1:1 Meetings

One-on-One Meeting Cadence: 9 Types of Meeting to Master

Looking to make one-on-one meetings more effective? It starts by establishing a one-on-one meeting cadence featuring 9 different types of employee manager meeting.

The one-on-one meeting is probably the most valuable tool in a leader or manager’s toolkit, but only if you develop an effective meeting cadence, making sure to include the 9 essential types of employee-manager meeting. From goal-setting meetings and stay interviews to career-focused meetings, these are the conversations you need to have in order to get the best from your people, minimise surprises and paint a 360° picture of employee engagement.

Simply hosting the same one-to-one meeting with the same agenda every week isn’t going to cut it. Your one-on-one meeting cadence needs to include frequent conversations on performance and goal progress, of course, but it also needs to help you identify solutions to challenges through conversations around employee satisfaction, well-being and career development.

Click here to download 10 essential 1:1 meeting question templates

Of course, the ideal meeting cadence will look different for every team. Some managers swear by weekly feedback sessions, while others prefer a monthly goal-focused meeting and a handful of themed annual check-ins. And of course, many leaders tweak their one-on-one meeting cadence depending on the employee.

This is all about striking the right balance between productive meetings and meaningful work. To truly maximise the impact of employee-manager meetings, you need to master 9 key types of one-on-one meeting and establish an effective meeting cadence. Let’s find out how.

What is a One-on-One Meeting Cadence?

One-on-one meeting cadence refers to the rhythm of one-on-one meetings that take place between employee and manager. Your one-on-one meeting cadence is defined by factors like how often the meetings take place and the specific content of the meetings.

What Does a Good One-on-One Meeting Cadence Look Like?

Here’s an example of an effective one-on-one meeting cadence:

An employee has a one-on-one manager meeting every other week for 45 minutes. One meeting per month is focused on the employee’s performance and their progress towards their goals. The second meeting in the month follows this schedule, which repeats twice per year: feedback session, stay interview, career-development meeting, performance review session, employee satisfaction session and employee wellbeing session.

This cadence works well because there’s a consistent schedule, lots of opportunities to discuss goal progress and dedicated spaces for important topics like employee development and wellbeing. Of course, this cadence won't suit everyone - it might take your team a few months to find the cadence that works best for you.

How Often Should you Have One-on-One Meetings?

Ideal one-on-one meeting frequency depends heavily on the people involved and their roles and schedules, but fortnightly (every other week) works well for most teams.

The most popular frequencies for one-on-one meetings are weekly, fortnightly (every other week) and monthly.

9 types of one-one-one meetings to master, one-on-one meeting cadence, manager meeting tips

9 Types of One-on-One Meeting all Managers and Leaders Should Master

1. Goal-Focused 1:1 Meeting

A staple meeting that should already be on every team’s calendar, a performance-focused one-on-one meeting provides employees and managers with a regular opportunity to catch up on recent goal progress.

Leaders or managers will lead the conversation, but employees tend to do most of the talking, highlighting challenges they face, requesting additional support, and sharing new ideas. The purpose of this meeting is to provide employees with the guidance and feedback that they need to make impactful, real-time improvements to their performance.

Frequency: Weekly, fortnightly (every other week) or monthly

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Sample agenda: Goal-Focused One-on-One Meeting Agenda

2. Goal-Setting 1:1 Meeting

At the beginning of each quarter, it’s a good idea for employees and managers to spend one session working together to refine the employee’s goals - remember, these goals dictate what they’ll be working on for the next 3 months, so you really want to get them right.

In most cases, employees will come to this meeting with a first draft of their goals and receive feedback and guidance from their manager - if the employee is new to goal-setting, you might need to set aside more time than the 30 minutes suggested, or provide training.

Frequency: Quarterly, or aligning with the goal period

Duration: 30 minutes

3. Career Development 1:1 Meeting

This is an opportunity to talk about the team member’s medium and long-term career goals, and explore how the company might help them achieve them. Managers can discuss potential career pathways, provide guidance on skills development, and offer support for career advancement opportunities. Research shows that these conversations, when followed up with suitable action points, can have a hugely positive impact on employee engagement and retention.

This is one meeting where consistency across the team is really important, too. Including employee development conversations in your one-on-one meeting cadence is a great way to minimise unconscious bias.

