Workhuman Editorial Team
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While check-in meetings can be one of the most effective ways to communicate progress, raise and solve challenges, and connect with other employees, these meetings need structure to be effective.
Designing well-structured meetings doesn’t have to be a weekly task either. Utilize the example goal- and task-oriented employee check-in questions for meetings below to get the most value from your next meeting, whether it’s with the whole team or one-on-one.
Meeting at a regular cadence is a critical part of the continuous performance management process. They provide the foundation for supportive and productive working relationships, giving everyone room to express their thoughts and feelings, work through challenges, and get support. check-in questions are an easy way to ensure meetings with so many potential discussion topics are productive for all involved.
Learn more about Conversations®, the continuous performance management solution from Workhuman®.
In project-based meetings, check-in questions are a helpful way to gauge the progress and productivity rate of employees. They provide a framework for the discussion that keeps teams aligned and more efficient. If team leaders use the same questions week-to-week, participants can come prepared, ensuring the most important topics are always covered.
Open-ended questions are a great method for managers to solicit input and feedback regularly. This will ultimately improve your and your team’s performance, but can also connect employees to their work in meaningful ways, increasing their engagement with it.
Questions can also be used to assess employee attitudes or guide conversations around wellbeing like work-life balance and team dynamics. You’ll be able to find out whether the workers are feeling disengaged and overworked or enthusiastic and fully productive.
This is especially important for virtual or remote workers. It’s easy to leave employees completing their tasks alone, but that may take a toll on their productivity and mental space.
Great check-in questions stimulate conversation but should be answered quickly. It's all about finding a balance in your question’s predicted response.
When developing your check-in agenda, you don’t want your questions to necessitate a yes and no response. On the other hand, you don’t want answers that can become time-consuming stories.
Here are some ideal, general check-in examples to consider:
As you can tell, they’re inclusive. Employees from different departments and backgrounds can answer. Plus, they allow you to dig deeper into each employee’s motivations and thought process.
In the end, you want the questions to create an open and safe space where workers can communicate all their difficulties to you, as a manager.
These back-and-forth discussions between you and your team build rapport and integral bond. In turn, you’ll be boosting morale, productivity, and a healthy workplace environment.
Check-ins can discuss a variety of other topics. They can be project focused, revolve around career goals, or even social discussions pertaining to personal non-work related news.
It’s always a good idea to start with a simple, “How are you?” go start the conversation on a personal level. It also gives employees a chance to set the tone.
In one-on-ones it can be especially helpful to let the employee drive the conversation. They may have pressing issues to discuss with you. If you have a specific goal or need to discuss with them, it’s best to communicate that ahead of the meeting.
That said, it’s a good idea to have an agenda with a couple questions for meetings. If you and your employee don’t have immediate concerns, you can use the session to ask questions about their workplace experience, professional development, and overall progress.
Alternatively, you can initiate a conversation about their perspective of the company as a whole. For instance, you can ask them what they would do differently if they were put in the CEO position. These kinds of topics build more vision and establish a better connection between the employees and the organization.
The timing of check-ins should completely depend on your workplace culture, performance management process, and purpose for your meeting.
Generally you will have multiple diverse types of check-ins within a given month. Larger groups may choose to meet once monthly, while individual teams or managers and employees may choose to meet weekly or biweekly.
For this reason, all of these need to be efficiently distributed throughout the month, and be properly scheduled and structured. If not, a lack of planning could make you lose sight of the overarching purpose of check-ins.
Employees effectiveness increases with the frequency of check-ins. Use these 12 helpful tips to have more positive check-in experiences.
To help you keep organized, here are 103 example questions for different types of check-ins:
In terms of projects, the right check-in questions can elicit crucial information regarding their progress and any issues faced.
Plus, they keep the team in check and make sure the project is steadily developing. That being so, check-in questions can vary in their implementation, where you can ask team members individually and as a group.
