As a leader, it is important to check-in with those we lead. Check-ins don’t always have to be formal, however having a consistent disciplined process to regularly communicate with employees is important. Check-ins done correctly can serve to not only share information but also show that you care as a leader. As the war for talent rages on, it is imperative to show employees how much you care and help keep them engaged.
Gallup has studied worker engagement for decades. Some of their numbers are downright scary. In 2021, according to Gallup “ Just over one-third of employees (34%) were engaged, and 16% were actively disengaged in their work and workplace, based on a random sample of 57,022 full- and part-time employees throughout the year.” One of the biggest suggestions Gallup has to keep workers engaged is to “Provide clear and frequent communication from leadership.”
Having a consistent process to check-in with employees is a key to providing frequent communication. When employees are new, it is recommended to visit with them at least once a week. As they mature in their role, that may transition to once every two weeks. These suggestions are backed up by statistics that show that leaders who check in with their team once a week have a 13% increase in engagement, while those that check in only once a month have a 5% decrease in engagement.
When starting a check-in, thank the employee for their time. Then ask them what they would like to cover in the time together. Make sure that what they have requested gets covered during the meeting in addition to those things you have on your list. The LEAdeRNship Institute suggests a 6T approach to check-ins. (see below). When ending the meeting, ask “Is there anything that you wanted to cover today that we didn’t discuss?” Remember to thank them again for their time at the conclusion of the meeting.
6T Coaching/Check-In Strategy
Temperature – What do they have on their mind? How are they feeling about things?
Triumphs – What has gone right lately? What accomplishments are they proud of?
Tackled – What on the to-do list has gotten done since the last meeting?
Troubles – What has been frustrating the person lately? What issues are they seeing?
Training- What training have they done lately? What did they learn and would like to apply?
What training would they like to attend next?
To-Dos: What needs to get done before the next meeting?
(See the 6T Coaching Form ©Mackey2021 in the Tools section of this website for a sample check-in sheet that can be used with employees. If you would like a copy of the tool in Word, email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reflection Question: What process will I use to consistently check-in with those I lead?
Topic Next Week: Workplace Flexibility