Frequency: Quarterly or bi-annually

Duration: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Sample agenda: Career Development One-on-One Meeting Agenda

4. Performance Review Outcome 1:1 Meeting

Whether your company runs traditional performance reviews, or prefers the more progressive 360-degree model, it’s important to set aside some time to go through the responses with your people.

This gives the employee the chance to respond to their feedback - an essential step, as 85% of employees say they would consider quitting if they felt their performance review was unfair (1). It also prompts team members to make a plan for how they'll action the feedback.

Frequency: Quarterly or more frequently, depending on how often performance reviews take place

Duration: 30 minutes

Sample agenda: Performance Review Outcome One-on-One Meeting Agenda

one-on-one meeting cadence, a list of the 9 types of one-on-one meeting every manager should holdFrankli automates the scheduling and structuring of 1:1 meetings, so you can keep your focus firmly on your people.

5. Stay Interview 1:1 Meeting

In a stay interview, a manager, leader or HR leader explores how they could keep the employee from leaving the organisation.

It’s an opportunity to learn how the employee could be better supported to succeed, identify any benefits or opportunities that might keep them from walking out the door and get valuable feedback that contributes to increased manager performance and employee engagement.

Frequency: Annually or bi-annually

Duration: 30 to 60 minutes

Sample agenda: Stay Interview One-on-One Meeting Agenda

6. Job Satisfaction 1:1 Meeting

Similar to a stay interview, an employee-manager meeting on job satisfaction helps leaders and managers understand how they can support employees to do their very best work.

These conversations can identify employees who may be at risk of leaving and uncover wider issues with culture that need to be addressed. And there’s potential for company-wide improvement across employee engagement and employee retention, too.

Frequency: Annually or bi-annually

Duration: 30 to 60 minutes

Sample agenda: Job Satisfaction One-on-One Meeting Agenda

7. Work-Life Balance 1:1 Meeting

You can’t paint a thorough picture of employee experience without looking at employee wellbeing, and a dedicated work-life balance conversation is a great way to do it.

These chats are about learning how your people are doing outside of work, and whether there’s anything management or leadership can do to improve not only their performance, but their engagement levels. This is another conversation where employees should do the most of the talking - managers should look out for signs of burnout, and resist the urge to respond with platitudes like, “you just need to manage your time better.”

Frequency: Annually or bi-annually

Duration: 30 minutes

Sample agenda: Work-Life Balance One-on-One Meeting Agenda

8. Dedicated Feedback 1:1 Meeting

Of course, feedback should be woven into everyday conversations, but some managers find it helpful to set aside time to deliver detailed positive and constructive feedback on their team member’s performance, as research shows that precise, accurate feedback rooted data is by far the most impactful (2). It's also a good idea to aim for a positive to constructive feedback ratio of 3:1 or higher.

If a 30-minute feedback session sounds too intense, you can make them shorter and more frequent, or combine them with an upward feedback session, where employees provide feedback to managers on their performance.

Frequency: Monthly, quarterly or annually

Duration: 15 or 30 minutes

9. Upward Feedback 1:1 Meeting

This type of conversation is about helping the manager improve their performance.

Employees provide feedback on specific areas like communication and support, and managers create action points to help them put these insights into action.

Frequency: Quarterly or annually

Duration: 15 or 30 minutes

Sample agenda: Upward Feedback One-on-One Meeting Agenda

Bonus Meeting: The Casual Check-In

Informal catch-ups don’t need to be included in your one-on-one meeting schedule, but they can still be incredibly valuable, whether conducted in-person or over Zoom. They provide an opportunity to touch base with team members, ask how things are going, and communicate recognition for all their hard work. Many managers and leaders find that the lack of structure or a formal agenda helps the employee speak more honestly.

There’s no ideal frequency for informal one-on-one meetings, although some managers like to set reminders to ensure that they happen, and that remote, hybrid and office workers get equal access to these kinds of conversations.

Frequency: At manager’s discretion

Duration: 15 to 30 minutes


1. Business News Daily, Employees Are More Likely to Consider Quitting After an Unfair Performance Review. 2. Siliang Tong, Nan Jia, Xueming Luo and Zheng Fang. Strategic Management Journal. The Janus Face of Artificial Intelligence Feedback: Deployment Versus Disclosure Effects on Employee Performance.

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