12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (2023)

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (1)Timely, contextual and comprehensive check-in meetings are key to building organizational knowledge that can transform the businesscourse of corporate culture, team morale, high productivity and overall employee engagement.

Successful leaders and organizations recognize the significant value of employee feedback and insights. However, it is not always clear what to look for, how and when to gather these insights, or how to apply what is gathered.

In this article you will learn:

  • The importance of employee engagement
  • 12 check-in meeting questions
  • The value of asking consistent questions

The importance of employee engagement

Research shows that a grim15% of workersaround the world feel connected to their work. Depending on the size of your team, this means you likely have an actively engaged employee or two on your radar, and that's an optimistic estimate.

Impact on the bottom line

A Gallup studyFound by 32,000 employees in 30 countriesthat employee engagement affects everything from productivity to inventory shrinkage to earnings per share.

Research by Bain & Companyfound that "Over a seven-year period, companies with highly engaged employees grew sales two and a half times as much as those with low engagement."

Despite its many benefits, roadblocks often prevent the species fromDialogue that leads to sustainable commitment. Outcomes don't just happen on their own, so it's important to address specific issues related to the bottom line and do those team check-ins when the issues arise.

Communication is a key component in this

With millions of employeeswork from home for the foreseeable futureor working in a hybrid environment, regular check-ins and real-time feedback loops are more important than ever.

Although this type of communication system seems difficult to coordinate, technology and creativity make it possible to constantly connect with the team and get their insights and perspectives.

(Video) 15 Questions To Ask Your Manager During Your 1:1 | Tips From An HR Professional

For example, an Engineering Manager mightinstall a feedback loopthat delivers aautomated surveyin Slack or Microsoft Teams after an issue is closed in GitHub or JIRA. As part of this follow-up, they can ask key questions about the issue to improve future workflow. Questions might include, "Did you have easy access to the resources you needed to resolve this issue?" or "How well has this issue been documented?"

However, depending on the type of meetings your company holds, many other questions can be included as part of your employee check-in process.

Our 12 most important questions about the check-in meeting

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (2)What you ask team members also depends on your organization, what initiatives you're working on, and what kind of relationships you've built with your team. However, the following questions can be effective for all types of meetings, including icebreaker sessions, stand-ups, project management updates, and team check-ins.

1. What was your biggest achievement this month?

Recognizing achievements can make a big differenceto increase employee engagement. Not only is the question worded to recognize accomplishments, but it also provides an opportunity for an employee to think about their worth in a meaningful way.

If you ask about achievements, you can see what kind of work each team member is intrinsically motivated to do. It may surprise you that the completion of a large project wasn't the highlight of a month. Instead, one employee was delighted with the teamwork in developing new ideas and developing project deliverables.

2. What was the biggest challenge you faced this month?

Asking about the challenges your team has faced this month is an ideal follow-up question for a one-to-one interview or during performance reviews. From buggy software to missing status updates, employees perform at their best when you help them solve problems quickly.

Your awareness and response to these matters fosters trust and open channels of communication that define a productive company culture.Research found by ADPthat "an employee is 12 times more likely to be fully engaged when he or she trusts the team leader."

Reviewing the challenges can lead directly to solutions that affect a much larger audience. In a trusting and transparent environment, the result can be an imaginative and retrospective exchange. From there, you'll have a better sense of what resources can help you find a solution.

3. What resources would help you be successful in your role?

Although teamwork and talent are key factors in a company's success, these results can be amplified by providing the right resources. This was the result of a recent personnel study75% of US workersdon't feel they have access to specific technology solutions that help them increase efficiency.

A resource can be anything from a standing desk or quiet workspace to software to more effective communication tools. Regardless of the resource you want, this question can provide you with actionable information that can be turned into positive change.

The key element here is tracking the answers to your check-in questions. This includes making acquiring resources an action item or adding plans to invest in those resources in the near future. Provide status updates on these resources so your team knows you're responding to their feedback.

4. On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident do you feel about sharing new ideas?12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (3)

Google Searchconfirmed that psychological security — not core competencies, individual performance, or seniority — was the strongest predictor of team success.

(Video) 5 Questions to ask in EVERY One-on-One Meeting

To create an environment where team members feel safe enough to share their ideas without fear of backlash, start by assessing their well-being. From there, weekly check-ins show your interest in their ideas and reassure them they have a platform to be open.

