Team building tool: Check ins

Sustainability isn’t just about the environment. It’s also about quality of life. Managers can develop a supportive and productive in the workplace by using this simple practice in their meetings: a check-in. 

At the start of each meeting, go around the room asking people to state briefly what’s going on for them, what they’d like to share. It might be positive or negative; personal or professional. One person might express worry because his child is sick; another might be excited about winning an important customer. If a workplace or work process issue comes up, assign it to a meeting agenda; don’t try to address any issues at the time. You just want to hear what’s going on in people’s lives. This helps people let go of outside distractions so they can focus on the meeting. Anyone can pass.

You might wonder if it’s worth 5-10 minutes of your precious meeting time to talk about ‘non-work’ issues. But this practice builds camaraderie, improves trust and uncovers issues that need to be addressed.

A variation on this check-in is to pair people and give them each 1-2 minutes to answer a question, like “Who was a big influence on your life?” “What do you love to do outside of work?” or “What’s your favorite movie or TV show?” Questions like these can uncover shared passions and give managers insights to the motivations and talents of their staff. Learn more.