Taking It One-on-One: The Secret to Better Collaboration & Engagement in the Workplace

Taking It One-on-One: The Secret to Better Collaboration & Engagement in the Workplace

We explore why one-on-one meetings are important, how often they should occur, what topics should be discussed, and how to prepare for a successful meeting.

Written by
Nada Hakeem
Translated by
October 10, 2023

At Wetheloft, we understand the importance of building strong relationships between leaders and team members. That's why in 2018, we introduced one on one sessions with the goal of building more meaningful connections and fostering open communication. It became an opportunity to connect, discuss ideas, and move projects forward. 

Since then, we've seen firsthand the impact of these calls on our team's ability to collaborate and generate innovative ideas. By prioritizing one on one interactions, we've been able to better understand our team members' unique needs and develop tailored solutions that truly meet their goals. Interactions are not only good for business, but it's also an essential part of creating a more connected and collaborative environment. 

Here, we'll explore why one-on-one meetings are important, how often they should occur, what topics should be discussed, and how to prepare for a successful meeting.

Why are one-on-one meetings important? 

One-on-one meetings offer a chance to build trust and understanding between team members. By setting aside dedicated time to connect with everyone individually, we create a culture of open communication and collaboration. This, in turn, can lead to better problem-solving and more effective teamwork. Additionally, one-on-one meetings allow for personalized feedback and goal-setting, which can help individuals grow and develop within their roles.

How often should one-on-one meetings occur? 

The frequency of one-on-one meetings can vary depending on the needs of your team, its size and the nature of your work. Some teams may benefit from monthly meetings, while others may find that quarterly meetings suffice. The key is to find a frequency that allows for regular check-ins without becoming overwhelming or disrupting productivity.

What topics should be discussed during one-on-one meetings? 

The topics discussed during one-on-one meetings will depend on the needs of the individuals involved. Some common topics might include feedback on performance, goal-setting, and career development. It's important to prioritize topics that are relevant and actionable, and to allow for open dialogue and feedback.

Here are some prompts - that we collected over the years - for your next one-on-one meeting:

+ What aspects of our work do you feel particularly proud of?

+ How can we support each other in achieving our goals?

+ Have you had any recent opportunities for learning and growth? How can we create more of these opportunities?

+ Have you observed any effective practices from your colleagues that you would like to share?

+ Is there anything you would like me to know about you to better support you in your work?

+ How does your current role align with your long-term career aspirations?

 + Is there any work you are currently doing that you would like to prioritize over other tasks?

 + Is there anything that may be hindering your ability to perform at your best?

 + If you were in my position, what feedback would you give me to have a more positive impact?

 + Are there any departments or colleagues you would like to interact with more frequently?

 + What do you feel is our biggest challenge, and how can we overcome it?

 + Is there anything that is concerning you in regards to our working relationship?

 + How are things going for you outside of work?

What are the best strategies for effective one-on-one meetings? 

Effective one-on-one meetings require careful planning and consideration. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Encourage open dialogue

Create a safe space for team members to share their thoughts and ideas, and be open to feedback.

2. Take notes

Keep a record of the meeting's key takeaways and action items.

3. Follow up

Check in after the meeting to ensure that action items are being addressed and progress is being made.

How can one prepare for a successful one-on-one meeting? 

To prepare for a successful one-on-one meeting, consider the following:

1. Set a clear goal:

Establish a clear goal or purpose for the meeting.

2. Gather information:

Collect all relevant information ahead of time, including feedback, and previous session’s data.

3. Anticipate questions:

Consider potential questions or concerns that may arise during the meeting and be prepared to address them.

4. Be flexible:

Be open to adjusting the agenda or goals of the meeting as needed to ensure that it remains relevant and actionable.

In conclusion, one-on-one meetings are a powerful tool for building relationships, fostering open communication, and driving business success. By approaching these meetings with a clear plan and a strategic mindset, we can make the most of this valuable time and create a culture of collaboration and growth within our teams.