meeting with a new employee

15 Important Questions to Ask New Employees in First 1:1 Meeting

author Ranee profile imageRanee Zhang
Aug 08, 20226 mins
Why is the First 1:1 Meeting Important?

Employees are the backbone of your company. They are valuable assets that can help to grow your business. Thus, when you onboard a new employee, you must have a 1:1 meeting with them.

Meetings will help you understand your new employees. You can also learn about their work style and build a personal connection with them.

According to Hypercontext’s One-on-ones Report in 2019, 75% of managers admitted to discussing development and growth in one-on-one meetings. And 23% said they discussed company goals in 1:1 meetings with their team.

One-on-one meetings are the perfect way to start a healthy relationship with your new employees. But, it is hard to start a conversation with a new employee since you are not aware of their nature.

So, to help you out, we have listed 15 ice-breaking meeting questions to learn more about your new employees.

Why is the First 1:1 Meeting Important?

One-on-one meetings are not only beneficial for new employees or managers. In fact, your entire business organization can benefit from these meetings.

Here, you will understand how 1:1 meetings can help employees, managers, and businesses.

1:1 Meetings Benefits for Employees

Whether you are a new employee or an old one, constant feedback from your seniors is always important to you. Employees need to receive real-time guidance and feedback from their managers as part of their performance management process. It helps them improve their work efficiency and grow in their career.

With physical 1:1 meetings, employees can share their problems with managers. In return, they get instant feedback and solutions from their seniors to improve efficiency. 

It also improves employee engagement, leading to better ROI. According to employee engagement stats, 56% of organizations get higher ROI with engaged employees. 

1:1 Meeting Benefits for Managers

One-on-one meetings help managers to guide team members and resolve team conflicts. For new hires, managers can walk them through the internal company processes. They can address new employees' concerns and guide them. 

A Gallup study states that when managers provide regular feedback, it motivates team members to do outstanding work and improve their engagement. 

1:1 Meetings Benefits for Business 

One-on-one meetings can benefit your entire business organization. If your employees and managers have healthy relationships, it will improve your organizational productivity and efficiency.

It will take less time to make important decisions. In addition, these meetings can keep your senior management and workers on the same page. Managers can keep employees familiar with new trends and policy changes. Similarly, employees can share their problems and receive instant feedback from senior staff.

15 Crucial 1:1 Meeting Questions 

A one-on-one meeting is not a simple interview meeting. The next stage is where you introduce yourself and your company to new employees. Meanwhile, trying to find out more about them.

So, it is always helpful to divide your one-on-one meeting into different stages. For example, first, you should ask basic introductory questions to start a conversation with your employees.

Gradually, you can ask about their career goals and future plans. This will help you understand how enthusiastic and serious your employees are. Moreover, you can provide better career development opportunities based on employees' interests.

You can advance your meeting with relationship-building and self-improvement tips to guide your employees. 

Here, we have laid down all the basic 15 questions you can ask your new employees in the first 1:1 meetings. 

Introductory Questions 

First, you should start the meeting with basic introductory questions to better understand your new employee. Here are some common introductory questions to ask in the first meeting:

1. How are you today? Tell me about your day.

After formal greetings, you should ask your employees how they are feeling today and what they did all day. This will help you understand their state of mind. Furthermore, you can plan your meeting questions around the answers your employee gives you. This simple question can give a head start to your meeting.

2. What are your plans and goals for this week?

You can also ask about your employees' plans for the prevailing week. This will let you know what your employees plan to do. You can also understand if they need any guidance from you to achieve their targeted goals.

3. Since our last conversation, what news have you achieved?

Taking the conversation to your employee's personal life is always a good idea. It will help you build a personal relationship with your employee. 

You should ask your employees about their non-work-related achievements. Usually, what people achieve in their personal lives impacts their confidence and morale. If your employees have achieved new things in their personal lives, this shows that they are confident and dedicated people.

Career Goals and Aspirations Related Questions 

After the introduction, you should move on to more career-related questions. This will tell you about your new employees' aspirations and expectations of your company. It will also help you design a better career development policy in your organization. So, you can start with these questions:

4. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

It is always better to know your employees' long-term goals. This way, you can provide them with the right instruments to achieve those goals. You can also improve your employee retention rate when you know what your employees want to achieve in the next five years.

5. What career goals have you set for yourself this year?

Apart from their long-term goals, you should also ask your new employees about their short-term career goals. It will help you streamline your company's goals with your employees' career goals.

6. Do you think your current job role is right to achieve your career goals?

If you don’t want your employees to give a resignation after a few days of hiring, it is the most important question. When your employees don’t see their career goals aligned with their job role, they can leave your organization anytime. So, if your employee's career goals are not aligned with their current job, you can give them more responsibilities and challenges to retain them.

7. Is your current job position sufficiently challenging for you?

When employees don’t find their current job position challenging, it will show in their productivity. Therefore, you should ask your employees if they want to make their current job more challenging by taking on more responsibilities.

Relationship Building Questions 

Since relationship building is the main goal of conducting 1:1 meetings, do ask some relationship-strengthening questions, like these:

8. Are you satisfied with your job role?

Engaged employees are the most valuable asset of your organization. So, make sure to ask your employees if they are satisfied with their job. If not, how can you help them to achieve job satisfaction?

9. Do you have any feedback for me today?

Use 1:1 meetings as an opportunity to receive feedback from your employees. You can improve your leadership skills with real-time feedback from your team. 

10. Any incident you’d like to discuss?

It is always important for managers to know about any important incident prevailing in their employee's life. This will help them resolve team conflicts faster and detect bullying behavior among your employees.

11. Is there any non-work-related problem that bothers you while working?

Personal life issues can also impact a person's professional life. If your employees have some problem in their personal life, it can reduce their concentration and productivity level. So, you should always stay aware of your employees' home lives.

Self-improvement Questions 

Self-improvement is an important trait that you should look for in your new employee. When your employees self improves themselves, it will not only enhance their productivity. But also reduce managers' workload. 

So, you should ask your employees whether they want to improve themselves. These questions can help you in it:

12. How frequent do you believe feedback sessions should be?

You should frankly ask your employees how often they want to receive feedback from you. This way, you can provide timely feedback to your employees to improve their efficiency.

13. Do you want more challenging job roles?

Before putting more workload on your employee’s plates, ensure that they are ready to handle challenging job roles. When your employees are ready for challenges, you can plan business growth strategies accordingly.

14. Is there anything I can help you with after this meeting? 

While concluding your meeting, don’t forget to ask your employees whether they need your help with something else. You should open a communication door with your employees so they can interact with you even after the meeting. 

15. Would you like to schedule another meeting?

One meeting is never enough. In the first meeting, you can only know certain things about your new employees. Thus, you should schedule another meeting with your employees.

Parting Remarks 

One-on-one meetings help to build relationships and improve productivity. You can create a progressive environment in your organization with regular meetings and feedback.

So, whenever you onboard a new employee, take a few minutes out of your schedule to have a 1:1 meeting with them. You can learn so much about your new hires with small talk.

So, you can now start planning your 1:1 meeting structure. You can refer to the questions discussed above and nurture a strong bond with your team members.

Ranee Zhang

Ranee has worked in the SaaS industry for nearly ten years. She loves working with, learning from, and helping develop effective leaders and is willing to share her thoughts through words. Outside of work, you can find her dancing, hiking in the mountains, or reading in a cafe.

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