For new employees, the first one-on-one meeting is a chance to introduce the organization and show welcome. Kick off your first one-on-one meeting with this meeting template!
Show your welcome to the new employee and break down the barriers a little.
Tell me more about yourself
What do you like to do outside of work?
Briefly introduce the main job duties, and learn the employee’s expectations.
What are your expectations for this role?
What kind of projects are you most excited to work on?
How would you like to receive feedback - publicly or privately?
Learn about the employee’s career goals and possibly give your opinion.
Let’s talk about what I expect from you as a professional
What would you like to accomplish in this company?
What are your 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year career goals?
Is there anything else that you would like to know at this time?
When and how often would you like us to have 1:1 meetings?
What came out of this meeting and set the next steps
The first one-on-one meeting is a dedicated time for the manager and a new hire to get to know each other and build the first impression.
Typically, the manager initiates the meeting, and both parties should come prepared with questions and topics for discussion.
It’s recommended to schedule the meeting early on in the relationship (better within the first week) and for a time when you’re both free from distractions. By taking the time to connect on a personal level and establish mutual expectations, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of time in the future.
A good first one-on-one meeting benefits the employee, the manager, and even the organization.
For employees, such a meeting provides an opportunity to get to know their manager on a personal level, discuss their expectations for the role, as well as share any concerns they may have.
For the manager, the first one-on-one helps to build rapport and identify any areas where additional training or support may be required.
Ultimately, the goal of the first one-on-one meeting is to ensure that both of you are on the same page and working towards a common goal.
The agenda for the one-on-one meeting with new employees centers around getting to know each other, setting expectations, and discussing roles and responsibilities.
Let’s be clear — you, as the manager, are at the wheel here. Therefore you can create the agenda and send it to your employee in advance to get prepared. Below is a walkthrough of the meeting agenda.
Get to know each other on a personal level.
Share your background, interests, and personal lives to help the employee get relaxed. This is also a good time to discuss any personal preferences that may impact the working relationship, such as work hours, communication style, etc.
Roles and responsibilities
Although your JD might have already listed the job duties, discuss them again with your direct report in the first one-on-one to make sure they understand well.
The first few weeks are bound to be confusing for your new hire, which is why you must have a clear list of responsibilities for this duration. Treat this like a week-by-week checklist.
Discuss what you expect from your new hire in terms of job duties, communication, collaboration, and feedback. Explain your management style and what you expect in terms of attendance, punctuality, and attitude.
This will set the tone for the rest of their time at the company and ensure that they are on track to meet their goals. Discuss their short-term and long-term career goals, what they need to do to achieve those goals, and what support they need from you.
By taking the time to talk about career development, you can show your employees that you're invested in their success and help them map out a path to reach their full potential.
We’ve covered the topics you need to bring up in your first one-on-one with a new employee. Let’s move on to specific one-on-one meeting questions you can ask to explore each topic successfully.
Keep it fun and casual. The idea is to make them comfortable while gaining insight into their personality.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Where do you live? How do you go to work?
What's your favorite sports game?
What did you do on your last vacation?
Roles and responsibilities
The first 1:1 meeting with a new hire is an important opportunity to set the tone for the working relationship and ensure that everyone is clear on roles and responsibilities. Here are some key questions to ask:
Do you have a clear understanding of your job duties?
How do you prefer to receive feedback?
Do you have any ideas on how we could improve our process?
Ask questions that will give you a better understanding of your new hire's goals and how they align with the company's needs.
What do you want to achieve in the next 1, 3, 5 years?
What kind of experience do you hope to gain in this role?
What skills would you like to develop?
Are there any specific areas you would like to learn more about?
Here’s a sample you can copy-paste right now to make setting up a 1-on-1 much easier. This is highly customizable, so change what you need to and hit send. Crucial elements of what to include are:
Who you are
Why have the 1:1 meeting
What you will be discussing. Better include an agenda.
3-4 calendar times so they can choose what works best for them.
Hi [Employee Name],
This is [your name], manager of [your department].
I would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest team member! Thrilled to have you on board and look forward to seeing great things from you.
To help us get to know each other better and ensure you have what you need to succeed in your role, I’d like to have a one-on-one meeting with you.
I have included the meeting agenda as an attachment so that you know what topics we'll be covering. Currently, I'm looking at the following dates and times for our meeting: [Dates and times].
Please let me know if any of those work for you. I'm looking forward to meeting with you soon and getting to know you better.
Share how the company determines total compensation, including a conversation about leveling, tiers, or approaches.
Show appreciation for the employee’s work
Share an update on adjusting the compensation or title for the employee
A review of the details of the compensation data so there is no misunderstanding