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Change Management - 28.09.2020

Posted by Seth Keil

Change Management - 28.09.2020

Employee Check-ins: The Keystone to Accelerating Performance

Check ins the keystone to accelerating performance

Welcome back to the Five Features to Include in Performance Management in 2021 series. This weekly series will help you transform your organisations performance management systems by focusing on a culture led employee experience. This post focuses on how you can use agile goal setting during these uncertain times to transform your workplace culture. This week we are talking about check-ins, and how they are the keystone to accelerating your organisation’s performance.

As a child, I was always fascinated by architecture, especially masonry arches. What intrigued me was how they could create a shape using heavy stone without the convenience of modern machinery. I learned that every arch has a keystone which locks the stones together and gives it strength.[1] This simple, elegant solution allowed structures to withstand the tests of time.

One-to-one check-ins are the keystone to resilience and focus, allowing organisations to survive and thrive in a world of constant disruption. Imagine one side of the arch is the organisations collective knowledge, skills, and abilities. The other are the tasks, processes, and objectives which need to be completed. The check-in allows both sides to work in tandem strengthening the organisation by removing the uncertainty and ambiguity employees face daily.

Here are a few tips how your organisation can use the check-in to accelerate performance.

Employee owned

Shift the mindset of employees from being a passenger to the driver of the check-in. Everyone is busy and employees should have the ability to schedule check-ins when they need one. Also, they can ask themselves, “What important things should we discuss? Are there any barriers to accomplishing goals? How can my manager support me better?”

Manager guided

Being prepared for the employee check-in is half the battle, the other half is remaining present. Some ideas for being prepared include agreeing on an agenda in advance, reviewing the employee’s goals, and making sure you are familiar with the current business priorities/objectives. Stay present by actively listening, keeping an open mind, and being flexible if topics come up that were not on the agenda.

Organisation enabled

Technology can enable employee check-ins to happen in the flow of work with templates for different types allowing the conversation to stay on track and enriching the relationship between employee and manager. HR can see whether check-ins are scheduled and if they occurred. They can also see what topics are trending and where. I’ll cover more about leveraging analytics in a couple weeks.

Create a culture led employee experience by harnessing the power of the check-in and transform your performance management systems. You can inspire your employees to reach their full potential and your organisation to improve overall performance on metrics you can actually measure.

Next week we’ll be back with The Democratisation of 360 Surveys.

[1] ‘Keystone (architecture)’ 2020 Wikipedia. Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keystone_(architecture) (Accessed: 09 September 2020).


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