Employee check ins are quick, powerful tools to improve the performance of a team or a company.
We’re taking a look at how you can use check ins in your workplace.
What is an Employee Check In?
An employee check in is a quick catch up. Check ins are also known as pulse checks, one-on-ones, sit downs and a variety of other terms.
Many companies have tried to make performance conversations a more regular event: a check in is an opportunity to get an update and talk about progress, status, barriers and issues.
These check ins are much less formal than a performance review or a project review. They’re a chance to get up to speed with what is going on.
Checking In vs Checking Up
Checking in is about support and collaboration. Check ins should remove barriers and reveal better ways of working.
Checking up is different. Checking up focuses on the completion of tasks and is more like surveillance. The focus here is on ‘What are you doing?‘
This distinction is important. Checking up often resembles micro management and undermines team members.
Checking in places a much greater emphasis on questions like:
- Is there anything in your way?
- What do you need to get this done?
- What are your goals for our next check in?
- How can I help?
What are the Benefits of an Employee Check In?
There are many benefits!
Align on Goals and Expectations
Check ins are an opportunity to get on the same page. Identify your goals and expectations, so that staff are clear. Check ins also allow you to track your progress toward goals.
Create Undivided Time
Staff value time with managers to discuss work, barriers and other issues. Regular check ins build a channel for dialogue and encourage rapport between leaders and staff.
Engage and Motivate
Checks ins create space to discuss the progress of the company and the team, and identify any issues. These sessions act as a pressure valve where issues can be addressed before they reach a critical point. Keeping this time in the schedule also helps to show that employees are valued.
Provide Professional Development for Staff
Check ins provide a space for conversations on goals and performance. During these sessions, team members can discuss barriers, identify gaps and make plans to improve in the future.
Gather Feedback for Managers
Check ins are also a great opportunity for leaders and managers to get feedback on their own performance. This feedback can help to identify gaps and improve management.
Promote Employee Wellbeing
Check ins are an opportunity for team members to raise issues or concerns, including those related to employee wellbeing. This includes stress, overwork and challenges in people’s personal lives that are impacting their ability to perform at a high level at work.
Reduce Pressure on Annual Evaluations
Annual evaluations can be intimidating and perhaps uncertain for staff. Regular check ins reduce this pressure by providing routine feedback and allowing staff the opportunity to make adjustments. Check ins also help to establish a regular dialogue on performance.
How Can I implement an Employee Check In?
There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach for check ins.
While check ins are very flexible, they tend to work best when:
- They have a clear purpose.
- They focus on relevant questions.
- The questions are open ended and encourage discussion.
- They’re done on an appropriate schedule, whether that’s weekly, monthly or whatever works best for your team.
The questions that are asked and the response to those questions is key to a successful check in.
Preparation for a check in is really important. Know your questions and have the data you need at your finger tips.
iyarn: The App for Employee Check Ins
We’ve built iyarn to help you implement employee check ins quickly and easily.
Simply define what matters and check in on those areas. It’s easy to get started.
Set up a wheel in a few clicks and then share it to the people you need to check in with.
iyarn is great as it can form a habit for checking in! Check out our article on weekly check ins as an ideal starting place.
Request a Demo
We’re more than happy to provide a demo: send us a request or an email.