Table of contents
- The importance of one-on-one meetings for a software development team
- How to conduct one-on-one meetings?
- Types of one-on-one meetings for engineering teams
- Initial one-on-one meeting with a new employee
- Weekly one-on-one meetings
- Monthly one-on-one meetings
- OKR setting one-on-one meetings
- Biannual performance review one-on-one meetings
- Quarterly mentor-mentee one-on-one meetings
- One-on-one meetings to review salary and the employee's level
- Exit interviews
- Key ideas
Today, both small and large businesses are rapidly reducing costs and opting for remote employment, especially in the tech industry. As a result, working on processes to establish and strengthen communication between managers and employees is more crucial than ever. One-on-one meetings are one of the techniques that can help.
In this article, you’ll find out about what types of 1:1s an engineering manager should carry out on a regular basis to boost team performance. Also, Vectorly will provide you with ready-to-use one-on-one meeting templates to make them more effective.
The importance of one-on-one meetings for a software development team
Managers should assign tasks to team members, track progress, and, in some situations, report back to clients during each project sprint. 1:1 meetings with each member of the software development team are critical for this reason. They give updates on each engineer's milestones, roadblocks, and personal vision of the project. This information helps managers sync the workflow of all developers and deliver quality results on time.
1 on 1 meetings are also significant since they give supervisors the opportunity to inquire about each employee's personal feelings. Software projects can be demanding, and developers are sometimes pushed to their limits to fulfill deadlines or deal with challenging tasks. One-on-one meetings can help avoid developer burnout and increase programming productivity.
It’s also worth mentioning, the demand for digital products — and software engineers who make them — is unprecedented today. Top developers get dozens of job opportunities, that’s why an engineering manager needs to make sure they feel comfortable in the company to keep the most valuable employees. One-on-one meetings with a software development team allow you to establish trust and transparency about their career path, as well as learn about potential concerns such as an unpleasant workplace, low pay, and other challenges that can tempt your employees to leave.
To sum up, regular one-on-one meetings are of benefit both for developers and the business and help to:
- Manage the workflow effectively and deliver quality results on time
- Improve relationships in a team
- Avoid developer burnout
- Increase team productivity
- Improve employee retention
- Develop software engineers professionally
- Prevent conflicts and issues
How to conduct one-on-one meetings?
There are several aspects to one-on-one meetings, though probably the most important and basic aspect of building an effective meeting is an agenda. By means of agenda, the meeting can be focused on the employee, their problems, requests, and wishes.
To run an effective discussion, cluster 1:1 meeting questions into several blocks:
- About the employee
- About tasks
- About motivation
- About the company
- About management
- About crises
To save your preparation time, find Vectorly’s ready-to-use agenda for your 1:1s.
Types of one-on-one meetings for software development teams with templates
One of the biggest questions managers face when starting the practice is “how often should I hold one-on-one meetings?” The answer is simple: first of all, you need to make such meetings a habit. There are several types of one-on-one meetings that an effective software development team should have on a regular basis: initial, weekly, monthly, OKR (objectives and key results) meetings, biannual performance review, meetings to review salary and the employee's level, and exit interviews.
Vectorly has its own one-on-one meeting templates for every type of meeting to skyrocket your discussions. Just click on the templates below and use them during your 1:1s.
Initial meeting with a new employee
The very first one-on-one meeting with a new employee is the onboarding meeting, and it’s important not only to get to know the new employee better, but also to help them integrate into the engineering team. Without proper onboarding, it can be easy for the employee to get confused, frustrated, and demotivated. They may even decide to leave the company, even before the end of their probationary period. A good 1:1 with a manager can help prevent that.
Now, after that initial meeting, you can schedule your recurring one-on-ones. Here are some examples:
Weekly one-on-one meetings
A weekly meeting will help prevent the employee from drowning in tasks. You can ensure that the progression of tasks proceeds according to reasonable iterations. Also, for an employee, a weekly meeting provides additional motivation to complete tasks on time.
Monthly one-on-one meetings
At a monthly meeting, you can explore stubborn, longstanding problems that seem impossible to solve. Help the employee find a solution. Getting things done is obviously good for business KPIs, and helping the employee surmount obstacles can boost morale. Click on the temple below and find more questions to discuss with your employee during your monthly 1:1.
Objectives and key results meetings (OKR meetings)
At an OKR one-on-one meeting, you can define some challenging key goals, and also set 3-5 key metrics to be evaluated at your next OKR meeting.
Biannual/quarterly performance review one-on-one meetings
In these meetings, you’ll evaluate the success of an employee and define strengths and weaknesses, as well as their impact. If your company offers annual bonuses, this meeting will be where you evaluate whether the employee deserves one. Of course, be sure to ask the employee how well they feel they’ve performed as well, and take their self-evaluation into account.
Aside from recurring meetings, here are some other important kinds of one-on-one meetings.
Quarterly mentor-mentee one-on-one meetings
One-on-one meetings between mentors and mentees don’t have to be frequent. Yet it’s a great way to develop the skills of an engineer, build their career path and help to overcome workplace challenges. Make sure every meeting is powerful and useful for both parties.
Skip level & salary review one-on-one meeting
This is good for a discussion of the employee’s successes on their way toward achieving a new grade. If KPIs are achieved, new skills are mastered and quarterly tasks are completed, a salary review is in order. You can also set a new goal for the employee. For example, they might want to become the department’s team leader.
Employees quit — this can’t be avoided. But don’t ignore the opportunity to solicit valuable feedback during an exit interview. By this time, the employee likely won’t be afraid to spoil relations with colleagues and the manager by holding their tongue about their frustrations with the organization. They may feel emboldened to be frank with their thoughts and feelings. Ask about problems and conflicts they’ve experienced within the software team — this will help you set new goals for team development.
With Vectorly’s library, you can use ready-to-use templates or add your own points to discuss if necessary.
- One-on-one meetings are very important for software development teams. They need to be held regularly, as they are a great way to solve many issues in the company, lift the team's spirit, increase developer performance and raise the level of employee retention.
- The right one-on-one meeting agenda is the key to a successful conversation.
- Use ready-to-use templates to save your preparation time and increase the effectiveness of one-on-one meetings
Want to increase your team's performance with regular 1:1s?
Book a demo call with the Vectorly team and get started!