Are you struggling to come up with effective check-in questions for your team meetings? It’s easy to end up defaulting to general questions, like, “How are things going?” But those will often lead to a vague response.
Good check-in questions will give you useful information about what your team members are working on, what obstacles they’re facing, and how they’re feeling about their role at the company in general.
Here are some effective check-in questions to try out in your next team meeting. We’ve split them into different categories so you can easily find check-in questions for daily stand-ups, bigger team meetings, and even one-on-ones with your team members.
Best check-in questions for daily stand-up meetings
If you’ve not come across stand-up meetings before, they’re commonly used in the tech industry. You might have also heard them called a daily scrum or huddle. They involve a very short team meeting in the morning, usually first thing.
Three classic stand-up questions are:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What will you do today?
- What obstacles stand in your way?
You may prefer to phrase these in a slightly different way, but they should cover the same ground. The idea is that they take just a few seconds to answer, and any obstacles to progress are quickly brought to light and dealt with.
Other questions you might want to add to your stand-up include:
- How are you feeling today?
- Do you need any help?
- Do you have time available to help someone else?
- What’s your priority for today?
Don’t go over the top, though; adding one or two questions should be plenty.
Best check-in questions for weekly team meetings
Many teams have a regular weekly meeting, often on Mondays, to go through projects and update team members on progress. You don’t want the meeting to drag on forever so you need quick and effective check-in questions that alert you to any problems and help the team work more efficiently together.
Some great questions to ask are:
- What’s your priority for this week?
- What’s your biggest challenge at the moment?
- What’s the biggest time drain currently?
- What one thing could we do to communicate better?
- Are there any bottlenecks or delays holding us up?
- What useful tools could you share with the rest of the group?
- How could we prepare for interruptions (e.g., illness)?
- What do you need help with?
- What’s your current workload like?
- What systems or techniques could we use more often?
- Are there any tasks that keep getting postponed? Which ones, and why?
- What distractions are you struggling with this week?
- Is anything interrupting or interfering with your work?
- Have we discussed anything today or made a decision that needs to be communicated to other teams?
- How has another team member helped you in the past week?
Best fun but useful check-in questions for team meetings
These questions are fun, but they can also give you some really useful insights into workplace changes your team might find helpful:
- If you were promoted to CEO for a day, what changes would you make?
- What was the best thing about working from home during the pandemic?
- What’s the best thing about being back in the office?
- What’s the most fun you had at work recently? (Maybe a virtual trivia game, escape game, or murder mystery game?)
- If you could shadow a colleague for a day, who would you pick, and why?
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your life?
- If you could only have three apps on your phone, which would you choose?
- If you could wave a magic wand and instantly solve all your problems at work, what would be the first difference you’d notice afterward?
- What has surprised you most about working here?
- What would you change about our virtual happy hour?
Best check-in questions for one-to-one meetings with your team members
You may also want some check-in questions for one-on-one meetings with team members. These are a great opportunity to open up the conversation and get your employees to talk about what’s really on their minds:
- What have you been working on since we last met?
- How can I better support your work?
- What milestones have you hit?
- What has been taking up most of your time?
- What’s your top priority for this week?
- Did I miss anything that you want to discuss?
- What new skill(s) would you like to learn?
- Are there any problems you’d like my help with?
- Is there anything you’d like my feedback on?
- What small changes would make you happier at work?
Best check-in questions that go deeper
These check-in questions dig a bit deeper. They can open up a great conversation, but be aware that some employees may feel uncomfortable or uncertain about answering these. It’s important to make sure your team knows they can be honest without fear of repercussions. You may want to ask these in smaller groups than usual or even in one-on-ones:
- What makes you feel inspired?
- Do you feel lonely when working from home?
- What is making you frustrated or angry?
- How satisfied are you feeling with your job?
- How valued do you feel at work?
- How supported do you feel at work?
- Do you feel challenged enough at work?
- Do you feel the team works well together?
Whatever check-in questions you’re using, try varying them from time to time. You might find it opens up a better conversation, brings to light a more efficient way of working, or helps colleagues to form a closer bond.
Originally published at May 19 2022, 10:22:00 AM.
Updated on Sep 27 2022.