Asking These 10 Questions Will Improve Your 1:1 Meetings

The best managers know that 1:1 meetings, when done correctly, can unlock potential and improve the performance of their team

April 30, 2022
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There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

The best managers know that 1:1 meetings, when done correctly, can unlock potential and improve performance for their team members. Utilizing team meeting questions to guide your one on one meetings is essential. This is a valuable time for managers and their team members to develop their professional relationship. In the corporate world, a one on one meeting is a perfect time to touch base on not just the day to day work but also delve into a team member's personal life. Regular one on one questions can aid in structuring these team meetings and ensuring everyone is on the same page. It's also an opportunity for direct reports to receive feedback and discuss their career growth aspirations.

Past studies have shown that both managers and employees alike struggle with finding the right talking points for their one on one conversation. By contrast, those who have a clear structure and specific talking points set out before the one on one often find that these sessions have a huge impact on both the manager's management style and the employee's performance.

In today's age, especially with the rise of remote teams, understanding how to manage remote employees efficiently is a challenge. Remote workers, unlike their in-office counterparts, might not have as many natural opportunities for check-ins. So, a well-planned one on one meeting can make all the difference. Managers can check in on how their remote employees manage distractions or any personal challenges they're facing.

There are tools you can use to set up an efficient 1:1 meeting, like Assembly's 1:1 workflow where you can edit your 1:1 meeting template to suit your needs. Along with the right tool, you should also be asking the right questions to get the most out of your meetings. 

Another key topic to discuss in these meetings is career development. Talking about their past experiences with past managers, understanding their career aspirations, and discussing professional development opportunities can go a long way. Career conversations, in particular, can be beneficial. Some team members might desire more or less direction in their roles. Others might be curious about skip level meetings or want to discuss potential career goals.

A successful business runs on effective communication, and these one on ones are a cornerstone. Are team members receiving enough feedback? Are they aware of the company culture, and how do they view their relationship with other team members? What has changed since the last meeting, and what are the goals for the next week? Is the team improvement noticeable since the past month?

It's essential to always have a meeting agenda. Starting with a personal check in can ensure your team stays motivated and has a good work-life balance. Questions geared toward understanding how to improve employee satisfaction can also be crucial.

So here are ten questions (in no particular order) you should ask to make your one-on-one meetings productive and efficient for you and your team members.  

What are your top priorities (for the week)?

It’s good to get right to the point. Asking your team member about their top priorities can help you determine what they are focusing on. If your team member isn’t prioritizing their to-dos, then this can be an opportunity for you to help them. 

What are your short term and long term goals?

Employees who are actively involved by management in their professional development are four times more likely to be engaged. Follow-up this question with how you can help them achieve those goals. 

Is there anything you need help with?

We can all use a helping hand, but sometimes it’s not easy to ask for help. By initiating with this question not only do you make it easier to ask for help but also set yourself as a manager who is supportive and cooperative! 

How do you feel about the next three months?

This is a great question to get feedback on current and upcoming projects. It can also reveal how much the team member is in sync with the plans of the team. If they’re not sure what’s happening, it’s time to improve communication!  

How is life outside of work?

There is definitely more to life than work! This is an important but often neglected question to ask during 1:1 meetings. Show that you care about them as a person, not just an employee, by asking about their life outside of the office. 

What has been the work highlight/lowlight (this week)?

Learning about your team member’s wins and areas of opportunity can help you be a better, more engaged manager. This is also a great opportunity to offer recognition, feedback or suggestions, depending on their answer. 

What’s one thing we can do to improve the performance of the team?
This question will do two things: get feedback from your team member AND give them an opportunity to be involved. Asking for input like this will show that your a manager who listens and wants to make their team is set up to do their best work. 

Who is doing a great job on the team and what did they do? 

Employee recognition is one of the most important drivers of company culture and employee retention. As a leader, you can’t see everything that is going on but your team members can share team successes and help you better recognize good work. 

What do you like about our 1:1 meetings; what can be improved? 

Every person has their own style of communication, so it’s important that managers are adapting their 1:1 meetings towards their team members. The best way to do this is to simply ask them for their thoughts. 

How is my communication with you and the team? Can I improve? 

Communication is vital for any manager, and you want that communication to be open. Ask your team members for feedback to show that you’re a manager who listens and wants to improve. 

Make the Most of Your 1:1 Meetings

To make sure your 1:1 meetings are useful, productive and provides accountability you need the right tool. Assembly’s 1:1 workflow provides managers the ability to document goals and KPIs, create and edit talking points, collect feedback, and more. You can learn more about this workflow and how you can use it to improve your meetings here

In conclusion, understanding and implementing these keywords in your approach can ensure your one on ones truly benefit both manager and employee (and their career growth). Whether it's helping your team find their biggest challenge or ensuring everyone's on track with career goals and is able to receive feedback, the questions to ask are endless. Making the most of these opportunities and give other team members a talking point to check in during one on one will ensure a healthier and more productive workplace for everyone involved. There is no such thing as enough feedback in day to day work so encourage remote employees to strive to achieve their career goals and work life balance.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

Does Assembly offer longer-term contracts?

Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

Does Assembly offer onboarding support?

We do and for FREE! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

How do I cancel my plan if needed?

If you're on a month to month plan, you can go here and cancel anytime. If you're having concerns or need help setting up your account for success, you can always book a demo with a customer support specialist.

If you're on a longer-term custom plan, you'll need to reach out to your customer support specialist to cancel your account or email us at

What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

Could find the answer you are looking for?

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