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How to make your weekly one-on-one meetings more effective

Include these five components to enhance the productivity and impact of your weekly one-on-one meetings.

A woman and a bald man sit facing each other, each with a laptop, in a modern office setting with large windows and a couch in the background. They are engaged in a weekly one-on-one meeting, discussing work with attention and ease.A woman and a bald man sit facing each other, each with a laptop, in a modern office setting with large windows and a couch in the background. They are engaged in a weekly one-on-one meeting, discussing work with attention and ease.

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Insights from Ellen Raim, Founder of People MatterWe focus more on solving than preventing People problems.

Weekly one-on-one meetings between managers and their team members are a cornerstone of effective team management and employee development.

When conducted effectively, one-on-one meetings can foster a supportive environment, encourage open communication and align team efforts toward common goals.

Download our one-on-one meeting agenda templates

The 5 components of an effective weekly one-on-one meeting

To elevate the productivity and impact of your weekly one-on-one meetings, integrate the following topics into your agenda:

1. Top priorities

Begin each meeting by listing your immediate focus areas for the week.

Discuss what needs urgent attention and why. This approach ensures you and your team members are aligned on the most critical tasks and objectives. Discussing top priorities sets the stage for a productive week ahead by prioritizing actions that drive the team's goals forward. Understanding the “why” behind each priority also enhances motivation and commitment.

2. Wins

Sharing recent successes is a vital part of every weekly one-on-one meeting.

Acknowledge accomplishments and positive outcomes from the past week. This boosts morale and reinforces the behaviors and strategies that led to those successes. Celebrating wins, big or small, cultivates a culture of appreciation and recognition within the team. It’s a reminder that efforts are noticed and valued.

3. Challenges

Discuss any recent hurdles in a straightforward manner.

This segment of your weekly one-on-one meeting is crucial for uncovering issues that may impede progress. Discussing challenges openly also lets you brainstorm solutions together. Encourage your team members to be open about their challenges and offer your support in finding ways to overcome the challenges. This dialogue fosters trust and shows your shared commitment to individual and team success and well-being.

4. Meeting takeaways

Capture key points and insights from your discussion.

Reflect on what has been discussed during the weekly one-on-one meeting, including successes and challenges. This summary serves as a record of progress and helps identify patterns over time that may require strategic adjustments. Meeting takeaways ensure that both the manager and employee leave the meeting with clarity.

5. Action steps

Define actionable tasks with clear responsibility and timelines.

Translating the discussion into specific, measurable actions that keep the momentum going is essential. Assign tasks and agree on deadlines, ensuring each action step is realistic and achievable. Defined action steps help maintain focus and accountability, driving continuous progress toward objectives.

A strong one-on-one meeting agenda template results in a productive one-on-one meeting

Consider using a meeting agenda template explicitly designed for weekly meetings. This template can help streamline the one-on-one meeting preparation process, ensuring that each meeting is productive and meaningful.

Download our one-on-one meeting agenda templates

Weekly one-on-one meetings can be valued + appreciated

Making your weekly one-on-one meetings more effective is about fostering a culture of openness, recognition and continuous growth. By thoughtfully integrating the critical components outlined above into your weekly one-on-one meetings, you enhance individual and team performance and contribute to a more engaged and motivated workforce.

Additional one-on-one meeting resources:

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