How To Make Weekly Check-ins Productive

Tired of having unproductive weekly check-ins? This guide will help you have constructive and more effective employee check-ins.

September 29, 2022
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The workplace is changing, and so are the expectations of employees and employers.

As an employer, you want to oversee work output, boost employee engagement and create a productive environment for your employees. You also want to show them that their opinions matter and that they can be heard when giving feedback.

Productive weekly check-in meetings make it easier to achieve all these and more. 

So, how do you make your weekly check-ins more productive? Let's dive in!

Why Are Weekly Check-ins Important?

Weekly Check-ins are essential for staying abreast with the progress made on tasks delegated to employees within your organization. They provide an avenue to interact with employees and discuss details about an ongoing project. 

Employees can highlight the milestones and difficulties in weekly check-in meetings, clearly showing the current work status and room for performance improvement. 

In the workplace, where remote work is gradually becoming a norm, weekly check-ins are necessary to prevent things from falling through the cracks. 

Here are five reasons why you need weekly check-ins:

  1. Provide Insights

Weekly check-in with managers allows managers and employees to get up-to-speed on urgent issues that require urgent attention. This clarity gives managers valuable information that helps build effective strategies. 

  1. Employee Motivation

Weekly check-in help to keep employees motivated and happy. It provides a platform for employees to share their wins, air their concerns and find solutions. 

  1. Accountability 

Accountability is a core value in every workplace and can be fostered and nurtured through weekly check-ins. Employees giving routine progress reports build a sense of commitment and responsibility. 

  1. Collaboration

They promote collaboration between departments and individuals within the organization. It gives teams the chance to provide updates on their projects concerning other groups, building trust and strengthening relationships.

  1. Fewer conflicts

When employees regularly update each other on their progress, they'll better understand themselves. This helps reduce misunderstandings on roles and what needs to be done at certain times.

Assembly's weekly check-in template prevents unproductive meetings and allows you optimize your efforts with minimal planning.

What Should I Cover In A Weekly Check-in?

The answers to your weekly check-in questions should provide a comprehensive overview of the progress made by employees. Therefore, having a weekly check-in meeting agenda is vital to make it worthwhile for everyone attending.

A productive check-in meeting should accomplish three things: 

1. Everyone to know what's expected of them. 

2. Everyone can visualize the next steps and how to get there. 

3. Everyone can discuss what they are doing and what can be improved, if anything.

In a weekly check-in, questions should be open-ended. This allows the manager to gain valuable insights. Here are some check-in questions for employees to consider:

  1. What are you working on this week?
  2. Were there any challenges last week? What were they?
  3. What improvements can be made this week?
  4. Do you have any concerns or challenges you'd like to share?
  5. Are there areas you think I can be more helpful?

While drafting follow-up questions, asking questions relevant to employees' roles is essential. Managers should also include questions about their personal life while respecting boundaries.

A meeting checklist also allows managers to make the most of the check-ins. A checklist also ensures you cover all you sought to discuss and helps you focus, making the meeting more effective and worthwhile. 

How Often Should You Check-in With Your Employees

The answer depends on your company's size and culture. But for most companies, weekly check-ins are a good starting point.

An article in Gallup Business Journal outlines how high-performance managers can balance engagement and productivity by helping employees prioritize their projects and holding employees accountable for their performances.

And a frequent check-in meeting helps managers achieve these.

Additionally, 89 percent of HR leaders in a survey agree that regular peer feedback and check-ins positively impact their organizations.

The key is to find the sweet spot that works for your team. Here are some guidelines to consider while determining frequency:

  • Check-ins should be frequent enough to give employees feedback on their work and help them improve, but not so frequently that they become a burden.
  • Ensure the check-ins are frequent enough to help employees be always aware of what they need to accomplish for each task. This gives them a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses at every point.
  • Check-ins should also be long enough to allow employees to discuss their progress since the last meeting — ideally, at least 15 minutes per meeting. However, an engaging and productive five-minute check-in is better than a long one that feels like an interrogation.
  • Organize check-ins at a time that can benefit everyone. Include everyone who needs to be involved. This may include colleagues from different teams working on the same project.

The frequency of check-ins should fit into the company culture and existing structure. If other meetings within the week would make weekly check-ins a burden, you can consider bi-weekly check-ins.

How Do You Check-in With Staff

The first step is selecting a date and time that is convenient for everyone to reduce absenteeism and rescheduling. 

For a good outcome and improved engagement, ensure you ask your employees about issues they would like to discuss at the meeting. And add it to the meeting agenda. 

A successful weekly check-in hinges on proper planning. Here are five tips to guide you:

  1. Create A Check-in Agenda

A well-structured meeting has an agenda that is duly followed. It includes questions for employees and highlights what the check-in aims to achieve. It also dictates the tone of the meeting.

  1. Conduct A Check-in

During the meeting, you inquire about what they are currently working on, the progress made, and the challenges. 

When conducting a check-in, give room for employees to express themselves. You can also use the check-in sessions as an avenue to prefer solutions and reinforce company goals.

  1. Provide Feedback

Check-ins are a form of bidirectional communication. So it is ideal that you provide appropriate feedback when the need arises.

Feedback should be concise, specific, polite, and genuine. Strive to achieve a balance between criticism and commendation.

  1. Set Up An Action Plan For The Following Week

An action plan moves things further in the right direction. It's essential to have a 'next-steps' list to ensure that inputs received during the check-in are followed. 

It ensures that everyone judiciously follows it up, knowing tasks and timelines. This ensures accountability.

  1. Use a template

Assembly's weekly check-in template allows you to work smarter towards having productive meetings. A template allows you to save time and reduce surprises. It provides the structure and consistency needed to have successful check-ins. 

Finding the balance with weekly employee check-ins

It can be tough to balance the need to give your employees regular feedback and comments on their work with the need to not overly micro-manage them. But figuring out that balance with weekly check-ins definitely pays off.

Regular contact with your employees is vital. It not only provides an avenue to align workers with the goals and objectives of the company, but employees know there's a time and place for feedback. And that way, no one feels either micromanaged or totally unseen.

Book a Demo today to learn the best ways to have constructive and productive weekly check-ins.

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