103 Employee Check-in Questions for Meaningful and Productive Meetings

November 8, 2022 Workhuman Editorial Team
check-in questions

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 below to get the most value from your next meeting, whether it’s with the whole team or one-on-one meetings.

manager thinking about questions to lead productive meetings

Why should you use check-in questions?

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.

giving status updates at regular check-ins

What makes a check-in question good?

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:

  • What do you want to accomplish today?
  • What is your greatest challenge at the moment?
  • What work are you most proud of?
  • If you were to receive some constructive feedback right now, what would you expect it to be?
  • What tools could we provide you to better your job flow?

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.

What do you talk about in check-ins?

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.

When should you do check-ins?

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:

aligning in a team meeting about performance goals

Project and progress 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.

Questions for daily stand-ups

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:

  • What tasks do you want to achieve today?
  • Are you currently facing any obstacles?
  • What are you most looking forward to doing?
  • What is your main priority for today?
  • Do you need any help in executing a task?

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

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:

  • How do you plan to execute this project?
  • Do you predict any incoming issues you may face during the project?
  • How will you measure your project’s overall success?
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals for this project?
  • What is a part of the project you’re most looking forward to completing?
  • What do you require from me to successfully execute this project?

As the project gets carried out, you can then begin to change your questions to something like:

  • What current hurdles are you facing in the project?
  • What should we stop or keep doing in the project?
  • Are there any off-course actions in the project that you wish to share?
  • If so, how have they impacted your workload?

One-on-one check-in questions

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:

  • How are you feeling about your teammates?
  • How has your day been so far?
  • What is your workload like?
  • Do you feel confident in your team’s performance?
  • Is there any way we can assist you?

Project wrap-up questions

Once the project is complete, it’s time to ask some reflective check-in questions that go as follows:

  • What are you most proud of in this project?
  • How has the project aligned with the company’s objective?
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Were you able to follow the project’s initial plan?
  • If not, what went differently and why?

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.

young employees collaborating on career objectives

Questions for team meetings

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 check-in questions

  • What do you think is a missed opportunity in terms of collaboration?
  • Which tasks are facing delays?
  • Do you think we’re collaborating remotely well?
  • Are you able to easily approach anyone on the team?
  • What is a discussion topic you would like to address with the rest of the team?
  • How can we improve our line of communication?
  • What is everyone’s current workload like?

Team-building questions

Team-building is all about fostering a trustworthy relationship between you and your employees. You can ask questions like:

  • Who is your biggest role model?
  • What do you think are the most important qualities in a colleague?
  • If you could swap roles with anyone in the company, who would it be?
  • What are your pet peeves?
  • What are your goals in your career?
  • What would you say is your best attribute?

Questions for remote teams

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:

  • How do you schedule your work routine?
  • Would you feel more productive while working in an office?
  • What is a struggle you continuously face while working from home?
  • How often do you take breaks?
  • How would you rate your work-life balance?
  • Is there anything we can provide to help you complete your remote work?
two employees reviewing check-in questions

Performance and development questions

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.

Feedback check-in meetings

  • Which task or project are you most confident in and why?
  • How would colleagues and clients address your work?
  • What are some hurdles you’ve experienced since our last check-in?
  • How would you describe your work quality?
  • What can we do to better improve your performance?

Coaching check-in questions

  • What actions are you implementing that seem to be working?
  • What are the actions that don’t?
  • What steps are you taking to improve your work quality?
  • How effective have these steps been so far?
  • What tools would you need from me to assist your action plan?

Goals check-in questions

  • Which goals were you able to accomplish since our last check-in?
  • How have we helped you achieve these goals
  • What better way can you achieve your goals?
  • What are your long-term goals in this career?
  • How were you able to contribute your work to achieve the company’s goals?

Growth and development needs

  • Do you see yourself growing better in another department?
  • What is the most challenging part of your growth?
  • What are the necessary tools needed to improve your development?
  • How have you advanced in your role since the past check-in?
  • How have your colleagues assisted you on this path to growth and development?
check-in to understand onboarding employees’ expectations and experiences

Experience and culture questions

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.

Mindset check-in

  • What is your current mindset towards work?
  • What are your thoughts on the company’s organizational culture?
  • What tasks are you able to fulfill out of your comfort zone?
  • Do you feel hesitant about any aspect of work?
  • Do you face any distractions from work?

Office environment check-in

  • How close do you feel to your coworkers?
  • Do you feel supported by your managers?
  • What are your thoughts on your team?
  • What’s your favorite part about the company culture?
  • What would you like to see changed in your office environment?

Wellness and mental health check-in

  • Are you happy?
  • How often do you feel anxious?
  • What excites you about work?
  • What frustrates you at work?
  • What aspect of work inspires you the most?

Work-life balance check-in

  • Are you taking good care of yourself?
  • Are you satisfied with your current work hours?
  • Have you ever missed a personal event due to work?
  • Do you often work overtime?
  • How could we improve your work-life balance?
happy employee after a check-in with manager

New employee check-in questions

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.

  • How has the company met your expectations so far?
  • Do you feel welcomed by the team?
  • What’s your favorite part about your position?
  • What’s your least favorite part about your position?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture so far?

Fun questions to ask in team meetings

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:

  • If you had to work full-time in the last place you went on vacation, would you do it?
  • If we had a team-building trip, where would you want to go?
  • What is an interesting fact you recently learned?
  • What kind of music do you listen to while you work?
  • If you could find out one of the world’s mysteries, which one would it be?
  • What’s your favorite pastime?
  • What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
  • What was your favorite subject as a student?
  • What’s the weirdest email you’ve ever received?
  • What was your first job?
  • What was your dream job as a child?
  • What’s your favorite TV show/movie?
  • If you could time travel, which period would you choose to visit first?
  • Would you characterize yourself as an introvert or extrovert?

FAQs

To conclude

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.