Checking in with your team members doesn't have to be a long, drawn-out, or difficult process. It's an easy day-to-day practice which can be integrated with your daily workflow. Here are some tips to help you keep your performance check-ins frequent, easy, and beneficial for everyone.
Embed Feedback and Conversations into Daily Work Life
Don't view feedback as something that happens periodically. It's key to keep conversations an ongoing thing, not an event. It's easier to keep track of your team's performance if you're aware of their ongoing progress than if you only have occasional conversations with them at set intervals.Get Others' Input
Ask people for their views of how things are going: performance check-ins aren't just an opportunity for you to talk at team members and tell them your perspective. They're a great chance for you to gain feedback too, and hear how people feel about the tasks they're working on and how they feel things are going. They can also be an opportunity for you to receive feedback yourself on top of just giving it. Receiving upward feedback can be a great way to grow as a manager and help you give your team what they need.Make Use of (Regular) One-on-One Meetings
Even if you're using a performance management tool like Impraise to help you provide great feedback and keep the conversation going, you should also be making use of regular one-on-one, face-to-face meetings. It's important not only to let your team know that you value and have time for them on a weekly or monthly basis, but to make sure any tools used don't replace real, face-to-face discussions with people. One-on-ones will allow you to use any insights gained to really build relationships with team members and ensure that they're comfortable communicating future issues with you.Ask Questions
During your regular check-ins with team members, be sure to ask them their perspective. You should be making use of one-on-ones, not just as a way of providing a mini performance review, but also to actually gain insight from your team. Whilst discussing their performance, you should be sure to ask their perspective on how things are going. This will give you the potential to have an ongoing dialogue with your team, and gain insight into how they feel about a variety of things -- from your management style, to their workload, to the performance management process itself, in a way which conventional yearly or quarterly reviews would not allow.Check-in With Goals
Your team will likely set goals: from performance goals to complete on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to professional development goals. A constant performance management process means more opportunities to keep track of progress and makes it easy to keep up with any developments or issues on a real-time basis.Steffen Maier is cofounder of Impraise, a web-based and mobile solution for actionable, timely feedback at work. Based in New York and Amsterdam, Impraise turns tedious annual performance reviews into an easy process by enabling users to give and receive valuable feedback in real-time and when it's most helpful. The tool includes an extensive analytics platform to analyze key strengths and predict talent gaps and coaching needs. Follow him at @stgmaier.