How To Make Weekly Check-ins Productive

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

September 29, 2022
Press the button to generate random icebreaker questions.
There are 300 more icebreaker questions at the bottom of the article
How would you describe your job to a five year old?
What season would you be?
What is a weird food you have tried? Would you eat it again?
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Would you go in the mother-ship with aliens if they landed on Earth tomorrow?
What is your favorite season?
Do prefer working from home or the office?
What is your earliest memory of this job?
What is the best thing you have bought so far this year?
What is the earliest book you remember?
If you had to move to another country, which one would you choose?
You are the best criminal mastermind in the world. What crime would you commit if you knew you would get away with it?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
What was the last thing you ate?
What person from history would you add to Mount Rushmore?
What is a weird fact you know?
What is your favorite part of working from home?
Were the Spice Girls a good team?
Imagine you can instantly learn any language. Which would you choose?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Which fictional team is the best team of all time?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
What do you usually eat for a quick lunch?
What simple food will you never eat?
Show us the weirdest thing you have in the room with you right now.
Would you rather stay at a hotel or an AirBNB?
What is your favorite movie genre to watch?
Are you more productive in the morning or at night?
Who is someone in your community that makes a difference?
Who was your most unique pet?
Choose one famous person from history you want on your team during a zombie apocalypse.
What is a good way to give back to the community?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
Is Hugh Grant funny?
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Would you want to have an imaginary friend today? Did you have one as a child?
What actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie about your life?
What is the best super power?
What is your New Years resolution?
You can only eat one food again for the rest of your life. What is it?
What is the best work holiday?
What is the first gift you remember receiving?
Would you rather join Metallica or Backstreet Boys?
What is the best example of a community you have seen?
What is an easy way to do something nice for someone?
Show us your phone background and tell the story behind why you picked this image.
What was your first job?
Pick any band to play at your funeral.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you pick?
Which superpower would you give to your arch enemy?
What is the most obscure superpower you would want?
What emoji best describes how you are feeling right now?
If you could live in any country, which country would you pick?
Would you rather live in a city or a town?
What is your favorite holiday?
What is something you accomplished as part of a team?
What is your standard office lunch?
What is your most used phone app?
What is your favorite season?
Have you ever won something as a team?
Imagine you are a professional baseball player. What is your introduction song?
Beach holiday or ski trip?
Have you ever been to a funny comedy show?
Would you rather live at the North Pole or the South Pole?
What is your favorite song to sing?
If you could live in any state, which state would you pick?
Imagine you could teleport anywhere. Where would you go right now?
What is the most unusual job you have heard of?
What was the last thing you ate?
You can visit any fictional time or place. Which would you pick?
What do your family and friends think you do all day?
What movie do you wish you could watch again for the first time?
Show us your most-used emoji.
What was the most unique style or fashion trend you ever embraced?
What movie defined your generation?
You are stranded on a remote desert island. Are you alone or with your worst enemy?
What is your favorite knock-knock joke?
Have you ever told someone Santa is not real?
Do you know how to speak more than one language?
On a scale of 1 – 10, how much of a team player are you?
What is your #1 recommendation in this city?
What is your favorite holiday?
What bucket list item do you most want to check off in the next six months?
What is your favorite mythical creature?
What was the first way you made money?
If you could be great at any Olympic sport, which would it be?
Which song could you listen to over and over again?
When did you start liking/hating mushrooms?
Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Do you take your PTO all at one time, or another way?
Which show do you remember most from your childhood?
Which beverage goes best with pizza?
Would you want to have a personal assistant follow you around everywhere and do what you asked of them?
Have you ever met your idol?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Would you rather live 100 years in the past or 100 years in the future?
What is your hobby?
When you are alone in the car, what volume is the music at?
Imagine you no longer have to work. How would you spend a Tuesday?
What is your favorite type of sandwich?

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-in 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 constructive 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 team engagement and productivity by helping employees prioritize their projects and holding employees accountable for their performances.

And a frequent check-in team meeting helps managers of remote teams achieve these.

Additionally, 89 percent of HR leaders in a survey agree that regular meetings, 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 the team member 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 in holding weekly check ins well:

  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 (utilize an employee check-in template if you need help).

  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 or bi-weekly check-in 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 the employees feel and 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.

Browse our Free Employee Recognition Guide

Get the foundational knowledge on creating an employee recognition program that boosts employee engagement and helps them feel valued.

Explore Guide
Employee recognition guide