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Weekly Check-In Best Practices for 2024

Weekly team check in best practices

“What is a weekly check-in?” is an incredibly easy question to answer.

It is simply a one-on-one meeting between a manager and their direct report where they discuss the events of the past week, the goals for the current week, and possibly their plans for the upcoming week.

The following questions are much harder to answer:

  • Just how many are too many when it comes to having check-ins with your employees?
  • How can you have weekly check-ins without micromanaging your employees?

These are both incredibly viable questions every people leader at some point in their career asks themselves. We are sure that all the managers currently reading this article are all terribly fun to spend time with but there is in fact a limit to the amount of face-to-face time people want to spend with their boss.

The discussion surrounding weekly employee check-ins is a slippery slope to navigate. The benefits of having them are obvious.

When executed correctly, they create a healthy two-way street for feedback, help increase employee engagement, keep managers in the know and employees on track, and most importantly they don’t take that much time!

This very article will be the discussion topic of a weekly employee check-in between a writer and his team leader in about 12 hours.

At the time of this writing, the writer is certain the meeting will be efficient, productive, and concise!

The key phrase in the paragraph above is “When done right.”. There are many small but costly mistakes that can be done in conducting weekly check-ins; pit-falls that are quite easy to avoid, yet hard to notice at first glance.

Choosing to stay focused on the positive we wanted to share with you 5 of our favorite tips for conducting check-ins with your employees on a weekly basis.

Perhaps we will revisit the negative aspects of the discussion on a rainy day!

5 Things to Cover in Weekly Team Check-ins

1. General Announcements and Housekeeping 

It’s always a good idea to start your weekly team check-in meeting with some updates or news about things that are coming up or things that happened.

This can be as light-hearted as an upcoming birthday or as serious as a big event coming up. You can even use this time to address an elephant in the room about something that happened in the previous week.

Starting with some housekeeping and general announcements is a great way to warm people up and get the ball rolling. 

2. Tasks and Accountability 

Checking in on tasks and accountability is an important part of team check-ins.

However, instead of approaching it from a sense of “you better show me everything you did and show it to me on paper so I can make sure you weren’t slacking up on company time,” celebrate everyone for all the cool things they did throughout the week.

This is a great opportunity to recognize your team’s hard work and accomplishments. 

3. Employee Recognition 

Allocate a small part of your meeting to simply recognizing your employees.

This can come in the form of small gift cards, free Starbucks, customized recognition badges, or simply by singling someone out and giving them a heartfelt congratulations.

This practice helps greatly with employee engagement and if you’re having a meeting with lots of talking points going at breakneck speeds, this is a nice wholesome low in the action where everyone can take a deep breath and recalibrate.  

If you’re working remotely, that means you’re going to have these meetings online and you’re going to need all the help you can get. That’s where Teamflect comes in!

Teamflect is an all in one performance management solution and it is perfect for weekly team check-ins. Not only does it keep track of everyone’s tasks and goals, but it is great with meetings, with talking points shared and private notes and recognitions galore.  

Teamflect's employee recognition module
Teamflect’s recognition module

Teamflect’s all-in-one software is the first performance management system that offers its users powerful goal-setting, OKR management, feedback, and employee recognition capabilities in Microsoft Teams.

Teamflect’s powerful features are easy to use, with a clean interface that’s intuitive enough for anyone to navigate. Without leaving Microsoft Teams, you can: 

The best employee recognition software for Microsoft Teams!
No sign-up required.
Teamflect Image

4. Ask how you can help 

The workweek is not all sunshine and rainbows, and people have their problems and frustrations.

A team check-in is a suitable place for them to air those out and for you to hear them out and help them with those problems.

This is an excellent opportunity for you to show your support and to find ways to help your team overcome any obstacles. 

5. Long-term Goals and Objectives 

Finally, take the time to reaffirm those long-term goals and objectives and see where everyone is regarding them.

Performance is a marathon and not a sprint, and this meeting is just a checkpoint in that marathon. It’s important to ensure that everyone is still aligned and working towards the same objectives. 

5 Ways to Improve Weekly Check-ins

1. Encourage Note Taking

No matter what the setting in which the check-in is taking place, whether you are conducting them face-to-face or remote through Microsoft Teams or other software, it is still a meeting. That is why both sides can benefit from taking shared and private notes that they can revisit.

If you are choosing to conduct your meetings remotely, we strongly recommend integrating performance management software into them.

These check-ins need to be brief and to the point, as we will elaborate further in an upcoming entry on this list, so the note-taking process should be efficient, quick, and completed without hassle.

If you have some questions on how you can streamline your note-taking during your one-on-one meetings, especially over Microsoft Teams, feel free to check out our tutorial below!

A tutorial by Jack The Dog and Emre The Writer on how to take notes over Microsoft Teams. You might want to integrate it into your weekly check-ins!

