How do weekly check-ins work?

Weekly Check-Ins
The weekly check-in is one of many communication workflows available in Friday. This feature is geared towards team leaders (typically with five or more direct reports) and is meant to provide tactical insights about an individual’s work experience. If you are in agile circles, this is very similar to a retrospective, but online and behind a screen.

Regular Cadence, Named Feedback

The check-in campaign is run on a weekly basis because the type of feedback collected is tactical and is actionable in nature. Similar to how 1-1 meetings work, a weekly cadence is crucial and helps discover potential problems that impede progress.

The responses to the weekly check-in should not anonymous. While it’s true that you may receive filtered feedback when it’s associated with someone’s name, we have heard time and time again that the feedback they receive in Friday is more honest and provides more detail compared to information they gather through meetings. This should be no surprise, people are more honest when they have time to think and compose a message.

Think about it - if you’re trying to create a culture of open & honest feedback, how does anonymous feedback reinforce that? It encourages people to behave in the exact opposite way.

Additionally, you can’t make actionable changes if you have no idea who said what. Team leaders end up painting with a broad brush vs. making targeted and specific improvements.

What questions should I ask?

The weekly check-in workflow is grouped into the following components by default:

1.) Gauge Sentiment

How was your experience at work this week?

Weekly Check-in Sentiment
This question helps team leaders get a sense of how an employee (or team) is feeling over time. We recommend taking action on “below average” responses as it could be a sign that the individual is struggling and needs help/coaching. 

2.) Ask open-ended questions

The next piece of the check-in is asking a couple open-ended questions like, “What was the highlight of your week?”, or “Is there anything you need help with?” These questions are geared towards a better understanding of the employee’s situation. Ideally, these inspire you to act.

Weekly Check-in Questions
You have the ability to customize questions and formatting as you see fit. This is particularly useful for asking questions like “what are your priorities for the upcoming week?” 

3.) Send recognition

The final piece of the check-in campaign is to send kudos to other members of the team who have gone above and beyond in their work.

If someone receives a kudo, an email is sent to them, encouraging them to log in and see what the other person said. A kudo sent is private by default, meaning only the team leader and the person receiving the kudo can see it, however, there’s an option to send a public kudo, which everyone inside the organization can see.

Send Kudos
This feature is powerful as it’s a great source of motivation, and it also encourages more people to check-in (driving team-wide adoption).

The follow-up is critical

Imagine if you spent time and gave amazing feedback, only to have it fall on deaf ears? We've found that our best customers are the ones who have fast feedback loops. If they receive feedback or information, they act right away.

If you want people on your team to continually provide useful feedback, you need to encourage it. That's why we recommend commenting or leaving an emoji on someone's feedback.

Weekly Check-in Reply
If you'd like to try a weekly check-in and/or other communication workflows, feel free to signup for a free Friday account.