Since 2020, working remotely has become a reality for professional teams worldwide.
Although this kind of work environment wasn’t entirely new to some people, remote meetings have always been challenging for managers and company leaders.
Some leaders use check-in questions with the Check-In Meeting model to make work meetings more productive and a touch-base for remote team members and overall asynchronous communication. However, not all of them know how to drive these strategies to be successful.
Asking the right questions can help leaders conduct more effective meetings. In this article, we share some helpful check-in questions for remote teams.
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What is a Check-In Meeting?
A check-in meeting is a regular informal meeting, conducted daily or weekly, that helps team members connect with their coworkers. The usual goal of this meeting is to get updates about projects, challenges, work opportunities, and potential issues that the team might face with their jobs.
Check-in meetings are also crucial for keeping updated on how team members are feeling, and for maintaining a positive and healthy professional relationship with them.
Why Do Managers Perform Check-Ins?
Check-in meetings are essential because they help managers and team leaders track what is going on with the team and their work projects.
Managers and team leaders also perform check-ins to:
- Make weekly recaps.
- Communicate about teams metrics or goals.
- Oversee the team’s workload.
- Plan for expected new projects or tasks.
- Support team members on activities or work environment well-being.
- Analyze potential takeaways from finished tasks or projects.
- Increase team engagement.
How to Use Check-In Questions for Remote Teams
Questions are an excellent way to start when working on a check-in meeting with your remote team. They assist you with:
- Breaking the ice and engaging your team in the session you are about to have.
- Connecting team members.
- Stimulating conversation about a particular topic or issue.
- Creating an open and safe space for team discussion.
- Creating a team-building routine.
There are a few ways you can use check-in questions in your remote team’s meetings. And with the support of Jell, you can create customized check-in appointments and templates to lead better meetings with your team.
This type of check-in meeting is conducted between a manager and a team member to share feedback, work-related issues, career goals, and individual guidance.
One-on-one check-in questions can be used as an icebreaker to start the conversation or even to get to know each other better in a more personal way.
Weekly recaps are check-in meetings usually conducted at the end of a workweek, so the team can discuss projects, accomplishments, and challenges that might have come up over the preceding days.
Check in questions, in this case, help managers start the conversation about a topic or a project, understand team members’ roles and responsibilities on a specific task, and bring up potential issues that need to be addressed.
A communication meeting is usually conducted to gather information from the whole team about accomplishments, progress, milestones achieved, or other relevant information you need to share with stakeholders or someone up the chain of command.
Check-in questions for this type of meeting usually help the manager understand the teams’ accomplishments, potential problems, or risks that stakeholders need to be aware of, even if the team workload is beyond expected.
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Types of Check-In Questions for Meetings
Asking questions is essential to make your check-in meetings with remote teams more productive and valuable. Here are some ideas of check-in questions to ask your team members according to the meeting goal.
Daily Check-In Questions
If your remote team has a daily check-in meeting, these questions can be helpful to make it more productive:
- What were your main activities from yesterday?
- What are your main goals for today?
- Is there anything blocking you?
- Can I assist you with anything?
Project Check-In Meeting
When a project is ongoing, check-in meetings can be helpful to get an overview of challenges and achievements. To conduct these meetings, use questions like:
- What is working as expected?
- What is not working as expected?
- How is the project affecting your workload?
- Can you measure any challenges or obstacles in your way?
- How do we measure the success of our delivered tasks?
- Do you need my assistance with any activity?
- Do you need the help of someone from the team?
- What is blocking you?
- Do you have any concerns about the project?
Team Check-In Meeting
Dedication to team-building is essential, and team check-ins are a great way to make this happen. Managers can use them to celebrate wins, share important messages or updates, give feedback, talk, and relax. Here are some questions to make sure your team check-in meeting works well:
- How is your work-life balance lately?
- How are you feeling? (work-wise and personal-wise)
- What made you happy this week?
