How to Have Awesome 1:1s

Almost every manager agrees with both the following statements: 1) One-on-ones are important; and 2) I'm not having great one-on-ones.

How to Have Awesome 1:1s

Almost every manager agrees with both the following statements: 1) One-on-ones are important; and 2) I'm not having great one-on-ones.  

These meetings always risk becoming status updates and project overviews and rarely live up to their real purpose of checking in beyond the day-to-day work. However, when done right, one-on-ones become a valuable way to build trust, especially when employees aren’t working in an office together.

One-on-ones give managers the chance to hear from their employees, learn about their day-to-day challenges, overcome blockers, discuss career development and job happiness, and sync up on anything else on the employee’s mind. It’s essential to carve out this time to hear from your employees and understand what could increase output.

Fortunately, Pathlight makes the process of one-on-ones super easy and productive for both parties. One Pathlight customer with a large field sales team found the one-on-one process easy to implement with the app. With a 50% increase in one-on-ones, they saw a 20% improvement in sales performance.

Schedule It and Show Up

Most managers and employees have a weekly one-on-one, but it’s important to have a regular cadence and protect that time even if you meet less frequently. Do not cancel it. Remember this is an investment of time into your team, and respect it as such.

Pathlight makes it easy to set up one-on-ones with a seamless calendar integration— it sends alerts when agendas should be created for upcoming meetings, if you’ve been added to an agenda, and when new tasks and topics have been added to the agenda.

Let Employees Drive

Pathlight delivers coaching tips and performance insights on demand— making it fast and easy to see where employees stand relative to their goals.

And setting agendas is easier than ever before— Pathlight cuts meeting prep time down to just five minutes by automatically embedding data snapshots and tables directly into your one-on-one agenda. It also automatically includes any open tasks and topics that still need to be completed. Employees, or managers, can simply add more items they wish to discuss, so everyone shows up prepared.


More seasoned employees may be a pro at managing up and guiding their discussions. But managers can help newer employees grow their skills by including open-ended questions to provide a framework and put employees in the driver's seat.

Here are a few favorite guiding questions:

  1. What worked well last week?
  2. What challenges or roadblocks do you need help with?
  3. How happy were you this past week?
  4. What feedback do you have for me?
  5. Is there anything else on your mind?

End with Alignment and Gratitude

Listening to your frontline employees and making the time to invest in coaching will lead to better business outcomes. With Pathlight’s one-on-one features, you can easily document feedback, capture growth, and track action items and their progress. You can even set up mini goals for a daily or weekly target.

The takeaway? One-on-one meetings are a time for managers to listen and collaborate with employees. They should be consistent, respected, and utilized. With Pathlight, health scores and performance metrics are available at any time— not just on a weekly basis. So performance feedback and acknowledgment can happen all the time, not just in scheduled meetings.

One-on-ones give managers the opportunity to emphasize and celebrate strengths and also weave in advice for performance improvements. Managers can coach employees to become high performers by helping them focus on doing more of what works while leveraging their strengths to improve their weaknesses. [See last week’s post on Positive Coaching]

We want your employees to leave your one-on-one meetings feeling positive about their performance with the added confidence you’re both on the same page. Talk to a sales specialist today to learn more about using Pathlight’s system for 1:1s —with data insights, coaching, and mini goals —to empower your customer-facing teams to accomplish more.