• Scott McInnes

79 | Don't Check Up, Check In


A short one this week.

I've been talking to lots of businesses in recent weeks about culture, internal communications and engagement. And specifically, how and when they communicate with their people while they're remote working.

And one of the biggest things I've been telling them is to ensure that they aren't checking up but checking in.

1. Check in often

Presumably, you're already running formal 1-1s

2. Be human

Generally, your more formal 1-1s and team meetings will be, rightly, more work focused. But those less formal conversations will give you the opportunity to check in with your people on a more human level - how they're doing, how the kids are, their worries and concerns. Perhaps these are things that you can't directly address but, as they say, 'a problem shared is a problem halved'. And it's always nice to have another human being to talk to.

3. Increase your visibility

Leader visibility is ALWAYS important but, during times of significant change or upheaval, it's even more so. You need to spend as much time as possible being in front of your people - in 1-1s, in team meetings, perhaps socially (as much as the technology or the team's appetite will allow). Yes, it's time consuming but it's really important that as a leader, you're seen to be doing exactly that - leading.

4. Watch for signs that people aren't OK

Times are difficult and strange and we know that this is likely having an impact on people's mental health. Coping with being isolated (or maybe not being isolated enough if you're at home with the kids!), worrying about the health of family or friends; or job security can all contribute. It's hard to spot problems when your people aren't in front of you, but watch out for their tone and participation on calls or in video conferences, the quality of their work or missing deadlines, for example.

Just some small things to think about over the coming days and weeks.

Look after yourselves.

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