What Are Good Questions to Ask Employees in 1:1 Meetings?

Good Questions to Ask Employees in 1:1 Meetings

Question originally appeared on Quora – Spectrum offers our take, as one of the top job agencies in NJ.

Consistent communication with your team is arguably the best investment you can make, in terms of the return on investment on productivity and retention. However, without a strategic focus in mind, 1:1 meetings with your employees can be ineffective, even with the best of intentions. Make the most of your 1:1 meetings with your employees by asking these questions.


Asking open-ended questions (such as, “Anything you’d like to start with?” or “What’s on your mind?”) is helpful for 1:1 meetings because it establishes a less formal tone and indicates that it’s an actual conversation and that you want to hear what’s on your employee’s mind. Otherwise, you risk it turning into a question and answer session in which the employee may not feel like they can bring up topics.

Job Satisfaction

By the time a top employee puts in their notice, it’s likely too late to fix any issues that made them want to leave. Retention requires constant vigilance so you can spot signs of a decline in job satisfaction while you can still find solutions. During 1:1 meetings, ask questions about their job satisfaction, such as: “What do you like/dislike the most about your role?” or “What are some challenges you’re facing right now?”

Professional Goals

1:1 meetings are a great opportunity to check in on your employees’ ambitions so you can figure out ways to help facilitate their career development. If an employee feels like there are no opportunities for professional development at your company, they may look elsewhere or simply stop being engaged in their performance. Ask questions about their professional goals, such as “What skills are you interested in developing?” or “What roles are you interested in moving into in the future?”

Work Environment

Ensure your employees are set up for success by utilizing 1:1 meetings to determine how conducive their current work environment is for productivity. Discuss how they feel the team works together, how they feel about standard processes, if they have suggestions for improvements, etc. Specific questions will depend on your company and their duties.

Status Updates

Take advantage of the face time during 1:1 meetings to check in and ask about the status of specific, time-sensitive projects or situations. You can ask “How do you feel you’re handling your workload right now?”, “How is Current Project coming along?”  or “Are you experiencing any challenges transitioning to New Change?”

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