Checking In on Checking In: How Regular Check-Ins Impact our Team
What do your team check-ins look like? Whether you have a casual stand-up once a day, or a formalized meeting process, we’re always interested in how teams align and get on the same page.
At Lab5, our check-ins fall somewhere in between formal and informal. We don’t run rigid meetings that put pressure on individual contributors. But we do make sure that regular check-ins are the norm so our team feels supported and has room to get the clarity they need to do their best work. Plus we’ve honed our meeting strategy so that we're not wasting people's time on unnecessary meetings and meandering details.
OKRs have become the North Star for our work and check-ins are how we ensure everyone is on track. Since implementing Axy OKR across our team, we have a streamlined and useful process for checking in.
What is the Lab5 check-in process?
Each week, we send an automated pulse survey for our team to check in on each of their objectives and key results. They indicate whether they’re on track, behind, or at risk of falling off track.
Critically, each key result can be linked to a Salesforce report, so in addition to self-reporting, we can see the data that accompanies the pulse survey results. That means that in just one click, Lab5 management gets a real-time snapshot of each team member’s progress.
How do check-ins inform leadership decisions?
Every Monday, our leadership looks at the team's progress reports. As reports filter into our OKR execution dashboard, we can see what’s on track, what’s behind, and what’s at risk. We then make decisions about how best to remove blockers, and make adjustments so we can achieve our company-level goals.
Our managers know exactly what to discuss with their reports in weekly 1:1s based on the results of each pulse survey. They can tell where their team needs support or is experiencing roadblocks and where people are excelling.
This check-in process helps us run meetings with a clear, objective agenda. Gone are the days of wandering conversations, uncertainty, and distractions. We now have an easy way to prioritize our discussions, and we know it’s based on the most current information.
What do check-ins accomplish?
We assign individual due dates for each key result. Certain milestones might take only a month, while most objectives run quarterly. Using individual due dates for key results means we can check whether results are on track more frequently than only at the end of the quarter.
Throughout the quarter, each member of our team now feels empowered to say no to things that aren’t priorities. If it doesn’t support an individual OKR or a team OKR, they understand that it can be deprioritized. This helps everyone stay focused on what is most important.
Check-ins combined with automated team-wide goal tracking provide transparency for our team. There are few surprises at the late stages of a project and we never go too long without checking in.
Lab5 has experimented with a number of check-in strategies over the years. We’ve worked to strike a balance between keeping our team on track, while giving enough space to do the work. OKRs are the perfect framework to guide team check-ins. They help give a clearer picture of the state of a project at any given time, and they help everyone on the team to relentlessly prioritize.
Using Axy OKR, our check-ins allow us to track our team's progress towards the most important goals of our business. All while leveraging the Salesforce system our team works in every day.
If your team would like to talk to us about launching an Axy OKR instance to help guide your business strategy and make your check-ins more productive, get in touch with us.