Checking in with employees on a regular basis allows both employees and managers to discuss any ongoing projects, issues that need to be resolved, workload concerns—and/or just catch up during the week.
Not only are manager-employee check-ins essential for managing employee performance, but they play a crucial role in employee engagement and retention. Research has found a 14.9% lower turnover rate in companies that provide regular feedback and that “43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement”. Even more significantly, 98% of employees surveyed said that they “fail to be engaged when managers give little or no feedback”.
With Gallup reporting that disengaged employees cost their employers upwards of $450 billion a year, organizations literally can’t afford to not provide their employees with the feedback that manager-employee check-ins provide.
Here are even more reasons why manager-employee check-ins are so important:
- Check-ins keep employees motivated. Employees who know their work is being recognized and can see how their contributions matter to the organization are more motivated—and more productive.
- Check-ins can provide direction and opportunities for learning. Regular check-ins help both employees and their managers to identify any areas that may need improvement and figure out a plan for growth.
- Regular check-ins improve trust and communication. Employees who feel that their voices are being heard will be far more trusting, and trust is an integral part of employee engagement and retention.
To make manager-employee check-ins easier, many organizations use applications to help keep both employees and managers on top of check-ins.
At Rise, we recently introduced check-ins as part of our Performance Management solution. Each week, employees are prompted by email to answer questions about how their week went, surfacing talking points for 1:1s with insight into priorities, challenges, and progress.
Particularly for remote teams, having a system in place that reminds employees and managers to engage weekly will keep everyone on top of their check-ins and also create more opportunities for honest dialogue that can inform deeper conversations about performance, growth, and more.
Manager-employee check-ins and 1:1s are all about getting the most out of everyone’s time.
Here are some things that Entrepreneur.com recommends to ensure productive use of time for employee check-ins:
- Respect each other’s time. Try not to reschedule or go over time—or at least don’t make a habit of it.
- Be honest and encourage employees to do the same. Candour is essential to creating a space where employees can come to you with their concerns.
- Listen. As Entrepreneur.com writes, “as a manager you need to spend more time listening and less time talking”. This means not always jumping in to offer solutions, but letting employees talk through things with you and then offer your guidance if needed.
- Limit distractions. Turn off your Slack or Teams notifications and silence your cell phone so you are able to engage fully in the conversation.
- Ask for feedback. Manager-employee check-ins shouldn’t be entirely about the employee. Ask them to provide you with feedback about your own performance as a manager.
- Keep conversations growth-centric. Many 1:1 conversations tend to get bogged down on the here and now—how’s this task coming along? We need this for next week, etc.—missing out on the key element of talking about future growth and showing that you’re invested in your employee’s journey with your organization.
- Always try to end on a positive note. While the Harvard Business Review found in a survey that 57% of employees actually prefer to receive corrective feedback over praise, it’s still important to end your meetings with something that won’t leave a sour taste in your employees’ mouth.
On that note, manager-employee check-ins are a great way to improve your employees’ overall happiness at work.