The importance of a weekly employee check-in for your businessReading Time: 5 minutes
Who would have thought that a company called Weekly10 would advocate for weekly employee check-ins? We know it’s a shock. Next we’ll be saying they should take no more than 10 minutes to complete…. But once your heart has stopped racing, let us tell you why a regular employee check-in is a vital tool for giving (and receiving) employee feedback, measuring and improving employee engagement and improving productivity.
Regular check-ins clarify tasks and objectives
According to Gallup, only around half of employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them at work. And if that wasn’t concerning enough, the fact that people are having to self-isolate and work from home due to COVID-19 means that these employees lack any of the direct supervision or second opinions they might normally have easy access to.
Gallup also found that over a third of respondents who strongly agreed that their manager helped set work priorities were engaged, versus only 4% of those who disagreed. More than a quarter of those who agreed that their manager held them accountable for their performance were engaged compared to 6% of those who disagreed.
Finally, over 30% of those who agreed they could approach their manager with any type of question were engaged versus 2% of people who disagreed. This led Gallup to propose three elements of employee engagement:
- Achievement: Employees are driven by a sense of accomplishment, which requires the setting of clear goals and expectations as. well as staff recognition processes.
- Accountability: Once expectations are set, employers have to follow through by making sure employees are accountable for their responsibilities and mistakes.
- Accessibility: Employees are more motivated to be productive when they are able to get support or advice from their manager.
An understanding of an organisation’s goals and how one’s tasks feed into them is necessary for reliable engagement and productivity. Regular check-ins help managers to guide their staff’s development, provide rich, constructive & timely feedback and help them keep track of their targets. It also enables staff to easily bring up any issues preventing them from finishing their workload or share successes. With Weekly10’s check-in system, it’s easy to access the results of all your previous check-ins to see how you’ve progressed, or to discuss with management or HR.
But why are weekly employee check-ins best?
There are a number of reasons why we champion weekly as being the best cadence for our customers to run their employee check-in. A few of the key reasons are:
- Weekly check-ins encourage personal development. Feedback, goals and employee recognition help shape performance and future behaviours.
- They promote effective teamwork and build a culture of collaboration & recognition. Our check-in has tools to facilitate this such as our ‘mention’ and ‘pass-up’ functions.
- They can promote and improve wellbeing by providing employees with a regular ‘push’ channel for raising issues and concerns.
- They provide regular interaction with management, which makes employees feel like they matter to their organisation. Our ‘pass-up’ function helps share the great work of staff up the management hierarchy quickly and in a way that keeps the focus on the individual employee.
- They form habits. One of the keys to effective behaviour change is frequency, so checking-in weekly build habits around sharing feedback, reflecting on performance, praising success and opening up about challenges.
- Research from Gallup and others shows younger generations desire feedback at work more frequently than previous generations. Millennials and Gen-Z specifically are keen for weekly feedback.
- Like most things, with feedback, practice makes perfect. Research by NYU found that managers become better t giving feedback the more frequently they do it, and employees become more receptive to it.
Weekly employee check-ins build better habits faster
Employee engagement, performance and to lesser extent wellbeing all rely on habitual behaviour both from employees and their managers in order to improve. Regularity is vital when trying to model and promote habits.
A survey by Joblist found that over a third of full-time employees want more feedback. Research highlighted by Forbes supports these findings, with 65% of surveyed employees reporting that want more feedback. But Joblist’s survey also found that the regularity of feedback was affected by the amount of time spent with the company, and the quality of their relationship with management.
Staff who had been with their employer for a year or less received the most frequent feedback at a little under four times a month on average. Employees who had been with a company for more than a decade tended to receive feedback at an average of almost two and a half times a month.
Perhaps surprisingly, it was the employees who had worse relationships with management that received the least regular feedback. Employees whose managerial relationship was described as “very negative” only received feedback an average of 2.2 times a month. This could suggest that managers find it harder to deal with employees when they don’t get along, or possibly that a lack of feedback has soured their working relationship. Either way, consistent and regular feedback for employees is a key tool for managers to boost engagement by improving workplace morale.
However, Joblist’s survey also found that the most common method of feedback was through private face-to-face discussions at over 45%. By comparison, less than 15% received feedback “through email or written note.”
Having a weekly employee check-in keep your remote workers motivated
With the ever-increasing number of remote workers around the globe, face-to-face time is reducing, meaning the need for new approaches to manager-employee communications. Regular check-ins are a perfect tool for managing and motivating remote staff. While consistent, structured feedback is important for the development of any employee, it becomes even more important for staff working remotely. This is because without regular interaction with colleagues and management, it can be harder to gauge how things are going and issues around not just performance and engagement but wellbeing can become harder to spot without the right tools and processes in place. Checking in every week helps remote employees stay focused by keeping them up to date with their organisation’s goals, provides an opportunity for social interaction with their peers and a channel for raising key points.
How Weekly10 makes weekly employee check-ins a piece of cake
While face-to-face feedback is certainly better than a note on your desk, it isn’t without its own issues. One-to-ones can be time-consuming to organise in workplaces often trying to do away with unessential meetings. On top of that, employees and managers alike seem to dread them, especially when they take the form of the dreaded annual performance review.
Weekly10’s employee check-in feature is easy to use, and is just one of our most popular features. It only takes a few minutes to answer the questions, which are easily customisable and have plenty of room for additional comments, which help facilitate effective two-way feedback.
1-10 scale questions for rating things like satisfaction and wellbeing. Our open-ended questions (e.g. “what have you achieved this week?” or “do you require any additional support, training or equipment?”) allow employees to respond in as much detail as they want about the issues relevant to them.
The weekly check-in also incorporates our SMART Goal and OKR (Objectives and Key Results) systems. These enable employees to provide regular, quantifiable updates to their assigned tasks and see how their contributions benefit the objectives of the business as a whole. We have even implemented an AI assistant to help assess the effectiveness of your questions, and how to improve them based on sentiment analysis. With our weekly check-ins, regular feedback will go from a chore to something that people want to actively engage in.