We talked to 100+ senior remote leaders to understand how they structure their 1 on 1 meetings. Short answer? Once in two weeks for 30 mins with each of your direct reports is the absolute minimum. Long answer? Read on!
How to find a good 1 on 1 meeting cadence
There are many factors in play here:
- Is this a new team member? → Meet them more often
- Are they doing very well vs are they struggling? → Meeting less frequently is ok if you have a good rapport with the person and they are doing well at work. Corollary, if they are struggling then meet them more often. This is not to micromanage them, but to help them more hands-on.
- Have you joined this company recently? → Meet all team members more regularly. Meeting everyone individually should be your highest priority in the first week.
- Their task relevant maturity - If they are currently low on a specific skill that is needed to do their job, you can include that in the agenda more
How often should you have 1 on 1 meetings?
In our research, we came across two most common cadences:
- Once a week - 38% of managers
- Once every two weeks - 45% of managers
A few other managers also opted for monthly or quarterly 1 on 1 meetings.
Note - Surprisingly, 7% of managers don’t pre-schedule 1 on 1 meetings at all. They only set up a meeting when they feel the need for it. I highly recommend against this. This is a bad idea, and the worst thing you can do in your leadership journey.
How long should be an 1 on 1 meeting
If you are meeting once a week / two weeks - then you can do 20 to 30 mins. Anything longer than that will lead to repetitive (and thus boring) conversations. Anything shorter than that will give you very little time to get to the bottom of real conversations.