Checking in with Your Team

Getting the best people for your team takes time and effort, but it’s totally worth it when they bring value to your business! The hard part might just be getting them to stay… That’s why it’s super important to have a plan to keep them around for the long haul.

For example, maybe one of your staff members seems tired and stressed, or they’re showing up late more often than usual, or maybe they started skipping meetings they used to enjoy leading.

As a leader, it’s important to check in with your team and ask if they’re okay. This shows you care and can help them if they’re having a tough time, and also creates a healthy workplace culture.

Here's a few different ways that you can do it:

1. Make your workplace a supportive environment:

If managers feel okay checking in on their team, it makes it easier for everyone to talk about their feelings and how they are actually doing. This helps make the workplace a mentally healthy place, and creates a sense of connectivity. When you’re open about your own feelings, it encourages others to do the same. It doesn’t matter what position you hold in the company—everyone should feel comfortable talking about how they’re doing! Want to learn more? We have some extra resources on this topic under our article “Why Good Team Relationships Matter”.

2. Pay attention to changes:

If you notice someone acting differently—maybe they’re often late when they used to be on time—that’s something to pay attention to. Tell them you’ve noticed the change and ask if everything’s okay. Stick to the facts and don’t make assumptions about what’s wrong.

3. Create a safe space:

People might be nervous about talking to their boss about their feelings, and how they are doing at the job out of fear of maybe rejection, being fired, being looked down on, etc. Be sure to let them know it’s okay and that you won’t judge them! They need to feel safe, knowing that their job won’t be at risk because of how they’re feeling. Learn more about the culture you can create for your staff under the brief article we wrote on “Workplace Culture and Your Employees”.

4. Respect their privacy:

Whatever they share with you stays between the two of you. Let them know that you will not talk about it with anyone else without their permission, including other managers, team members, or HR. If you feel you need to debrief with HR or another member of the leadership team, ensure you have permission from your staff member about what you are allowed to share, first. This is very important.

5. Offer to adjust their workload/change up some aspects of their day:

If they’re struggling, ask them if there’s anything you can do to help. Maybe they need less work or a different kind of task. Don’t try to solve their problems for them—just offer your support; we do have some suggestions for supporting your staff to stay when something is going on. You can read more at “Encouraging Your New Employees to Stay”. They don’t necessarily have to be new, and there is a pile of 14 different free training resources we’ve compiled for you to access!

6. Be committed to ongoing learning:

Now, this point is not just for your staff, this is for you as a manager! Be willing to continually learn, and to be open to growth and new opportunities. For example, take a Mental Health First Aid course, learn more with the Brain Story course (free certification), and be present to listen to your staff.

Overall, we want to emphasize that checking in with your team shows that you care about their well-being. By creating a safe space for these conversations and asking the right questions, you can make a big difference in your workplace. Your workplace culture starts from the top down, and the top starts with YOU!

Here are some additional resources on checking in with your team!

Learn more about Mental Health First Aid, and its purpose.

Kootenay Employment Services has an article with our tips for creating a fantastic workplace culture.

Brain Story is a free, online course from the Alberta Family Wellness institution. It’s focus is overall brain development in areas of physical and mental health.

Kootenay Employment Services has an article with our tips for why good team relationships matter.