5. What can we improve as a company?

Each team member has a unique perspective on their role within an organization and what the organization could do to achieve better results. If it doesn't, then that's an important data point (and talking point) in its own right.

Use the insights of your team regularly to get valuable information. Employees who feel heard are also "4.6 times more likelyto feel empowered to do their best work.”

To encourage honesty, allow anonymous replies. From there, making real-time course corrections sends a message that you take their feedback seriously.

6. How can I be a better resource for you?

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (4)Ina recent article forthe Human Resources Management Society (SHRM), explains Mark Tarallo, "If service to staff is the fundamental principle of servant leadership, two core practices to achieve that goal are careful listening and seeking questions."

Asking this question requires more confidence (and confidence) than the others on this list. This is because employees may be reluctant to answer honestly at the risk of angering their boss and triggering some form of retaliation.

However, if you do a good job of creating an environment of psychological safety for your team, this type of question will feel natural and welcome. Empowering employees to be open can foster a sense of ownership of the direction of their work and reaffirm that their opinions are truly valued.

7. How is everything going?

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (5)As a general question that you can use as a partDaily check-ins with remote workers, this approach places the responsibility on the employee to decide where this leads. You might get a basic positive response like "great". However, you can also receive feedback that will help you improve an employee's experience.

Open-ended questions also build a human connection between you and your team. Knowing what's in store for them outside of work provides context for their mindset at work. Are you struggling with the loss of a loved one or are you facing a health issue? Are they trying to balance a full-time job with school, kids, or both?

Checking in with employees and showing genuine human interest and empathy demonstrates your authenticity as a driver of their growth and success.

8. Are you stuck on anything?

Just as it is difficult to be responsible for a task without the necessary resources, it can be difficult to complete projects when a major obstacle stands in the way.

These blockages can take many forms and are often beyond the power of an employee to change or fix. Few things are more frustrating than missing deadlines and being pressured by executives over a bottleneck when there is no individual power or influence to bypass it.

(Video) How To Conduct a 1:1 Meeting With Your Direct Reports

By asking employees about blockers, you can act as a solution provider. This can be as simple as a quick message to one of your colleagues in another department who stands between your line manager and their successful completion of a task.

9. How has a colleague made a positive impact?

A research study found this78% of the employees surveyedsaid that "the recognition motivates her in her work". One of the easiest ways to ensure this is to empower employees to share and celebrate the contributions of their colleagues.

It is impractical for a manager to personally witness, recognize and reward the contribution of each team member. However, when you build a culture of appreciation, it becomes easy for everyone to think of a valuable contribution made by someone else. Once you get in the habit of noticing these things, they become visible everywhere. This question at a check-in meeting starts the momentum.

10. What should I start/stop/continue?

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (6)There are many things you do that affect employees in ways big and small. This impact can be positive, neutral or negative. You won't know the true implications until you ask.

People who work closely with you, especially direct reports, notice what you could do better. The key is to humbly accept this and ask for feedback to improve your skills. TheStart/stop/resume formatworks well for many executives. It is simple and quickly and often openly comes to important topics.

11. Which of our core values ​​do you most identify with?

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (7)Authentic, powerful core values ​​determine decisions and actions. They are so important in the minds of organizational leadership that90%of American companies say they have clearly defined corporate values.

But onlya small minority of employees, including leaders, know their organization's core values ​​well enough to recite them. Asking questions related to core values ​​helps employees make that connection between their organization's values ​​and their contributions.

If your direct reports struggle with this question, it could be a sign that they haven't internalized it to the degree they see it in their work. As a leader, it is your responsibility to establish and maintain this alignment. By taking advantage of the opportunity, you can build a more successful working relationship.

12. Which of these three external mentors would you most look forward to?

Are you helping your direct reports grow and excel in their careers?

As a leader, the performance and professional development of your team is the most important lever you have to achieve strategic goals. Actions you take to help your team grow not only result in a better trained or better equipped team, but also foster engagement, intrinsic motivation, appreciation, and confidence.

These efforts can also be a key factor in attracting and retaining employees. According to the research results,91%of Gen Z employees view career development as critical to choosing a future employer.

The more time and effort you put into building those around you, the higher you will all rise together.

