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All Resources How to run a successful 1:1

Why 1:1s are important and how to run one

Introduction to 1:1s

One-on-Ones (or 1:1s) are a regularly scheduled time for managers to check-in with direct reports.

1:1s help companies understand how employees are feeling about their day-to-day work, their professional development and the company. In his blog, Ben Horowitz describes 1:1s as, “the employee’s meeting rather than the manager’s meeting. This is the free-form meeting for all the pressing issues, brilliant ideas and chronic frustrations that do not fit neatly into status reports, email and other less personal and intimate mechanisms.” These manager-employee meetings are an essential part of a company’s communication architecture.

1:1s at a glance:

  • Employees own the agenda and dictate the conversation
  • Agenda is a cross between day-to-day challenges, career development, job satisfaction and anything else on the employee’s mind. 1:1s are not a status update meeting.
  • Management tool to increase output, track progress towards goals and stay in touch with employees’ happiness
  • Ongoing feedback mechanism to help employees grow skills and overcome challenges. 1:1s make sure performance conversations happen more than once a year.
  • Status conversations (if they must happen) should be kept short (5min or less)
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