By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.
Preferences
Meeting Tips

How To Conduct An Effective Check-In Meeting (With Agenda Template)

Published
March 19, 2024
Read time
6
Min Read
Last updated
March 20, 2024
Anika Jahin
How To Conduct An Effective Check-In Meeting (With Agenda Template)
Table of contents
Share article:

Juggling deadlines, managing projects, and keeping your team on track can sometimes feel overwhelming. Even with regular team meetings, ensuring everyone's aligned and working towards shared goals can be challenging.

This is where check-in meetings come in.

Consider check-in meetings as mini-meetings specifically designed to connect with individual team members.

These focused discussions provide a platform to discuss progress, address roadblocks, and ensure everyone feels supported. Becoming skilled in conducting check-in meetings can significantly benefit managers.

This blog will equip you with the knowledge and tools to conduct effective check-ins, fostering a collaborative work environment where your team thrives.

What Are Check-In Meetings?

Check-in meetings provide a more targeted approach compared to regular team meetings. These focused discussions delve deeper than surface-level updates, providing a valuable space for individual team members to connect with their manager or team leader. 

This format can be a one-on-one meeting between an employee and a manager or a team meeting with team members and a facilitator.

Let's look at what check-in meetings really are about.

Boosting Communication and Alignment

Regular check-ins ensure everyone is on the same page. By discussing current projects, issues, and upcoming tasks, check-in meetings ensure clarity and communication.

It helps to keep your team aligned with overall goals.

Enhancing Employee Engagement

Feeling valued and heard is crucial for employee engagement. Check-in meetings provide a dedicated space for team members to voice concerns, offer suggestions, and receive feedback on their work.

This two-way communication enables a sense of trust and builds stronger relationships within the team.

Identifying Challenges at Early Stage

Check-in meetings allow you to proactively address project issues before they escalate. By discussing roadblocks early on, you can provide support, identify solutions, and ensure projects stay on track.

This proactive approach minimizes disruptions and keeps your team productive.

Providing Support and Feedback

Regular check-ins offer valuable opportunities to discuss professional development goals. By understanding your team members' aspirations, you can provide guidance, suggest resources, and create a supportive environment for continuous learning and growth.

Building Stronger Relationships

Check-in meetings are not just about tasks and deadlines. These focused discussions allow you to connect with your team members on a personal level.

By taking the time to understand their work environment, challenges, and aspirations, you can build stronger, more trusting relationships within your team.

Different Types of Check-In Meetings

While the core principles of check-in meetings are the same, the format can be adapted to suit your specific needs and team dynamics. 

Here's a breakdown of some common types of check-in meetings, along with considerations for crafting their agendas:

1:1 Check-In Meetings (Most Common)

  • Focus: One-on-one meetings are in-depth discussions that provide a dedicated space to connect with individual team members and discuss their specific needs, goals, and challenges.
  • Agenda: Tailor the meeting agenda to the team member's role and current projects. Include sections for progress updates, roadblock identification, personalized feedback, development opportunities, and open discussion for questions and concerns.

Team Check-In Meetings

  • Focus: These meetings are brief and focused, also known as daily stand-up meetings. These short meetings unite the team to discuss project progress, team dynamics, and overall collaboration.
  • Agenda: Focus on work progress and project updates with team-wide implications. Brainstorm sessions for overcoming challenges, team-building activities (optional), and open discussion for fostering a proactive and agile team culture.

Weekly Status Updates

  • Focus: These short meetings concentrate on a quick snapshot of individual or team progress on ongoing projects.
  • Agenda: Keep it concise! Focus on key milestones achieved, upcoming deadlines, and any urgent roadblocks requiring immediate attention.

Project-Specific Check-Ins

  • Focus: These meetings delve into the details of a specific project. It brings together relevant team members to discuss progress, identify dependencies, and address potential barriers.
  • Agenda: Structure the agenda around the project timeline. Include updates on completed tasks, upcoming deliverables, resource allocation, and risk mitigation strategies.

Onboarding Check-Ins

  • Focus: These regular meetings are crucial for supporting new team members during their onboarding process.
  • Agenda: Focus on progress in understanding roles and responsibilities. Address initial challenges. Provide feedback and guidance. Foster a sense of belonging within the team.

Planning Your Check-In Meetings

Now that we understand the significant benefits of check-in meetings let's explore how to plan and execute them effectively.

