Communicate with your team using 15Five

Your team members (or as 15Five calls them, direct reports) have been invited, and you're trying to figure out how to use 15Five to effectively communicate with them. We've got you covered. With 15Five, collecting feedback from your team, communicating back to them about their feedback, and providing your own feedback can happen all in one place. Let's look more into all the ways you can use 15Five to communicate with your team.

Guide 📖: 15Five Effective Employee Feedback PDF



Learn about the WHY behind each of these features on our science pages.


Your direct reports have submitted their Check-ins, and now it's time for you to review them. They've taken the time to list their priorities for the upcoming work week, update progress on their objectives, and answer any company-wide questions or group questions. Hopefully, they are using their Check-ins as a weekly work journal. The best part is— you have the key to their diary. The Check-in is the cornerstone of the feedback loop in 15Five. Just as your direct reports provide you feedback, they are relying on you to leave them feedback. When you review your direct reports' Check-ins, take advantage of all of the interactive components! You should be liking and commenting at least three to five times on each Check-in. Use likes, comments, add to wins and challenges, pass ups, and follow-ups to interact with their Check-in. Let's break down the Check-in a little further. 


Your direct report's pulse answer signals to you when things are going well or when issues may arise. It's important to acknowledge when your people feel excited, inspired and engaged. Use the average pulse chart to understand the context behind their current pulse answer. A "4" for some direct reports is amazing. A "4" for others is lower than normal. Comment on their pulse score to get an understanding what led to all that positivity. It's equally as important to acknowledge when your people feel disappointed, frustrated, or stressed. Talking about these feelings early on prevents issues from becoming major problems. Don't let those feelings fester into an irreparable mindset about the workplace. Use the pulse to proactively support your team.

Priorities and Objectives

The Priorities section of the Check-in gives you a peek inside what your team is working on. We recommend that you (and your direct reports) set three priorities every week. Any objectives or key results that are assigned to your team members will appear on their Check-in, so you can see their weekly status updates. Like and comment on their updates to let them know you see their progress or take the opportunity to encourage your team when they fall behind schedule. You can also pass up challenges that your team is facing to your manager, @mention anyone you think might be helpful in the achievement of an objective or priority, or add anything you think deserves further attention to your 1-on-1 agenda. Don't have time to get to something right now? Go ahead and flag it for follow up so you remember to get back to it later. Tie feedback to specific goals and tasks, if possible.


Reflection questions sit directly underneath Priorities and Objectives, helping you tie your feedback to your direct report's work progress. Managers can ask questions that are specific to your team or by individual. Encourage your team members to celebrate and acknowledge positive progress toward their work goals by asking, “What's going well?” or “What are you proud of this week?” On the flip side, to enable progress on meaningful work, invite your people to surface problems that prohibit them from making progress. Ask, “What challenges are you facing?” or “Where are you stuck?”. Academic research shows that encouraging employees to seek help leads to stronger job performance. Managers are able to quickly identify issues and @mention (loop in) the right people to provide the support their team members need when they need it.

In addition to these suggested questions, you can pull from dozens of categorized feedback questions from our Question Bank. Questions increase learning and the exchange of ideas, fuel innovation and performance improvements, and help build rapport and trust. Read, like, and respond to your direct reports' answers. Questions are the heartbeat of the Check-in and they are automatically built in to set up the most seasoned or inexperienced managers for success.

1-on-1 agenda

Just as we strongly recommend completing Check-ins weekly, we also encourage weekly 1-on-1s to increase communication between you and your team. Initially, you could even include a question in their Check-in around cadence for 1-on-1s. Giving your team a say in how often you will meet helps set a mutual agreement, rather than a forced expectation, and fosters an environment of open communication. Something like, “How often would you like to have 1-on-1s?” is simple enough.

Review your direct report's Check-in before your 1-on-1 so you know the progress they're making on their top work goals. By staying up to date on their Check-ins, you can avoid spending time on basic status updates in the 1-on-1 and, rather, focus the time you have on what matters most, like prioritizing specific roadblocks and challenges. The communications and feedback you left on Check-ins will make your 1-on-1 time more meaningful.

Before your 1-on-1, you and your direct report should use the 'Add to 1-on-1 agenda' option on their Check-in to pre-populate the 1-on-1 agenda with pressing talking points to review when you chat. If action needs to be taken in regards to talking points, go ahead and add an action item to your 1-on-1 agenda. You can assign action items to yourself or your direct report, depending on who is going to be responsible. Encourage your direct report to move action items and talking points from your 1-on-1 onto their Check-in for the next period.

Best-Self Review®

Having regular Check-ins with your direct reports makes performance review time a whole lot easier. During a Best-Self Review® cycle, you will fill out a manager review about your direct report. In some cases, they may also be asked to fill out an upward review about you. As you're filling out your manager review for your direct report, data collected from their Check-ins is conveniently available as a reminder of their progress and growth. Use the resources (Wins & challenges, Objectives, Past Check-ins, High Fives, and Past reviews) at the bottom of your review to complete your manager review. If Check-ins are where feedback starts, reviews are where you and your direct report can engage in deeper reflection. Since communicating with your team and sharing feedback is a continuous process, you'll meet with your direct reports to discuss the reviews, and then they'll continue to fill out their weekly Check-ins until your next review. Keep the feedback coming!


Leverage reporting in 15Five to get greater insight into the insight your team is providing. The pulse question is meant to be a general morale boost. On the Pulse dashboard, you can filter by group to check on your team's pulse and be proactive if you notice any dips in morale. Use the Pulse dashboard as an early warning indicator for when it might be necessary for you to step in and communicate with your team about how you can better support them.

Use the Priorities dashboard to get clear on tasks that your team members are working on. Priorities are employee-driven to-do lists, and you can use the dashboard to see what percent of tasks are getting completed, perhaps giving you an indicator step in or a reason to celebrate. You can also view past priorities for your direct reports. For longer-term goal tracking, head over to the Objectives dashboard to see the progress your team is making on their bigger goals.

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