(Video) 5 Things to Cover in Weekly Team Meetings | How to Run a Staff Meeting Effectively

Consistently ask meaningful questions and get insightful results

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (8)Asking actionable questions on a regular basis is a great way to improve engagement, increase productivity, and build stronger relationships with each employee.

At its core, asking questions opens a communication channel that canstrengthen the environment of an office, and strengthen the organization it serves.

Discover how Polly can help you develop the right check-in questions for your meetings and team interactions, so you get theminsightful feedback.

Increase employee engagement, get Polly today!

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (9) 12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (10)

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (11)

12 questions to ask employees during check-in meetings (12)

Written byGeorg Dickson

Lives to learn and build cool things with good people.


What are good check out questions for meetings? ›

Choose a check-out question based on the group and the purpose of the session. Examples for check-out questions: What is today's biggest take-away for me? What will I choose to do differently next time?

What questions should a manager ask their employees? ›

6 Key Questions to Ask When You're Managing a New Team
  • 1) What are your favorite things to work on? ...
  • 2) What have your past managers done that you'd like me to also do or not do?
  • 3) What are your career goals and where did your last manager leave off with them?
  • 4) How do you like to receive feedback?

What are the top 5 questions to ask an employee? ›

The 5 Questions You Need To Ask Your Employees Every Week
  • What's going well in your role? Any wins this week? ...
  • What challenges are you facing? ...
  • How are you feeling? ...
  • On a scale of 1-10, how fulfilled are you? ...
  • Ask for feedback on ways you can become a better leader.

How do you ask a smart question in a meeting? ›

If you're struggling to ask the right questions, try these tips in your next meeting.
  1. Clarify the purpose of the meeting.
  2. Question the questions.
  3. Broaden your group.
  4. Draw in quiet participants.
  5. Look to sustainability and scalability.
  6. Look for faults.
  7. Identify the next step.
Jun 14, 2017

What questions do I ask my team members? ›

33 Team-Building Questions Examples
  • Who inspired you to pursue the career you have today? ...
  • What's your favorite music genre? ...
  • Do you have a pet? ...
  • Recommend a book you recently read. ...
  • What's your secret talent that no one knows about? ...
  • Which movie have you seen recently or what are you watching on Netflix?
Jul 1, 2020

What are good questions to ask senior leaders? ›

Strategic questions to ask senior leaders
  • What are the biggest challenges facing our industry?
  • How did you get where you are today?
  • What do you see as the next big trend in our field?
  • What are the biggest obstacles to career growth in our industry?
  • What are some tips for success in our field?
Nov 12, 2022

How do you ask open ended questions to employees? ›

Try these common open-ended questions:
  1. Help me with your reaction to what I just said.
  2. Give me some feedback on the choices I just presented.
  3. What are your thoughts?
  4. Would you tell me more about ___?
  5. Can you help me understand that a little better?
  6. How does that process work now?
  7. How do you see this happening?

What are some leadership questions for discussion? ›

What does leadership mean to you? What is the difference, if any, between management and leadership? What are some of the key behaviors and actions you took whenever you've been at your own best as a leader? Describe the key actions and behaviors of the person that you've experienced as your best leader?

What are 5 questions should not be asked by an employer? ›

Illegal Interview Questions
  • Age or genetic information.
  • Birthplace, country of origin or citizenship.
  • Disability.
  • Gender, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Marital status, family, or pregnancy.
  • Race, color, or ethnicity.
  • Religion.
Feb 24, 2023

What are 5 unique questions you can ask at the end of an interview? ›

20 smart questions to ask at the end of your next job interview
  • What do you personally like most about working for this organisation? ...
  • How would you describe your organisation's culture? ...
  • Can you tell me about the kind of supervision you provide? ...
  • What have past employees done to succeed in this position?

What are the top 3 questions you would like to ask the company? ›

The right questions to ask about a company
  • Career development. It's important to show that you're ambitious, so don't be afraid to ask about what kind of prospects there are for career development and progression. ...
  • Work life balance. ...
  • Management. ...
  • Benefits & perks. ...
  • Diversity & equal opportunity. ...
  • Working environment.

What 3 questions can you prepare to ask the employer? ›

Plan to prepare 3-5 questions ahead of time, as some may be answered during your interview. You may also think of new ones during your conversation.
Learn about the interviewer's experience
  • How long have you worked here? ...
  • Has your role changed since you've been here?
  • Why did you come to this company?

