Status reports 2.0: You’re either checking in with your team or they’re checked-out

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Employee check-in

Regular communication with employees is one of the most important factors when it comes to developing a healthy workplace culture that breeds success.

You may have systems in place for performance feedback and regular status reports, but there is something to be said for just checking in to see how things are going.

When a manager is in regular contact with their team, it has several benefits. It can help you build trust with your team and it is a good step towards staying in the loop. With regard to things like progress and the overall mood of the people that are doing the work, checking in can be the best tool in your management arsenal.

If your regular check-ins are going to have the desired results, you have to ask the right questions. While there could be a multitude of things to ask, there are some that should work well for almost any work environment.

How are you feeling?

You should care about how your employees feel. The mood and morale in the workplace can have a significant impact on productivity. By asking your employees about how they feel about their work, it not only gives you an insight into morale, but it also let’s your employees know that you care. In turn, this can increase happiness and their motivation to do good work.

Are you having any problems?

In most cases, the best way to get past a problem is to let someone know that you have one. But many employees will be reluctant to ask for the help that they need. By asking employees up front about the challenges and obstacles that may exist, you are putting yourself in a position to solve the problem early on.

What’s going well?

Give your employees a chance to talk about their successes. This means more than talking about the big wins, like the completion of a project. You also want them to talk about minor accomplishments. Employees feel good when they get to talk about the things that are going right, and you can also gain  insight into their views on what success looks like.

Is there anything we could be doing to make you more successful?

Different people need different things in order to succeed. Furthermore, an employee’s needs can change over time. They might need more training on a particular process or they might just need some one-on-one time with a manager. When you ask this question, it gives them an opportunity to tell you what they need.

Do you have any good news from the week?

You’re not just asking about whether they have any good news from the workplace. You want to ask if they have any good news from life in general. This is a great way to build common ground and get to know your team members as individuals. When your employees feel like you actually know them, and that you care, they are more likely to be committed to their work.

How happy are you?

Just ask your staff to rate their happiness on a scale of 1-10 – then ask them why. Maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace is beneficial for several reasons. Happy people perform better at work, and they tend to be more satisfied in their work. By taking steps to make sure your team is happy, you can improve productivity and reduce turnover.

What were some of the top contributions from your co-workers?

It’s good to give employees a chance to praise the people they work with. This question helps to build a closer team that has a real appreciation for the people around them. The answers to this question can also provide you with information about what your team values in a co-worker, and that can be valuable for when you are looking into a new hire.

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If you were the manager, would you do anything differently?

You want your employees to see themselves as potential leaders. By getting them to think of things from the perspective of management, you could get some good ideas for how to run things in the future. You can also start to see which employees have real leadership qualities and are your top performers.

Do you have any ideas that could improve the product or service from our company?

You likely have some creative people on your team. If you want to take advantage of their ideas and innovations, you are going to need to ask. You could even do this as a group activity. As employees put different ideas forward, they can work on developing them together.

What can I do to be a better leader?

Employees might not want to tell you how you could be better as a leader, but you need to ensure them that you are open to their suggestions. You could learn something about being a more effective leader, and you can also learn about your team’s views on leadership. It’s not only an opportunity to improve yourself, but also it is another question that could help you to identify the top performing employees that have the potential to be future leaders at the company.

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You have to keep in contact with your team if you want to keep people tuned in, engaged, and ready to give you their all. With regular check-ins, you can accomplish this. By asking the right questions, you can learn things about your employees and your company that you otherwise would have had no way of knowing.

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If you haven’t already heard, I wrote The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty. I refer to some of these principles in that book. You can pick up your copy here.

Thank you for reading!

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