you can’t watch each other take notes, you should trade notes after the meeting so it’s clear what each person will do.

Best Employee One on One Meeting Template

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Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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