Teams work better when expectations are clear, paths toward accomplishing goals are well-planned and shared and positive results are rewarded.
Regular check-ins with team members are a tried and true strategy for setting up that sort of environment for your team.
This is even more accurate for teams that may be based out of different locations or where a few members may work remotely or while on the road traveling to meet with partners and clients. If that’s your team’s setup, then you no doubt are accustomed to checking in with everyone, either one-on-one or as a group in some sort of conference call setting.
However, not all meetings and regular check-ins are created equal. If done properly, regular check-ins with your team can actually improve everything from productivity to morale.
When you and your team have opportunities to check in with each other on a regular basis, you as a manager are able to gather consistent feedback on questions and topics that are mostly of your choosing.
As David Hassell, CEO of 15Five, points out, this creates an opportunity for managers to ask what he calls “core questions” repeatedly. That then allows managers to track and influence progress.
These questions can focus on identifying areas of improvement in processes, growth in areas concerning company values, what team members need help with, identifying stressors, reflection on a week, etc.
Hassell recommends a few best practices for regular check-ins with employees:
What’s more is that while many managers perform the types of check-ins that Hassell describes over email or other software, they can work even better and be even more effective when performed in real-time over the phone and, when appropriate, with the whole team on the call.
Happy teams communicate well with one another. Over time, a team that is able to share openly with each other about their success and struggles will see an increase in overall morale.
Regular check-ins can help establish an environment where this is possible - and keep that morale level high. This is especially true if you have a team that thrives on communication with each other and does well bouncing ideas and feedback off one another.
For anyone who manages a mobile team, you probably have a team members (or an entire team) that enjoy being in contact with one another.
As the MobileDay blog shares, regular meetings can provide something for teams to look forward to throughout their schedule. These meetings should inspire everyone.
With that inspiration boost, your team is more likely to get to work and tackle projects at a much better rate. They’ll probably do better quality work, too. This motivation is in part due to knowing that their coworkers are relying on them.
Plus, if they know there’s a meeting coming up, your team will probably lean on each other even more to find solutions to the problems they are tackling.
In today’s world, our minds are always on the go. Constant calls, emails and messages from various sources all scream for our attention throughout our day while we try to accomplish tasks.
When we finally sit down to hop on a conference call or attend a meeting, we bring these distractions with us. Sometimes we’re able to push those issues to the backburner. Sometimes we aren’t.
There’s a solution for helping your team manage these possible distractions and stay present when it comes to business meetings or on calls. It’s straightforward: Start all your meetings with mindset check-ins in which every member of your team.
This meeting strategy is recommended by Gustavo Razzetti, who writes for TLNT.com that this practice helps remove distractions, stay focused on business matters.
These mindset check-ins help everyone stay present in the meetings, Razzetti writes. That helps them better understand what is being discussed, participate more and develop trust with others on the team.
Importantly, Razetti says this practice also reminds us that everyone on the team is human. Sometimes these distractions are more personal. Coworkers can be a good source of support when it seems more difficult to get a job done.
Razetti provides a few example questions for these mindset check-ins:
These check-ins, if done regularly, can quickly improve your team’s entire dynamic. If your team communicates primarily via conference call, then it can also help them better connect since they receive less face-to-face time together.
From an employee or peer review perspective, Harvard Business Review recommends team managers set up regular check-ins with their direct reports as a way of improving the annual or semi-annual review process.
If you and your team have annual reviews, these more frequent meetings are perfect opportunities to make sure those reviews go more smoothly and aren’t a hassle.
Your team’s check-ins could be weekly or monthly, but the point of the check-in is the same: Ask each person on your team what they are going to accomplish that week or month and what they need from you, their manager, to help them get that work done.
These check-ins are great for providing feedback to your team when they need it and for helping them stay on track. That is absolutely vital when working with teams with people working remotely or from different locations.
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