Daily check-in questions regarding a project help keep your employees on their toes. With each day, you may expect a progress update. Such questions include:
This meeting type can quickly become tedious for your employees. Ask yourself if a daily routine check-in is necessary and if so, for how long you’ll need them. Schedule a short meeting at the same time each day so employees’ can plan their workday around them.
Project check-in questions steadily change depending on which phase the employees are in. At the start of the project, you can ask check-in questions like:
As the project gets carried out, you can then begin to change your questions to something like:
We’ve all been in group projects before. Oftentimes some individuals may be pulling in more work than their teammates. It’s worth addressing these concerns with informal or formal one-on-one check-in meetings.
These questions could include:
Once the project is complete, it’s time to ask some reflective check-in questions that go as follows:
Their purpose is to give your employees the necessary feedback to improve their future performance. Plus, these improvement ideas can be shared with other teams and departments when applicable.
Apart from the questions mentioned, you also want to provide praise for hard-working individuals in the project. Approximately 87% of HR professionals agree employee recognition programs created healthier relationship if recognition was implemented consistently.
As humans, we’re social creatures. You can’t expect employees to complete their tasks on a routine basis with no interaction. That’s where team check-in meetings come in. In a fast-paced work environment, we may often lose sight of each other’s progress.
Team meetings allow managers to build bridges between coworkers. Additionally, they allow employees to feel both heard and seen rather than become cogs in a machine. That being said, here are some stimulating team questions you can ask in your next check-in meeting.
Team-building is all about fostering a trustworthy relationship between you and your employees. You can ask questions like:
Working remotely can often make us feel isolated. With no coworkers around, your employees may be more likely to be disengaged from their work. On the bright side, they’re more autonomous and eventually become self-led at some point.
To keep track of your remote team members’ performance, you can check-in with questions like:
One of the main purposes of check-in meetings is to check your employee’s overall performance and development level. These questions should provide your employee with a review of their work and how they’re doing overall.
Company culture dictates the cooperation between employees and employers. Over 46% of job seekers prioritize a company’s culture.
That being said, check-in meetings surrounding experience allow you to grasp how well-fitting your employees are to the company’s organizational culture.
Joining a new team can sometimes feel awkward. Some have compared being a new team member to joining a TV show mid-season.
To ease a new employee into the workspace, each coworker plays a part. A manager will do their best to keep checking in on them. Meanwhile, colleagues can try to familiarize their new coworker with the workplace culture and patterns.
Here are some questions to consider in this situation.
Check-ins don’t always have to be so serious. Fun check-ins strengthen employee relations and are good for laughs, especially after a hefty project.
When a new employee joins, you can ask icebreaker questions at a team meeting. Out-of-the-box questions can be an easier method of making employees more at ease with each other than team building activities, especially for virtual meetings.
Here are just a few fun check-in questions to get you started:
Running a team check-involves discussing progress in projects and tasks. You’ll also want to make sure every role is made clear to the team during a check-in. Initially, we suggest preparing your questions first.
You can divide the discussion into one topic at a time. Be sure to keep everything recorded to be able to follow up later on. Make sure the meeting is scheduled beforehand to avoid making meetings when they’re occupied.
Warm-ups are basically like ice-breaking activities to introduce new workers to the team. You can ask questions like
First off, begin by scheduling the check-in meeting with your team. Next, prepare your set of questions. Once in the meeting, try to keep track of time and avoid over-discussing one topic. Afterward, you can give your feedback to the team and make their next steps clear.
Check-in questions widely range depending on their timing and purpose. For instance, fun check-ins ask informal questions. Meanwhile, a team project check-in carries a more serious tone to identify problem areas and how to solve them.
The most crucial step to structuring the best check-in questions is to make them inclusive, where every employee can answer them.
Plus, you want them to hit the sweet spot in terms of response length. You wouldn’t want your employees to provide one-word answers but you also wouldn’t want to hear endless ramble about off-topic discussions.
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