Employee check-ins are on the rise, to replace or to supplement the problematic annual review. Check-ins help steer managers to have quality conversations with their direct reports, while also providing the business with consistent documentation across departments. If your performance review completion rates are not what you’d like them to be, you should try check-ins.The quality of check-ins depends on the questions you ask Click To Tweet
The quality of check-in conversations — and the adoption, as measured by completion rates — depends on the questions you ask. Thinking about your questions from both the manager and employee perspectives will ensure the best questions.
Consider the following factors when creating questions for your check-ins:
- Make the question clear and concise so employees understand what they’re being asked to answer.
- Always make sure the employee will learn what they did well and/or what they can improve on when they hear their manager’s feedback on the questions.
- Don’t ask employees to rate two skills in one question, i.e. “How well do you apply positive and constructive feedback?” The employee will be confused whether they rated well or poorly on positive feedback or constructive feedback.
- Don’t ask yes/no questions, as this does not give information to the employee about what actions to take.
Types of Employee Check-Ins
- What goals were completed?
- What goals are still in progress?
- What is getting in the way of achieving goals, if anything?
- How do goals need to be adjusted to align with changing priorities?
- What resources are needed to better reach goals?
- How do individual goals support department or company-wide goals?
- What behaviors should the employee continue to demonstrate?
- What behaviors should the employee start doing to achieve results?
- What behaviors should the employee stop doing to achieve results?
- What are your career goals/aspirations?
- In what areas do you want to grow/develop in order to achieve your career goals?
- What experiences and opportunities can be provided to assist you in achieving your career goals?
- What can the company do to support your development?
- What can your manager do to support your development?
Deloitte’s Evaluative Check-In
- Given what I know of this person’s performance, and if it were my money, I would award this person the highest possible compensation increase and bonus [measures overall performance and unique value to the organization on a five-point scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”].
- Given what I know of this person’s performance, I would always want him or her on my team [measures ability to work well with others on the same five-point scale].
- This person is at risk for low performance [identifies problems that might harm the customer or the team on a yes-or-no basis].
- This person is ready for promotion today [measures potential on a yes-or-no basis].
Learn more about Deloitte’s performance management in our industry spotlight.
Pinterest’s Goal Check-Ins
- Have goals changed since the last check-in?
- Are individual goals complete, on-track, ahead, or behind?
- What went well this month?
- What will help make better progress towards future goals?
Learn more about Pinterest’s performance management in our case study.