Engineers are intrinsically creative, inventive, and analytical. Engaging them in meetings, especially one-on-one meetings, is both challenging and vital. The ultimate goal of a one-on-one meeting is to get the best out of your engineer, give and get feedback to help them grow in their roles.
But how do you do it? Preparing for a one-on-one meeting can be challenging because there are many different factors to keep in mind.
Here are some one-on-one meeting tools combinations to help you to have productive and effective one-on-one meetings.
- Zumvie: On Jira and a Standalone App
- Zoom: #1 Video meeting tool for one-on-ones
- Calendly for scheduling one-on-one meetings
- Typeform employee engagement survey tool
- One-on-one meeting question repositories
1. Zumvie: On Jira and a Standalone App
Zumvie is built directly on Jira — the de facto product management tool in engineering and as a standalone app for organizations who don’t use Jira.
With Zumvie, engineering managers and teams who use Jira won’t struggle with tool fatigue (issues with adopting new tools) when looking for a one-on-one meeting tool.
Many similar one-on-one tools force a way to run one-on-ones. But, with Zumvie, engineering managers get the complete flexibility of a note-taking app like Google docs with other powerful features to enhance their engineers’ one-on-one experience.
These powerful features include:
- The ability to collect “Agenda Items” to be discussed in preparation for a one-on-one with a Slackbot reminds both parties to submit them before the meeting.
- A feature to make and store “Private notes” for each one-on-one conversation.
- A feature to highlight “Follow-up items” to be discussed in the next meeting and pin the most important ones.
- A feature to create a neat to-do list of “Action items” (things to do after a one-on-one).
- And a “Meeting history log” showing an overview of the previous meetings to give managers context of each conversation.
2. Zoom: #1 Video meeting tool for one-on-ones
Zoom is a video meeting tool that engineering managers can use for remote one-on-one meetings. Zoom uses HD video and audio to facilitate meetings. Zoom is available for free on their website, but the paid version has features that allow for more customization.
Image from Zoom.us
Zoom provides collaboration tools helpful in one-on-one meetings that are different from the traditional video conferencing tools like WebEx or Skype.
- HD video and audio features
- Built-in collaboration tools
- Recording and transcripts
- Support scheduling with Calendly or starting meetings from Google services (Gmail, Google calendars), Outlook, or iCal.
- Enable virtual backgrounds to enhance better the one-on-one experience
3. Calendly for scheduling one-on-one meetings
Calendly is an excellent tool for scheduling meetings and perfect for one-on-one meetings. Its “Control your availability” feature saves engineering managers and engineers time setting a preferred meeting time.
Calendly is dubbed a “scheduling genius” as it helps coordinate everything with your engineers — before and after the one-on-one.
- Seamless integration with Zoom
- Connection to all your calendars so you’re never double-booked.
- Intelligent scheduling, updating, and cancellation of meetings.
- Automatic reminders, follow-ups, and integration triggers.
4. Typeform employee engagement survey tool
Typeform employee engagement survey helps teams create a high-performing culture with regular feedback. In preparation for one-on-one meetings, engineering managers urge their engineers to add to the next meeting agenda. With the help of Zumvie, they can have Slackbot remind them.
With the help of the Typeform employee engagement survey, engineering managers can get valuable insights that you can use to come up with agenda items for one-on-ones.
- A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions on employee engagement surveys
- Fully customizable — backgrounds, Google fonts, colors, buttons, and more.
- Integrate with third-party applications like Slack, Google Sheets, etc.
5. One-on-one meeting question repositories
With the agenda items set and follow-up items from the past one-on-one, you may ask why you need a question repository.
One-on-one meetings are flexible, and each agenda item can take the discussion in a different direction. These question repositories serve as a quick reference when you feel your questions may be getting stale or you have a few minutes left in a one-on-one.
Here are suitable one-on-one meeting questions repositories:
- Descriptive one-on-one meeting questions for managers
- 28 one-on-one meeting questions
- 101 Questions to Ask in One on Ones
One-on-one meetings are essential for every engineering manager to manage their engineers.
A one-on-one meeting is the best opportunity to understand what is going on and what your engineers need. It’s also a chance for you to evaluate how they’re doing, give them feedback, and get feedback on what you could do better.
Many tools help make these meetings more productive and efficient. We’ve discussed a combination that will help engineering managers and their engineers have better one-on-ones.
What tools do you currently combine to make your one-on-ones more productive and effective? Share on the Zumvie Slack Community. Other engineering managers will love to hear your recommendations.”