Here are some key steps to ensure your check-ins are productive and valuable for both you and your team members:

Schedule Regularly

  • Frequency: Determine the ideal frequency for your check-ins. Weekly or bi-weekly meetings are common, but you can adjust based on team needs and project timelines.
  • Convenience: Schedule meetings during a convenient time for both you and your team member, minimizing disruptions to their workflow.
  • Duration: Aim for focused discussions, typically lasting 30-45 minutes.

Establish a Clear Agenda

  • Joint Effort: Collaborate with your team member to create the agenda. This fosters a sense of ownership and ensures the discussion covers their priorities.
  • Key Discussion Points: Include specific topics to be addressed, such as current projects, roadblocks, upcoming deadlines, and goals.
  • Space for Feedback: Dedicate time for your team member to ask questions and provide feedback on workload, processes, or anything relevant to their role.

Pre-Meeting Preparation

  • Review Notes: Before the meeting, take some time to review past check-in notes and project updates. This allows you to track progress and identify any lingering issues.
  • Pro tip: As you're about to join a meeting, Wudpecker's AI meeting summary tool automatically finds the last related one and gives you a recap of the discussions (if you've used Wudpecker previously in your meetings). Even if you're in a hurry, Wudpecker will keep you up to date.
  • Encourage Preparation: Ask your team member to come prepared to discuss their progress, challenges, and any items they'd like to raise during the meeting.

Choose the Right Platform

  • Remote Considerations: If working remotely, decide on a video conferencing tool that enables clear communication and screen sharing if needed.
  • In-Person Option: If meeting in person is possible, choose a quiet, comfortable space for a focused conversation.

Creating an Effective Check-In Meeting Agenda

A well-structured agenda is the GPS of all your check-in meetings, guiding the conversation and ensuring everyone gets the most out of the time. 

Here's how to craft an agenda that keeps things focused and productive:

(1) Start With Introductions (If Needed)

For new team members or if it's been a while since your last check-in, a brief introduction can help break the ice and set a friendly tone.

(2) Recap & Refocus

Start by briefly revisiting key takeaways and action items from the previous check-in. This quick refresh ensures everyone's on the same page and helps maintain continuity across meetings.

Taking meeting notes can be automated and finding old notes has never been easier.

How? With Wudpecker.

(3) Discuss Current Projects and Progress

This is the heart of the check-in. Dedicate time for your team member to discuss their current projects, highlighting completed tasks, milestones achieved, and any roadblocks encountered.

  • Consider using the "RAG Status" method: This approach involves categorizing tasks or projects as Red (at risk), Amber (needing attention), or Green (on track).
  • This provides a quick visual overview of progress and potential areas needing support.

(4) Identify & Address Challenges

Challenges are a natural part of the workflow. Use the check-in as an opportunity to brainstorm solutions collaboratively.

Actively listen to your team member's concerns and offer support and guidance to help them overcome obstacles.

(5) Feedback & Recognition

Feedback is a two-way street. Provide constructive feedback on your team member's work, highlighting their strengths and areas for further development.

But don't forget to acknowledge their accomplishments and contributions to the team's success. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in motivating and fostering a sense of value.

(6) Performance Reviews (Optional)

While not essential for every check-in, performance reviews can be integrated if needed. These discussions should focus on addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for growth and development.

(7) Goal for the Future

Looking ahead, collaboratively establish clear and achievable goals for the upcoming period. These goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) to ensure progress can be tracked effectively.

Outlining specific action items with deadlines provides a roadmap for accountability and keeps everyone moving forward.

(8) Open Discussion and Q&A

Allocate dedicated time at the end for your team members to ask questions or raise any concerns they might have. This fosters open communication and ensures they feel heard and supported.

(9) Capture Key Takeaways

Assign a notetaker or use a rotating system to ensure important points from each check-in are captured. These meeting minutes are valuable for tracking progress, identifying recurring challenges, and referencing past discussions.

Consider Wudpecker, an AI meeting assistant that actually takes your instructions and makes tailored notes for your meetings.

Check-in Meeting Agenda Template

It might be useful to use the provided template as a guide during your meeting. This will ensure that all the essential points are covered. Feel free to modify the template based on meeting requirements and attendees.

Conclusion

Regular check-in meetings are the secret weapon for managers seeking to develop a high-performing team. These focused interactions keep everyone aligned, fostering a collaborative environment where accountability and goal-setting thrive.  

With the insights and best practices shared in this blog, you can transform check-ins from routine meetings to powerful drivers of team success.  

