What is an Emoji Check-In?

Emoji Check-Ins using a MoodFirst Team Mood Board
Team Mood Check-Ins with MoodFirst

An emoji check-in is a brief activity at the beginning of a meeting where participants select one or more emoji to represent their current emotional state. This can be done in a few minutes and gives people a chance to think about their feelings and consider  how the rest of the team is doing.  It can help teams to connect as individuals, recognise where people need help and to surface underlying issues with the team or the project.

Remote and Hybrid Working have made it much harder to recognise people’s emotional state because we don’t see as much of each other and miss out on non-verbal behaviour cues.  

Emoji are a highly expressive, succinct way for teams to express their feelings and can tell you a lot more than just asking people to rate their mood on a numerical scale.  Unlike traditional surveys they also inject a bit of fun into the meeting.

”When I ask my team to tell me how they’re feeling using emoji it tells me so much more than just a scale of 1-5. I encourage them to use as many emoji as they can - don’t stick to one!”

Rohit Mathur, Agile Coach & MoodFirst Co-Founder

What are the advantages of Emoji Check-Ins?

Set the right tone for the meeting

One of the key benefits of doing an emoji check-in is that it helps to set the tone for the rest of the meeting. By asking team members to share how they are feeling, you are creating a safe and supportive space where everyone's emotions and feelings are valued and acknowledged. It’s also a bit of fun that acts as an icebreaker and helps to get people engaged.

Help people to build connections and empathise with each other

By acknowledging and sharing their emotions, team members can build a stronger sense of connection and empathy with each other, which can help to foster a more collaborative and productive work environment.

Greater self awareness

Emoji check-ins can also help to increase self-awareness and emotional intelligence among team members. By taking a moment to reflect on their own emotions and communicate them to others, team members can become more aware of their own feelings and better understand how they impact their work and interactions with others and this can have a positive impact on their performance

Track Trends and Understand the Overall Team Mood

Emoji Check-Ins and Tracking Overall Team Sentiment
Team Mood Tracking Chart

Emoji check-ins can also serve as a quick and easy way to check-in on the overall mood and wellbeing of the team. If a majority of team members select sad or stressed emoji it may indicate that there are underlying issues or challenges that need to be addressed. On the other hand, if most participants choose positive and energetic emojis, it can signal that the team is in a good place and ready to tackle new challenges. Team Mood tracking tools such as MoodFirst can automatically generate charts to help you with this.

How to run an Emoji Check-In

Running an emoji check is simple but there are a few ground rules you should follow:

Step 1: Set the scene 🤔

Start by explaining that you are planning to start the meeting or call with an emoji check-in. Explain to the team why you’re doing it and what you hope to achieve.  Remember to tell people that they are free to express themselves honestly and that it should be a bit of fun as well.

Step 2Ask everyone how they feel 😃 😕 🥵

Ask everyone to select  the emoji that best describes how they feel.  Feelings can be complex so encourage people to use multiple emoji if they want and also to add a short description of what’s making them feel that way.

Step 3: Check if anyone needs support ❤️

Ask people if there’s anything the team can do to support them, especially if people have selected negative emoji. Don’t worry if people raise personal issues as well as work related ones. It’s important to let people express themselves openly. Also, don’t think you have to be able to solve every problem that comes up.

What are the best tools for Emoji Check-Ins?

To sum up, emoji check-ins are a quick and easy way to set the tone for meetings, build empathy and self-awareness among team members, and check on the overall wellbeing of the team. Studies have show that emojis can enrich our language and improve our ability to communicate. By using this tool, leaders can create a more supportive and productive work environment.

Create a Free Emoji Check-In 😃 🙂 🥵