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Skip Level Meeting Agenda

Skip Level Meeting Agenda Template

Helps senior managers connect with employees they don’t directly manage to bridge the gap. Use this free skip-level meeting agenda to gather valuable feedback and build a healthier working environment.

🧩 Check-In 

A quick check-in with the employee to break the ice.

  • How are you feeling in your current role?


📝  About the Company

Discuss the company's growth, future development, and potential challenges.

  • Where do you see the company headed in the next few years?

  • What’s the biggest challenge facing the organization?


🧰  Feedback

Listen to employees’ feedback about the company, the team, and their manager.

  • How is the team performing from your perspective?

  • What’s the best part of working with your team or <your manager>?

  • What’s one thing we should start, continue, or stop doing as a team?


🎯 Employee Growth

Know more about the employee and see how to help him grow with the organization.

  • Is anything blocking/bothering you in your daily work?

  • What can your manager or I do to better support you?

  • What do you wish to accomplish in the company next?


👉 Action Items

What are your next steps after this discussion?

  • Action 1

What is a skip-level 1:1 meeting?

A skip-level one-on-one meeting is when senior managers meet one-on-one with the direct reports of the managers under them.  In other words, it's about skipping a manager to interact directly with their team members.

The purpose of skip level 1:1s is not to undercut the manager but to connect CEOs, VPs, or senior managers with the employees of an organization. And with these goals in mind: 

  • Bridge the gap between employees and higher-level management.

  • Collect feedback and insight that can help you build a more productive work environment. 

  • Understand employees' day-to-day work life in your organization.

  • Get first-hand information about what's working and what's not in your company.

  • Motivate employees, mentor them and seek alignment with them on the company vision.


Skip-level 1:1 meeting frequency

One factor that determines the frequency of skip-level one-on-ones is the team size. Every quarter, bi-yearly, or at least once a year is ideal. There's no rigid rule here. Just don't overdo it. After all, they report to their managers regularly.


Meeting duration

The rule of thumb here is to create ample time to connect and get to the crux of your agenda. With a very focused agenda, 60 minutes is enough for a skip-level meeting. 


Meeting atmosphere

A skip-level one-on-one is not a session for evaluation. Giving employees this impression will defeat the purpose of the meeting. Lead in with a casual chat, create a friendly atmosphere and make them feel comfortable to make the most out of the meeting.


skip-level meeting agenda template

What to ask in a skip-level meeting as an employee? 

Having a skip-level one-on-one meeting in view can make an employee anxious since your host is one heroic top-level manager you only meet once in a while. 

We’ve listed and categorized the right questions for your next skip-level meeting below.


Team alignment

  • What do you want our team to achieve this quarter/year?

  • Does our team embody the company's values?

  • How can our team work with other teams to achieve common goals?

  • Can you suggest ways our team can better align with company goals and values?


Career development

  • How long did it take you to get to your current position?

  • What was your career journey like here at [company]?

  • What are some of the most important steps I can take at this stage in my career?

  • Is there an opportunity in the future for me to advance in this company? 


Getting Feedback

  • Do you value team projects or independent projects more?

  • Can you provide me with feedback on the last project our team did?

  • How can I ask for feedback from upper management?

  • What improvements do you recommend to better our processes?


Company growth

  • In what direction do you see the company going in the future?

  • With the present industry reality, what do you suggest our team prioritize?

  • What is one habit every team should embrace to contribute more to the company's growth?

  • What’s the company’s biggest challenge?


About Strategy

  • Do you agree with the strategies that our team is currently using?

  • What other strategies could our team implement?

  • Which strategies do you feel are most effective?

  • Does this team support the company's mission? How or how not?



Skip-level meeting questions for managers


Build rapport

  • How's your family? How's your work-life balance?

  • What made you decide to join our company? 

  • What were you most excited about when you started?

  • What do you like to do in your free time? 


Team feedback

  • How's your relationship with your direct manager?

  • Who is an unsung hero in our company? What do they do that deserves recognition?

  • What’s the best part of working with your team?

  • What's the biggest bottleneck or blocker that affects you and your team doing their jobs well?


Employee Growth

  • Which of the projects that you have worked on have you enjoyed the most?

  • Are you happy with your current position and your career progress here? Why/why not?

  • What do you need to be more successful in your current role?

  • How much is the company pushing you towards your career growth?


Company Growth

  • Where do you see the company headed in the next few years?

  • What’s the biggest challenge facing the organization?

  • What’s one thing you can recommend to give the company instant success?



How do employees prepare for a skip-level meeting? 

Meeting with your boss's boss shouldn't send a chill down your spine. It's normal to be anxious for the first time. Let's explore how you can get into your next skip-level one-on-one meeting with confidence.


1. Know who you are meeting

Knowing about the person you are meeting will go a long way to ease you into the conversation. Gather as much knowledge as you can about their personalities, leadership styles, and professional careers. Here are a few things you can do to know more about your skip-level manager:

  • Read company bio

  • Check out their LinkedIn profile 

  • Ask teammates who've met with them in the past


2. Get the talking points right

Your skip-level manager is as interested in your contribution to the company's growth as your career development and personal well-being. So they are going to be asking you a lot about all these. 

Prepare answers beforehand to give on-point responses in a short time. This will underline the level of your competence and commitment. And who doesn't love to impress the decision-makers?


3. Prepare your questions

You want to come along to your skip-level manager as someone prepared. Once you have a meeting scheduled, your first assignment is to prepare a list of questions you will ask. 

Scratching your head to find relevant questions during the meeting will paint a bad practice of you. Lucky you, we've provided some key skip-level meeting questions above.

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