FAQs

What Is a Check-In Conversation?

A check-in conversation, in a general sense, is a brief and informal interaction where you connect with someone to see how they're doing. It's a way to measure their current state of mind, progress on something, or simply to touch base and maintain a connection.

Here are some specific contexts where check-in conversations are used:

  • Personal Relationships: Checking in with friends or family members to see how they're doing emotionally, if they need anything, or just to catch up.
  • Professional Settings: Managers check in with team members to discuss project progress, address any roadblocks, or offer support.
  • Healthcare: Doctors or therapists check in with patients to monitor their health, discuss treatment plans, or address any concerns.
  • Meetings: Start a meeting with a check-in question (e.g., "How is everyone's week going?") to create a more casual atmosphere and encourage participation.

The key characteristics of a check-in conversation are:

  • Brief: They are typically short and focused exchanges.
  • Informal: The tone is casual and conversational.
  • Two-way Communication: It involves listening to the other person and offering support or feedback if needed.

What Is a Good Check-In Question for a Meeting?

A good check-in question for a meeting should be open-ended, inviting, and conducive to creating a relaxed atmosphere. It should allow participants to share a bit about their current state or feelings in a way that fosters connection and empathy within the group.

Here are a few examples:

  1. "How are you feeling today on a scale from 1-10, and is there a specific reason for that number?"
  2. "What's one thing that has inspired you or made you feel positive this week?"
  3. "Is there anything on your mind that could impact your focus or participation in today's meeting?"
  4. "What's one success or challenge you've experienced since our last meeting?"
  5. "Could describe your current workload?"
  6. "How are you feeling about your work-life balance?"

What Is the Purpose of a Check-In?

The purpose of a check-in, especially in a work context, can vary depending on the format (one-on-one vs team meeting) and the organization's overall goals. However, some core purposes generally apply:

  • Communication and Progress Tracking: Check-ins provide a dedicated space for regular communication between team members and their manager or team leader. This allows for updates on ongoing projects and identification of roadblocks and ensures everyone is aligned on priorities.
  • Problem-Solving and Support:  Check-in meetings offer a platform to discuss challenges and brainstorm solutions collaboratively. Team members can voice concerns, receive support and guidance from their manager, and leverage the team's collective knowledge to overcome  obstacles.
  • Goal Setting and Feedback:  Regular check-ins can be used to set or review individual and team goals (often using the SMART goal framework). This fosters accountability and ensures everyone is working towards achieving common objectives. Additionally, check-ins can be a valuable opportunity to provide constructive feedback for continuous improvement and acknowledge recent successes.
  • Relationship Building:  Regular check-ins, particularly one-on-one meetings, can strengthen relationships between team members and their managers. This fosters a sense of trust, improves communication, and can contribute to a more positive and productive work environment.
Automatic quality online meeting notes
Try Wudpecker for free
Dashboard
Wudpecker logo
Check-in Meeting Agenda Template

Date: [Insert Date]

Time: [Insert Start Time] - [Insert End Time]

Location: [Specify if it's an in-person or virtual meeting and provide necessary details or links]

1. Opening (3 Minutes)

  • Welcome and quick introductions (if new members are present)

2. Recap & Refocus (5 Minutes)

  • Review key actions and decisions from the last meeting
  • Confirm understanding and alignment

3. Current Projects and Progress (10-15 Minutes)

  • Brief update from each member using the "RAG Status" method
  • Highlight achievements and identify any support needed

5. Identify & Address Challenges (5-10 Minutes)

  • Discuss challenges identified during project updates.
  • Brainstorm solutions collaboratively.
  • Offer support and guidance to overcome obstacles.

4. Feedback & Recognition (5-7 Minutes)

  • Share constructive feedback for continuous improvement.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate recent successes of team members.

6. Goal Setting & Next Steps (10-15 Minutes)

  • Set or review SMART goals for the next period
  • Define action items and assign responsibilities

6. Open Discussion (5-10 Minutes)

  • Address any questions or additional topics from team members

7. Conclusion (2-3 Minutes)

  • Recap key takeaways and confirm next meeting details
How To Conduct An Effective Check-In Meeting (With Agenda Template)
Min Read
How To Conduct An Effective Check-In Meeting (With Agenda Template)
Min Read
How To Conduct An Effective Check-In Meeting (With Agenda Template)
Min Read
arrow
arrow

Read more