Background: I'm a senior developer at my company and have been there for several years. I get along well with my coworkers and truly love my work. During my annual reviews, my manager has praised me as one of the top performers, and I've consistently been awarded a bonus and raise every year. Things are going well.
My manager schedules regularly-occurring one-on-ones with all of us engineers to give us the opportunity to privately raise any concerns we have with our work or complaints about things that are bothering us.
Nine times out of ten, I have no issues to raise that my manager doesn't already know about from our standups, retros, and project discussions. All of the technical issues and roadblocks I'm facing are things he's already well informed about.
With the technical aspects out of the way, the only complaints I could possibly raise about my employment with the company are culture-related. But these are things I wouldn't want to bring up, for the same reason I wouldn't run to HR over them: I want to protect my job.
With no issues to discuss the vast majority of the time, our one-on-ones are short and typically consist of casual chit-chat.
I see this lack of "grievances to air" as a good thing. But my manager sees things differently: on multiple occasions, he's said something to the extent of "come on, you have to have something that's bothering you." He has pointed out that the others usually have some issues to bring up, and that my one-on-ones are the outliers. It came up in my annual review this year, too: one of my goals is now to be more vocal during on-on-ones.
What should I do differently in my approach to these meetings?