The importance of a weekly employee check-in for your business
You probably won't be surprised when we say we believe a weekly employee check-in is the most effective. Our name is a dead giveaway after all. If that was somehow a surprise to you, take a minute to let your heart stop racing.
We stand by regular feedback processes. That's why our employee check-in tool is designed to be as light-touch as possible. That way, exchanging feedback frequently doesn't eat up everyone's time. Regular check-ins provide a real-time view of engagement and productivity that other feedback methods just can't match.
Regular check-ins clarify tasks and objectives
All the way back in 2015, Gallup's research discovered something incredibly concerning. They found that only about half of surveyed employees reported a strong understanding of their responsibilities. However, they also found that a manager's relationship with their employees massively influenced engagement. Specifically, employees are more likely to be engaged if they:
- Agree with their manager's work priorities.
- You hold them accountable for their performance.
- Could approach their manager with questions.
This led Gallup to propose three elements of employee engagement:
- Achievement: A sense of accomplishment is what drives employees. This requires you to set clear goals and expectations, as well as staff recognition processes.
- Accountability: You have to follow through once expectations are set. They do this 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.
Over 2021, Gallup surveyed employees working through the COVID-19 pandemic. 84% of those who reported getting meaningful feedback within the last week were engaged. Only a fifth of other respondents were engaged. Almost as many were actively disengaged.
And just to be clear, "meaningful" feedback is an important distinction. It's not enough to go through the motions each week, so keep the three As in mind.
If you want to reliably keep your people engaged, then they need to understand why their work matters. They need to know how it contributes to organisational goals. Regular employee check-ins can help you achieve this, while guiding staff performance and long-term development.
Check-ins are also your staff's chance to speak up. They provide opportunities to raise issues and concerns. But they also provide chances to share success stories and recognise the hard work of others.
But why are weekly employee check-ins best?
The regularity of your check-ins is up to you. But we'll always 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 to build a culture of collaboration and recognition. Our employee check-in has tools to facilitate this such as our 'mention' and 'pass-up' functions.
- They can promote and improve wellbeing in your business. Giving employees a regular 'push' channel provides a way of highlighting problems in the workplace. This is essential for building loyalty and reducing staff turnover.
- They provide regular interaction with management. This makes employees feel like they matter to their organisation. Our 'pass-up' function helps to improve staff visibility by keeping management in the loop. The best part is, it's just as light-touch as our check-ins. That means it managers can keep track of each employee's updates without neglecting their other responsibilities.
- They form habits. One of the keys to effective behaviour change is frequency. 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. NYU research found that exchanging feedback more frequently improves its efficacy. This is because managers improve with practice, and employees become more receptive over time.
Weekly employee check-ins build better habits faster
Employee engagement, performance and wellbeing have one thing in common. They 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 OnePoll survey in 2021 asked employees what their motivators were for staying with a business and working productively. The second-most popular response was money at 48%. But feedback on their role won out at 53%.
This supports a similar finding from a prior survey by Joblist. It found that over a third of full-time employees want more feedback. But Joblist's survey also found other factors affecting feedback regularity. Namely, the amount of time spent with the company and the quality of an individual's relationship with management.
Newer staff tended to receive the most feedback. Employees who had been there for a year or less got feedback just under four times a month on average. Employees who had spent more than a decade with the business got the least regular feedback (2.5 times a month on average).
But employees who had worse relationships with management actually received the least regular feedback. Employees with "very negative" managerial relationships only received feedback an average of 2.2 times a month.
This could suggest that managers find it harder to handle employees they don't get along with. It could also be that some employees just don't take instruction well. Either way, feedback is a key tool for managers. And long-term regular feedback is the way forward. If you're having problems giving feedback to a specific employee, that just means you need to double down on their check-ins.
Having a weekly employee check-in keep your remote workers motivated
Thanks in part to the pandemic, remote work is on the rise around the world. But this means that employers are offering less face-to-face time. There's a real need for new approaches to manager-employee communications. But regular check-ins can be the perfect tool for managing and motivating remote staff.
While consistent, structured feedback is important for the development of any employee, it's even more important for staff working remotely. The lack of regular face-to-face interaction makes it harder for remote staff to stay in the loop. Regular you can keep your remote staff updated by having them check in regularly. They can update their goal-tracking every week, and always have opportunities to give feedback to their managers.
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. And that's is the last thing you want if you're trying to do away with unessential meetings.
Weekly10 is the core of our service and one of our most popular features. That's why we've made it as user-friendly as possible. It only takes a few minutes to answer the questions. And they are easily customisable on the employee level, rather than being a generic questionnaire. They also have plenty of room for extra comments, which help to enable effective two-way feedback.
1-10 scale questions for rating things like satisfaction and wellbeing in a quantifiable way. Our open-ended questions allow employees to respond in as much detail as they want about the issues relevant to them. Giving staff a chance to put things in their own words is an essential part of sentiment analysis.
The weekly check-in also incorporates our SMART Goal and OKR (Objectives and Key Results) systems. These enable employees to provide regular updates to their assigned tasks in a measurable way. SMART Goals help you to break things down into sub-goals and assign manageable workloads.
OKRs help employees to see how their contributions benefit the objectives of the business as a whole. We have even implemented an AI assistant to help assess question suitability. Our algorithm can even suggest better questions 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.
Ultimately, the Weekly10 platform aims to have something for everyone. Our check-in and sentiment analysis tools are easily accessible, even if you're not tech-savvy. And with a range of demo options to suit your needs, there's nothing to lose if you want to try out our services.