1-1 Structure & Questions to Connect with Your Team

Continue connecting with your team with one-on-one’s and implement structured conversations to give your team consistency and space to share their lens with 5-15s, direct report one-on-one’s, ice-breaker questions and questions to engage, connect and coach.

5-15s: Aptly named, the 5-15 should take no longer than fifteen minutes to hand-write on a standardized  form, and five minutes to read and understand. It addresses five key reporting issues, and provide the instant feedback that is crucial to smoothly functioning foodservice workplace.

Completed at the end of each week, the 5-15 should answer the following questions:

1. What specific tasks did I accomplish this week that will make the company more efficient and productive?
2. What is my #1 priority action step for next week that will help me work smarter?
3. What management practice, operating philosophy, employee problem needs to be fixed or eliminated?
4. What is my #1 focus for personal behavioral change?
5. If I owned this business, what is the #1 change I would make today?

5-15’s are intended to help employees think proactively, work smarter, not harder, and create a sense of involvement, teamwork and inclusion. They also reinforce the importance of consistent feedback. Employees who are required to set goals on a weekly basis will always perform at a higher level.

One-on-One Reminders:

– Start with the positive.
– All criticism should be constructive and productive (look through the lens of a coach). Offer actionable ways in which the employee can fix the problem or work on a solution together.
– Focus on behavior. People are not their actions, it’s easier to change what you do than who you are.
– Actively listen. Employees want to feel heard. Don’t be afraid of silence in the meeting.
– Send a written recap of the meeting (or have them).

The 8 Best Questions to Ask During a One-on-One Meeting

1. How’s life? (connect personally)
2. What are you worried about right now?
3. What rumors are you hearing that you think I should know about?
4. If you could be proud of one accomplishment between now and next year, what would it be?
5. What are your big time wasters?
6. Would you like more or less direction from me?
7. Would you like more or less feedback on your work? If so, what additional feedback would you like?
8. Are there any decisions you’re hung up on?

AVOID: “How can I help you?” It puts pressure on the employee to give a diplomatic response, instead of an honest one. And it’s vague.

Ice-Breakers to try at your next team meeting:

1. If you could have one superpower, which one would you choose?
2. Which season is your favorite?
3. What item or gadget are you currently dreaming of buying?
4. What is the coolest vacation you have ever taken?
5. What’s a hidden talent you have?
6. As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
7. Where is the first place you are traveling to after COVID?
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
9. What is one of your biggest goals within your personal life?
10. Who has been the most influential person in your life thus far?

Power Questions to Engage:

1. Are we doing anything that is no longer important or effective and that we should stop?
2. What do you think is the single most important action we can take to make our organization more successful?
3. Do you know why we do it this way?
4. What would make your job more interesting and exciting?
5. Where do you see me being the most effective and having the most impact?
6. What are the most challenging parts of your job?
7. What makes you proud to work here?
8. What could leadership do to communicate more effective to our organization?
9. Who in our organization do you wish you knew better?
10. What are we hearing from our customers lately?

Power Questions to Connect:

1. What would you like to be remembered for?
2. What has brought you the most fulfillment in your life?
3. What do you wish your younger self had known about (success, relationships, being a parent, etc.) that you know today?
4. In terms of your own effectiveness and how you spend your time, what would you like to do less of, and on which activities do you want to spend more time?
5. Who have been influential role models or mentors to you?
6. If you hadn’t gone into (whatever field they are in), what do you think you would have done instead?
7. What’s the most memorable book (movie, concert, etc.) you’ve ever read (seen, been to)?
8. Do you think you are an introvert or extravert? Why do you say that?
9. In thinking about e-mail, the phone, writing, face-to-face meetings, social media – how would you describe your communication style and preferences?
10. Tell me about your early career – what did you do the first five or ten years?

Power Questions to Coach & Mentor:

1. What’s the best mentoring or coaching experience you’ve ever had? Why was it so effective for you?
2. What questions are you grappling with now?
3. What are you most excited about in your life right now?
4. What are the most important obstacles you’re facing?
5. What have you tried so far? How has that worked?
6. What’s the best resolution to this that you can imagine?
7. What don’t you know in this situation that you wish you knew?
8. Looking back, what have you been the most successful at? Why?
9. What parts of your work, today, are the most satisfying to you?
10. What are some of the things you need to let go of in order to move forward and accomplish your goals?