2. Integrate Task Setting

Never underestimate the spur-of-the-moment decisions and ideas that can come up during a weekly employee check-in! It is crucial you don’t let those brief, magical moments slip through your fingers and get lost in the shuffle.

If at any point through the meeting, an idea for a new task or milestone related to a goal emerges out of the blue, anyone in the meeting should be able to set a trackable task with ease, without interrupting the flow of the meeting!

Once again, we have a tutorial video that we believe could be beneficial in helping speed up the process immensely!

3. Automate Your Weekly Check-ins

Conducting employee check-ins on a weekly basis isn’t all that hard. Implementing them into a company’s culture is the real struggle.

Sending reminders manually, and slowly turning these meetings from an occurrence into a habit, are all small but substantial obstacles to overcome.

We are strong believers in the digitization of performance management and let us make the case for it right here.

If you can automate your weekly employee check-ins, either through performance management software or other solutions currently at your disposal, the entire process and responsibility of integrating them into your day-to-day operations are taken off of your shoulders.

Automation brings with it stability, reliability, and quick adoption.

4. Change Your Approach To Questions

How to ask questions during a weekly check in?

While the past three entries on this list have been about “method”, this entry is all about content. Sadly, there is no magic guide on what to discuss during weekly check in meetings.

The content of each meaning, in a painstakingly obvious statement, varies for each company. The real trick is in changing the way casual dialogue and questions are approached.

These meetings more often than not, are brief encounters where updates and feedback are shared. Each question asked and answered counts. In answering questions, avoid the obvious answer.

Even if the question is terribly simple and the answer is right there, take the time to look for the subtext and read between the lines.

Pair the obvious answers with a plethora of related information, doing your best Google Search impression. The depth that this approach will add to your casual one-on-one will surprise you.

Additionally, we wanted to provide you with some samples if you ever think:

What are some questions to ask during weekly check-in meetings?

  1. Do you have any priorities for today?
  2. What are your goals this week?
  3. Do you think there is anything the team around you can help you out with?
  4. Are you excited about anything this week?
  5. Is there anything you feel like avoiding this week?

5. Cut To The Chase

Mistakes to avoid with weekly check ins

6 Weekly Check-in Mistakes to Avoid

Weekly check-ins while integral to team dynamics and performance, can easily veer off course without careful navigation. So in this section, we’ll delve into some of the most common errors that can undermine the effectiveness of your weekly check-ins, and how to avoid them.

From avoiding information overload to ensuring consistent scheduling, these insights aim to refine your approach, making every weekly check a productive and positive experience for you and your team.

  1. Overloading with Information: Check-ins are not data dumps. Bombarding employees with too much information can be overwhelming and counterproductive. It’s crucial to strike a balance between being informative and concise.
  1. Neglecting Employee Input: Remember, a check-in is a two-way street. Allowing space for employee feedback and concerns is vital. It’s not just about what you have to say; it’s also about listening to what they have to share.
  1. Lack of Clear Focus: Aimlessness can derail any meeting. Having a clear agenda for your check-ins ensures that they are purposeful and productive.
  1. Skipping Recognition: Recognition is a powerful tool. Failing to acknowledge the hard work and achievements of your team members can lead to decreased morale and engagement.
  1. Inconsistency in Scheduling: Regularity is an absolute must. Inconsistent scheduling of check-ins can lead to confusion and a sense of disorganization within the team.
  1. Too Many Weekly Check-in Questions: A deluge of questions during a weekly check-in can overwhelm rather than clarify. Balance is key.

Conclusion 

If this list has had a common thread from the introduction all the way down to the final entry, it was that weekly employee check-ins should be short and to the point.

They may carry all the properties of a full-fledged meeting between managers and direct reports, but at the end of the day, they are simply check-ins.

It is very easy to lose track of time during check-ins, especially while discussing ideas and exchanging feedback. If at any point, you feel things are running long, there is no harm in scheduling another meeting a bit further down the line!

In addition, we have discussed the five critical elements that you need to cover in your weekly team check-ins to ensure your team’s success. These elements include setting the agenda, reviewing progress, discussing challenges, recognizing achievements, and planning for the future.

By incorporating these elements into your team check-ins, you can foster an environment of collaboration, communication, and accountability, which can ultimately lead to better outcomes for your team and organization. 

It’s essential to remember that team check-ins should not be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution. Every team is unique, and you may need to adapt your approach to fit your team’s specific needs and goals. That said, by using these five elements as a starting point, you can build a solid foundation for your team check-ins and tailor them as needed. 

Finally, if you’re looking for a performance management solution to help with your team check-ins, consider trying out Teamflect. With its all-in-one platform,

Teamflect can help you streamline your performance management processes, including goal setting, feedback, and coaching, and provide you with valuable insights into your team’s progress and performance. 

In summary, regular team check-ins are an essential part of any successful team, and by implementing the tips and insights shared in this blog post, you can ensure that your team check-ins are effective, efficient, and engaging. Schedule a demo with Teamflect to get better weekly team check-ins every time!

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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