How often should you check in with your staff?
You’re the supervisor. Ultimately the success of a project or function is on your shoulders. So how often should you check in with the staff actually performing the work? Some supervisors are afraid of being seen as not trusting, so they don’t check in enough. Other supervisors fear that the job won’t get done right unless they hover, micro-manage, and ask a lot of questions. That doesn’t work either.
So, how often should you check in?
I have a simple answer for this. Ask your employees.
Ask them how often you should check in on them on a particular project or assignment. Once you ask, you have their buy-in and there should be no tension about it. Of course, you may not like or agree with their answer. If that is the case, negotiate the check-ins that make sense for both of you. In my opinion, it is much better to work out your differing views on this at the start, rather than have constant tension throughout the assignment as you over-do or under-do things compared to what the person would prefer.
One of the top predictors of employee engagement, as determined by extensive Gallup research, is how an employee would respond to statements like these:
- I have received recognition or praise in the last seven days.
- Someone at work seems to care about me as a person.
- Someone at work encourages my development.
- My opinion counts.
Asking how things are going and commenting on progress will help us move the needle on questions like these, showing we care about the person and the work they are doing. So, when it’s time to check in, don’t be afraid to ask your staff for an update, offer praise where you see good progress, and offer constructive feedback when appropriate. Go ahead – they’ll be expecting you!
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