Should managers check-in with employees? ›

Here are even more reasons why manager-employee check-ins are so important: Check-ins keep employees motivated. Employees who know their work is being recognized and can see how their contributions matter to the organization are more motivated—and more productive.

How often should a manager check-in with employees? ›

We recommend allowing employees and managers to catch up as frequently as possible, without overwhelming time-stretched employees. We suggest that 1-1 performance check-ins happen at least monthly, and can be tied in to a formal quarterly check-in and annual performance review.

What is one on one performance check-ins? ›

The idea behind the 1:1 performance check-in meetings is to encourage the employees to discuss and talk about their achievements and challenges. Therefore, it helps to ask open-ended questions that give the employee a chance to answer in detail.

What are the four questions to lead a meeting? ›

Getting Started with Four Types of Questions- ORID

ORID is derived from the four levels of inquiry: Objective, Reflective, Interpretive, and Decisional.

How do you speak intelligently in a meeting? ›

9 effective strategies to help you speak up in meetings
  1. Prepare in advance.
  2. Stop censoring yourself.
  3. Ask questions.
  4. Use a meeting agenda.
  5. Believe in your answers.
  6. Listen to what is being said.
  7. Practice, practice, practice.
  8. Commit quickly to speaking.
Jan 14, 2022

Why managers must ask 5 questions to empower employees? ›

Managers need to consider these clues -- employees' natural yearnings, satisfaction, rapid learning, glimpses of excellence and total performance excellence -- when positioning people to do their best work and have a positive effect on team and organizational performance.

What are 10 good questions? ›

Questions to Ask People to Get to Know Them
  • What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • What is your astrological sign?
  • What motivates you to work hard?
  • If money were no object, how would you spend your time?
  • Who is your favorite author?
  • What is your biggest pet peeve?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?

What are the 7 key questions? ›

Ask the right question: Who, What, Why, When, Where, How, How Much? - Consultant's Mind. These 7 key questions are a great checklist, but also a sanity check.

What are the 5 open questions? ›

Open-ended questions have several key characteristics:
  • They're conversational in nature.
  • They use the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why).
  • There's no particular pattern, formula, or structure (a.k.a. they're natural).
  • They require thought before giving an answer (not a simple yes or no).

What are the three big strategic questions? ›

He taught that the three most important strategic questions each company must answer are:
  • What is our business? (Mission)
  • What will our business be? (The changing environment that we are certain about)
  • What should our business be? (Vision)
Apr 11, 2017

What are strategic questions? ›

STRATEGIC QUESTIONING is the skill of asking the questions that will make a difference. It is a powerful tool for personal and social change. It is a tool for giving service to any issue ... as it helps people discover their own strategies and ideas for change.

Why do great leaders ask great questions? ›

By asking questions as a leader, you also communicate that questioning is important. You'll inspire people to identify new opportunities and to ask for help when they need it.

What are 3 examples of open-ended questions? ›

Examples of open-ended questions include:
  • Tell me about your relationship with your supervisor.
  • How do you see your future?
  • Tell me about the children in this photograph.
  • What is the purpose of government?
  • Why did you choose that answer?

What are examples of open and closed questions? ›

Open-ended questions are broad and can be answered in detail (e.g. "What do you think about this product?"), while closed-ended questions are narrow in focus and usually answered with a single word or a pick from limited multiple-choice options (e.g. "Are you satisfied with this product?" → Yes/No/Mostly/Not quite).

What are 5 things leaders do that are highly motivating to staff? ›

Highly motivating leaders…
  • Share a common vision and purpose. ...
  • Set clear goals and expectations. ...
  • Encourage employee self-development. ...
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration. ...
  • Foster healthy workplaces. ...
  • Give positive feedback and reward hard work. ...
  • Communicate effectively with employees.
Jan 6, 2023

What do employees want most from their manager? ›

A number of surveys indicate that employees want transparency and open communication from their managers. The most effective managers communicate often—in a variety of ways. They also listen to their employees, encouraging them to ask questions and share feedback without hesitation.

What are three things a leader must provide? ›

If you want to become an effective and inspiring head of your team, focus on honing these three essential leadership qualities.
  • Communication. ...
  • A positive attitude. ...
  • The ability to delegate.

