Development Conversation Checklist

Use the checklist below to help you make the most of your time together.

employee engagement - Workplace from Meta

Great managers are all mentors at heart: they spend time developing each of their people and helping them grow in their jobs. And that’s the most fulfilling and energizing part of being a manager. It’s also how we keep our people around.

But most of us were never taught to be great mentors or how to handle things like career development conversations.

Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back.

Set up some career development meetings with your team and use the checklist below to help you make the most of your time together.

Brainstorm before you meet

Brainstorm before you meet

Before you dive into a career development meeting, brainstorm a list of possible short, medium, and long term goals you have for that person. Make sure those goals are SMART:



specific, significant, stretching


measurable, meaningful, motivational


agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented


realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented


timely, tangible, trackable

During your meeting, make sure you get answers to these questions:
  • What are their one and three year goals for their career?
  • How often will you be having these career checkins?

Get to know them better

Get to know them better

Getting to know members of your team as people helps establish trust and shows you're invested in them. Plus,the more they feel you really know them, the more likely they are to take your advice.

Use these questions to help get a better sense of who they are and what motivates them:
  • What makes them happy at work?
  • What are the three things they want to accomplish this year?
  • What are their hobbies, interests, and passions?
  • What do they want their next job to be?
  • Do they have any big personal goals they want to share?
Asking the questions is important, but the real goal is to make sure the answers matter:
  • Take notes. No one expects you to have memorized every detail about each person on your team. But if they notice you keep forgetting things about them, it sends the message that you don’t really care.
  • Make it easier for the team to get to know each other. One way to do that is through Recess . Recess is a tool available to Workplace users that lets you run fun games and challenges that helps the team get to know each other better. Note: You’ll need to ask your System Admin in Workplace to turn it on first.

Set goals for both of you

Set goals for both of you

Work together to create goals for them based on the skills they need to develop in order to get to the next step in their career. But don't forget to ask them what they need from you so you can set goals for yourself as their mentor.

Use the answers to these questions to help:
  • What is the single best thing I can do to help you grow?
  • What can I do to make this a positive experience?
  • How do you prefer to receive feedback?
Once you’ve agreed on some goals, make sure you:
  • Put those goals up somewhere and refer to them in every meeting. We recommend having a 1:1 group in Workplace and turning the goals into post that you pin to the top of the group.
  • Celebrate milestones along the way to let them know that you’re invested in their progress.
  • Note areas for improvement as things progress. Constant feedback is how you help them develop new behaviors. They need your praise, but they also need your constructive feedback too.
Learn what motivates them

Learn what motivates them

Use the information you’ve learned through the questions you’ve asked to get a sense of what motivates them.

There are a few classic ways to motivate people. Try them all and see what they respond to best.
  • Give them more independence in their job as a sign of faith. That means letting them make more decisions about what they work on and about how they get things done.
  • Publicly recognize them when they hit goals- especially in front of the team and people who are higher up in the organization. (Your boss)
  • Give them new responsibilities so they get experience they need for their next career move. It also shows that you believe they’re ready for more.
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