“How you enter a space and how you leave a space is as important as what happens in the space.” ― Emily M. Axelrod

As COVID-19 began to spread across the globe in late 2019 the world of office work was radically transformed. Organisations across the globe had to transition to remote working almost overnight in order to keep their businesses running.

However, this wasn’t without its challenges. Employees felt stressed and uncertain, grappling with the new concept of fully remote working. Even as COVID-19 recedes, most organisations are returning to a form of hybrid working rather than returning to the office full-time.

Research by the Harvard business review and the consultancy Ignite 88 found that high performing teams have 3 essential psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness (the desire to feel connected and engaged.) Of these three, relatedness has always been the most difficult for organisations to achieve. Remote and hybrid working has made this even more problematic.

Let’s look at some of the challenges organisations faced over the last couple of years.

  1. Lack of face-to-face supervision and reduced access to managerial support.
  2. The time and effort needed to access the correct information at the right time.
  3. Social isolation (or loneliness) with employees missing informal social interactions.

Focusing on the social ties that bind people together in an organisation has become increasingly critical for organisations and that’s where Team Check-Ins come in.

What is a Team Check-in?

Team Check-Ins are a way of starting your meeting by asking everyone to answer one or more questions.

These can be questions on mood or wellbeing, to gauge the how the team is feeling such as "How are you feeling today?' Fun informal questions such as "What are you doing this weekend?" can help the team relax and get to know each other while more formal work related questions can be used to check on current workload, blockers or team capacity.

Check-ins can help teams on a number of different levels:

What Questions to ask in a Team Check-In

When it comes to engagement in a remote working setup, Mood Check-ins are paramount.

The importance of “How are you doing?” can’t be underestimated. It’s a powerful question because it can be anything from a serious inquiry to a throwaway greeting. But, when you use it in its different variations, it can give you a pretty good idea about a person’s mood.

Here are some easy mood check-in ideas:

Ultimately, what’s important is to know that it is okay to feel how they are feeling, and everyone feels a range of emotions every waking moment. What matters is that they are noticed and aware that they can get help if they need it.

Keep it Fun! 😀

Try and keep the process as fun as possible, encourage people to use emoji, gifs and stickers as it helps people to feel more relaxed about sharing their feedback.

What Tools can you use for Team Check-Ins?

MoodFirst: An AI-powered check-in tool with customised mood boards, unlimited emojis, and team mood scores, Mood First is being used by many organizations.

Range: With Range, you can quickly know what’s happening within your team with structured updates that build team culture.

Where: A daily check-in app is built for remote and distributed teams. It helps you plan your day, focus on important issues, and stay in sync with your teammates without having meetings.

iDoneThis: iDT is a tool that helps build transparency across the team. Each day, members post what they’ve done that day, so everyone in the team knows what’s happening. An email lands in your inbox each morning, summing up what the whole team got done and allowing you to add comments and feedback.

Fostering and nurturing a “connected” culture within an organisation requires both attention and intention. When working remotely, using the right tool to engage your team could be the starting point for a more engaged and connected team.