What are great discussion questions? ›

Ask a specific question, one that won't have an obvious right answer, likely in one of the following categories.
  • Personal reflections: “What do you think about ___?” “How do you feel about ___?”
  • Past experiences: “In the past, how have you responded when ___?” “Have you ever had an experience where ___?”

What are effective discussion questions? ›

Start with Open-Ended Questions – these types of questions help begin a discussion because they encourage multiple viewpoints. They also tend to invite students to share their opinions, which can generate additional topics or define crucial issues.

What is the best leadership question? ›

Here are some common questions that are often asked during a leadership interview: Tell me about a time you improved your company performance in some way. Tell me about a time you took the lead in a team project. Tell me about a time you struggled with work-life balance.

What is the STAR method in interviews? ›

The STAR method is a structured manner of responding to a behavioral-based interview question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.

What are the top questions asked by employers? ›

Common interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in working for this company?
  • Tell me about your education.
  • Why have you chosen this particular field?
  • Describe your best/worst boss.
  • In a job, what interests you most/least?
  • What is your major weakness?

What 3 questions should you not ask when interviewing employees? ›

  • Questions You Should Never Ask in a Job Interview.
  • Anything Related to Salary or Benefits. ...
  • Questions That Start With “Why?” ...
  • “Who is Your Competition?” ...
  • “How Often Do Reviews Occur?” ...
  • “May I Arrive Early or Leave Late as Long as I Get My Hours In?” ...
  • “Can I Work From Home?” ...
  • “Would You Like to See My References?”

What are the 3 questions that should be answered in daily stand up meetings? ›

Scrum's daily standup questions

Scrum's 3 daily standup questions are: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any blockers or impediments preventing you from doing your work?

What are icebreaker questions? ›

Icebreaker questions for small groups
  • What's your one piece of advice to everyone here?
  • What question do you wish people would ask you?
  • What is one thing we would never guess about you?
  • What's one thing you want to do in life but don't know where to start?
  • What's a cause or purpose you deeply believe in?

What three questions must always be answered during the daily scrum? ›

During the daily scrum, each team member typically answers the following three questions: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any impediments in your way?

How do you stand out in a meeting? ›

Before the meeting
  1. Ask for an agenda. ...
  2. Introduce yourself. ...
  3. Monitor your physical presence. ...
  4. Listen actively. ...
  5. Reciprocate discussion. ...
  6. Record and confirm action items. ...
  7. Follow up on action items. ...
  8. Thank the meeting organizer.

What are the three agile questions? ›

What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? What's getting in your way? Three questions commonly asked at Daily Scrum meetings imply expending effort is the purpose of work.

What are some good 21 questions? ›

21 Questions List
  • What's the weirdest dream you've ever had?
  • If you could travel to any year in a time machine, what year would you choose and why?
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  • What's one of the most fun childhood memories you have?
May 5, 2021

What are some fun interactive questions? ›

Awkward, Weird Icebreaker Questions
  • What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten?
  • What's the most out-of-character thing you've ever done?
  • What is your cellphone wallpaper?
  • You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what is it? ...
  • What's your best scar story?
Sep 17, 2021


1. Learn English for Hotel and Tourism: "Checking into a hotel" | English course by LinguaTV
2. Performance Review Tips
(Linda Raynier)
3. How To Introduce Yourself In An Interview! (The BEST ANSWER!)
4. Five Mistakes NOT to Make at your Immigration Interview
(Hacking Immigration Law, LLC)
5. First Day at Work (START WITH CONFIDENCE)
(Adriana Girdler)
6. Черная касса. Как Симоньян, Венедиктов и Собчак получают миллионы от Собянина.
(Алексей Навальный)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terence Hammes MD

Last Updated: 09/07/2023

Views: 5875

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terence Hammes MD

Birthday: 1992-04-11

Address: Suite 408 9446 Mercy Mews, West Roxie, CT 04904

Phone: +50312511349175

Job: Product Consulting Liaison

Hobby: Jogging, Motor sports, Nordic skating, Jigsaw puzzles, Bird watching, Nordic skating, Sculpting

Introduction: My name is Terence Hammes MD, I am a inexpensive, energetic, jolly, faithful, cheerful, proud, rich person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.