The most powerful coaching tool a manager has is one-on-one meetings. These meetings are dedicated time for managers to learn important information about their employees and offer helpful feedback in real-time. When one-on-ones happen frequently, managers have the opportunity to increase their overall effectiveness and boost employee performance.

We have curated some questions a manager must ask and the thought process behind each of them. Let’s look at these questions:

Trust building or Ice breaker questions

These questions are important for the organizations which are implementing these feedback sessions for the first time. Simple questions like 

  • How are things outside of work? Anything new happening?
  • How are your family members? What new hobbies have you picked up in recent times?
  • How do you feel your work-life balance is right now?

The idea behind these questions is to make the employee feel comfortable, building trust. Spend a good 5 to 10 minutes on these questions, and have a conversation with the employee. This will help you to derive the most accurate feedback you are looking for. 

Career development

According to Gallup, when employees leave an organization, 32% are leaving for career advancement. These questions become very important when it comes to retaining employees. Discussing their career development gives them a chance to learn new things and helps the organization identify the best talent of that employee. Every manager should ask questions like

  • What work are you doing here that you feel is most in line with your long-term goals?
  • Would you like to learn more about any specific area of the company?
  • Do you feel challenged at work? Are you learning new skills?

The idea here is to derive insights on the career path of an employee, whether the work he is doing aligns with his goals or not. This ensures that the employee does what he does the best, ensuring higher productivity and low turnover. 

Company expectations

Setting expectations for your employees is an essential responsibility that many business owners gloss over. Clear employee expectations benefit not only your staff but your business as a whole. If the employee is clear about what is expected of him, it will create lesser confusion and increase the chances of achieving their goals. These questions are

  • Do you have enough clarity on the amount of work and the quality of work expected from you?
  • Do you need any additional support in the daily execution of your tasks?
  • Do you face any problems in approaching anyone for help?

The idea here is simply to clear any confusion between the organization and employee regarding the expectations. Periodic discussions on expectations also set a tone on future demand expectations. Employees are clear about where they are headed and what work they are expected to do one or two years down the line.

Personal enrichment and goals

These questions may be the most important of all the questions discussed. These questions are solely meant for employees to add value to themselves. These questions keep the employee engaged and give them a chance to think about themselves and how they can perform better. The questions are

  • How could we change our team meetings to be more effective? 
  • Do you feel a part of the team? If not, what can we do to change this?
  • Do you feel your inputs are recognized and valued by your teammates? 

The thought process behind these questions is to know whether the employee feels a part of the team. Often we have seen that the employee is not recognized when he is working in a team. This leads to inter-team conflicts and tension between the team members.

By asking these questions, the organization can identify potential conflicts before it occurs and measure the team’s performance in general. These questions also help the organization maintain its cultural values.

General feedback

These are general questions asked by the manager to take feedback from the employees. It is very important to give the employees feedback regarding their performance, but it is also equally important to take the feedback from the employees. The questions can be

  • What is the one thing you like the most about Company and one thing that you dislike? 
  • Do you feel that you are reporting to dual managers? 
  • Open feedback – Anything can be discussed on their mind (work-related) 
  • Do you have all the equipment you need to be productive?

These one-on-one meeting questions help the organization in making the necessary changes to support the work of the employees. Managers need to have a discussion on this feedback and make the necessary changes. This ensures the employees that their suggestions and feedback are heard, and they are an integral part of the organization’s success. 

Ideally, this process should be a quarterly process in the organization and should be reviewed every year for changes in the questions and pattern. Every organization needs to conduct these sessions to keep its employees engaged and happy.