- What made you upset this week?
- How do you relieve stress?
- If you could choose one thing to work on this week, what would it be?
- Is there something you would like to change in our work routine or the organization?
One-on-One Check-In Meetings
One-on-one meetings are crucial for the leader-team member relationship. They help to strengthen relationships, work on development issues, avoid unexpected burnout, and clarify your employee’s situation. Use these questions to ensure your one-on-one meeting goes well:
- How are you feeling this week?
- What have you been working on?
- Are you satisfied with what is on your plate?
- Do you have enough time to rest or dedicate yourself to other activities?
- How can I better support you during your workday?
- Are you feeling productive? If not, why?
- Do you feel supported by your leadership and team?
- Are you facing any challenges or personal issues you want to share with me that might be affecting your work situation?
Additional Check-In Questions for Meetings
We’ve covered most check-in meeting situations, but here are some more helpful check-in questions for any type of meeting.
- What did you eat for breakfast today?
- What is the best part of working virtually?
- Do you like waking up early or not?
- Are you a coffee drinker?
- What is your favorite morning drink?
- What is your favorite movie?
- How do you stay productive while working remotely?
- Name your favorite sandwich.
- What is your favorite type of music?
- What is the best advice someone has ever given you?
- Describe of your talents outside of work.
- If you didn’t have to work, what would you do with your time?
- Do you like traveling?
Mining Issues Questions
- What are your current concerns about the job?
- What do you wish you had the opportunity to work on better?
- How do you feel we should measure our team success?
- What would you add to our company or team culture?
- Do you feel like we have any communication challenges, internally or externally?
- What do you think is holding you or our team back?
Building Trust Questions
- What is something you find too challenging?
- Describe something that motivates you.
- What would you get rid of?
- What were your passions when you started working?
- How do you react when you are upset or too tired?
Mental Health Questions
- What is your most significant stressor at your current work activities?
- Are you feeling creative?
- Do you feel rested after the weekend?
- Do you have something to hold on to when you are feeling too stressed?
- Is there anything you want to share that will help you feel better?
Check Out Questions
- How did you feel about the meeting today?
- How do you think you contributed to the discussion today?
- What do you think we need to work on for the next meeting?
- What do you think we need to change in our meeting format?
How to Conduct a Check-In Meeting
Conducting meetings can be challenging for experienced leaders or managers, and even more so for new ones. This step-by-step can help you lead more productive and efficient work gatherings with your team members.
Step 1: Prepare for the Meeting
Avoid arriving at the meeting without knowing where to start. Take notes and, if possible, create a plan with topics you need to discuss with your team.
Step 2: Schedule the Meeting in Advance
People need time to organize themselves and plan their daily activities according to their schedules. If you want to make sure everyone can attend the meeting, schedule it in advance (preferably with one or two weeks’ notice).
Step 3: Attend the Meeting on Time
Lead by example and organize yourself to avoid being late to your check-in meeting with the team.
Step 4: Keep the Team Talking
Use check-in questions to stimulate all team members to talk and participate during the meeting. A good meeting lead always pays attention as they facilitate topics into the schedule.
Step 5: Summarize the Most Important Takeaways
A productive meeting always has takeaways. Summarize the conversation with some highlights and next steps.
Step 6: Document Everything
Take minutes after the meeting to note down some relevant takeaways, discussion points, next steps, and feedback. This will help you conduct future meetings about the same topic and share what was discussed at this gathering.
Use Jell to take notes, check your team’s goals and task progress, manage new projects, and schedule future meetings.
Working with a remote team has its advantages, but organizing and leading check-in meetings can be challenging for many managers and leaders. The questions we shared in this article are a way to make this necessary time for team building and discussion be more smooth, effective and productive.
With Jell, you can easily follow up on your team’s projects and signs of progress and challenge to assure that your check-in meetings bring long-term satisfactory results to stakeholders and team members.