How to Maximize Your Employee & Manager Check In Meetings

Are you and your employee getting the most out of your scheduled check in meetings?
Or, is the meeting a repeat of last week’s meeting without much forward momentum?

The time you are spending with your employees is of high value.  It is about more than getting a status report on work assignments, it is about strengthening your connection and talking about the future.

Below are the best practices to maximize your meeting time with your employee.

  • If you don’t have a regular meeting to check in with your direct reports, set one up. The frequency can be adjusted. Starting with a every other week, 30 minute check-in is a great place to start.
  • Ask the employee to come with their agenda as well. This can include project status, obstacles that are in their way, a skill gap they have discovered, help they need from others, etc.
  • Start the meeting by asking if there is anything they want to make sure that you cover together – start with what is important to them.
  • Ask them what is going well for them. What have they done this week that they are proud of and/or describe an accomplishment in the past week?
  • Recognize and reinforce good outcomes/performance. Identify a few examples of solid work that you’ve noticed.
  • Help them remove obstacles. Ask them if there was anything that got in their way of accomplishing their work this past week. Brainstorm about how to remove those obstacles together. Share any obstacles/skill gap areas you have observed in their work this past week. Brainstorm together how to address those.
  • Be sure they are clear on their role. Has there been any role confusion they encountered? If so, what can be done to address this?
  • Explore areas where they want to develop their skills. What is a goal that they have? How can you help them get there (e.g., job shadow, stretch assignment, training, etc.)
  • Review their current tasks and projects in terms of the status, what is the next milestone, the timing of the deliverable, and any constructive feedback you have for them. Keep in mind, feedback is a gift. You have to really care about them to put yourself in a position to give feedback for their benefit.
  • Ask if there is anything they want to discuss. Has this been a good use of your time together? What, if anything, would they like to change in the next meeting?

Keep in mind that you should take notes. OneNote or an email to yourself in Outlook is a handy way to do so. This will allow you to review your notes prior to the next meeting with your employee. Be ready to share something they did well with specifics, and avoid the “you’re doing a good job”.

Tell them in particular what they are doing well. What gets praised, gets repeated!

If you’re exploring an outsourced Human Resources partnership, we’d welcome the opportunity to connect with you. Visit our website at or call us at 608-370-4642 for a free 30-minute consultation.