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First One-on-one Meeting with a New Employee Template

Start on the right foot with a new team member using this agenda to kickoff your first one-on-one.

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First One-on-one Meeting with a New Employee Template

Walkthrough

First one-on-one meeting with a new employee template walk-through:


Why spend one hour during your first one-on-one meeting?

Whether or not you use the full hour, you're going to want to make sure you have enough time to get to know each other better and understand how you can work best with one another. At this point in time, your direct report has likely gone through the hoops of orientation for their first week, learning about the company, how each team operates, etc. So this time should be focused more on your relationship with one another.


1. What do you like to do outside of work?

Maybe you touched on this a bit during the hiring process, but if not, this is a great get to know you question. Maybe you have common interests, and maybe their interests can prove to be valuable for the company. Either way, breaking the ice by talking about yourselves and spending time getting to know one another is super important for building rapport from day one.


2. How do you like to communicate? (Phone, email, Slack, Hypercontext, etc.)

Learning about one another's preference is a great way to make sure that nothing falls through the crack. Keep in mind that this isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. Where and how you communicate can be easily broken down by what's being communicated:

  • Project briefs in a project management tool
  • Quick messages in Slack
  • One-on-ones over Google Hangouts (if remote)
  • Hypercontext for anything related to meetings and/or asynchronous communication

Remember that this is a get-to-know-you meeting so you should both be answering this question.


3. What time of day do you do your best work?

Are they a morning person? Is the time of day less relevant, whereas the location is more important? Understanding when and where your direct report is most productive will help you avoid interrupting that time, whether it's through meetings or from popping by their desk.


4. What kind of projects are you most excited to work on?

Start off the relationship by letting your direct report know that you care about what motivates them. If it's possible to have them focus on the work that excites them the most, they'll be more engaged at work.


5. What are your 1 year, 3-year, and 5-year career goals?

Your direct report doesn't need a very specific answer to this. However, getting a better understanding of their bigger goals will give you a compass for areas you can coach them in, projects you can include them on, and generally give them opportunities to work towards their career goals.

At the end of the day, you should be rooting for your direct report to achieve those goals, whether or not it's at your company or not. This mindset will help you build a truly awesome relationship between you and your direct report.


6. What does success look like for you in 30 days?

A great book that many professionals look to when starting a new role is The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins. It's a book that helps you plan out your first 30-60-90 days at a new company.

When you're able to break up your onboarding into these three milestones, it sets you up for success. So, planning and understanding what success looks like for your direct report's first 30 days on the job is a great way to collaboratively plan 1-3 tasks that will help them reach their 30-day goal.

When you're able to help a new employee build confidence and build it fast, they'll feel more comfortable and excited to come to work every day!


7. When and how frequently would you like us to have one-on-ones?

End off your first one-on-one by deciding how frequently you'd like to meet and for how long. Remind your direct report that this isn't set in stone; If you need to increase or decrease the frequency or length, you can do that over time. But, it's important that you decide on when your one-on-ones will be. Try deciding on the following:

  • What day of the week will you meet?
  • At what time of day?
  • For how long?

Ending off your first one-on-one with deciding on when you'll meet next is a great way to give you and your direct report something to look forward to post-meeting.

About this template

Use this meeting agenda to fast-forward through the “get to know you phase” so that you can get right down to having a productive working relationship.

Updated May 5, 2022

First One-on-one Meeting with a New Employee FAQs

How long should a first one-on-one meeting with a new employee be?

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You should initially set your first one-on-one meeting with a new employees for 60 minutes with your team. If you prepare and share an agenda in advance you're likely to get through more faster.

How often should you have first one-on-one meeting with a new employees?

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Most first one-on-one meeting with a new employees tend to occur once. As you go through a few iterations of them you may need to increase or decrease the frequency.

What should you discuss during a first one-on-one meeting with a new employee?

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7 great things to discuss in your First One-on-one Meeting with a New Employee:

  • What do you like to do outside of work?
  • How do you like to communicate? (Phone, email, Slack, etc.)
  • What time of day do you do your best work?
  • What kind of projects are you most excited to work on?
  • What are your 1 year, 3 year, and 5 year career goals?
  • What does success look like for you in 30 days?
  • When and how frequently would you like us to have one-on-ones?

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