Weekly Check-ins – Hum-Drum or Deep-Dive?
There’s nothing particularly innovative about the ‘weekly check-in’ as an employee engagement tool. Somewhat different to ‘huddles’ which sometimes occur daily, particularly with teams working on fast-moving projects, the weekly check-in is an opportunity for a team (or sometimes an entire company) to touch base.
The objective – mostly to gain a sense of connectedness with a team that might work in different locations (these days, so many people work remotely, and go months without seeing their colleagues face-to-face), to share information, or to get on the same page with an initiative or project.
Done poorly, the weekly check-in can be a bit of a drag. Handled well, this is an exceptionally valuable device for developing empathy, trust, and compassion amongst team members. And the outcome of the latter, as so much research shows, is increased employee engagement and enhanced productivity.
From a mere 15-minute check-in.
But only if done right.
- Keep it fresh
Don’t ask the same check-in question every week, and consider a rotation schedule, so that each member of the team has a chance to ask the check-in question
- Be open to a range of check-in topics
If the questions are purely focused on work, goals, outcomes, results, and achievements, you’ll miss out on the opportunity have your team share some personal or family insights. This is often where the real ‘nugget’s lie – when employees feel safe enough to share something personal to them.
- Momentum is key
If you have team members working remotely and dialing in to the call, ensure everyone is ready ‘unmute’ their mute button. It’s important to keep the momentum on this check-in, otherwise it becomes a drag. There should also be some guidelines around how long each one can talk – usually 30 seconds to a minute should be sufficient.
Overall, if you’d like this quick connection tool to really add max value for your team, you’ll need to lead by example and share deeply yourself, if you’re hoping for others to do the same. It just takes one person to jump into the deep end in order for others to follow.
Be the one.