5 reasons one-on-one discussions are vital tools for leaders

One-on-one discussions, or check-ins, are some of the most important tools for leaders. Yet they are underutilized in the workplace. In this blog post, I’ll dive into why one-on-one discussions are vital to the employee experience.

Although one-on-ones seem like a simple task, implementing them throughout an organization can be challenging. Though companies and their leaders know that one on one discussions are an essential part of leading people and the employee experience, they’re conducted very sporadically. In addition, even if leaders have one-on-ones regularly, they are often stiff, not in line with employee expectations, and too focused on giving updates on work and project progress.


Effective one-on-one discussions require hard work and practice but have a huge impact on the employee experience. Employees are more committed to their work, productivity is better and the risk of burnout is lower in organizations that hold regular, guided one-on-one discussions that are planned together with the employee to make them meaningful.

The benefit of regular one-on-one discussions

According to a survey conducted by the O.C. Tanner Institute, 56% of employees reported having regular one-on-one discussions. Despite this:

  • up to a third of employees are anxious about one-on-one meetings with their leader
  • one in five one-on-one is canceled
  • less than half prepare for discussions
  • one in three has no say in the meeting agenda.

So it should come as no surprise that one-on-one discussions have not been effective.

This is a huge missed opportunity. One-on-one discussions are a point of connection between the team leader and the employee. They also encourage genuine communication and continual conversation about improvement and goals. In addition to this, they are vital “micro-experiences” that just need to work. Well performed one-on-one discussions have a significant impact on the company culture, employee experience, and the overall success of the company:

  1. Monthly check-ins reduce the risk of burnout by 34%.
  2. Biweekly check-ins reduce the risk of burnout by 84%.
  3. Employees are 226% more likely to give their employee experience a better rating.
  4. Employees are 430% more likely to be committed to their work.
  5. Employees are 157% more likely to believe the team leader understands what their working life looks like and consists of.

Humbol helps companies organize regular, guided one-on-one discussions planned together with the employee to make them meaningful. Contact us or book a remote demo to learn more about how Humbol can help you as a leader, member of top management, or HR professional.

This blog post and the figures it contains are a summary of a study by the O.C. Tanner Institute.