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 with them about their feedback, and providing feedback to them can happen all in one place. Let's look more into all the ways you can use 15Five to communicate with your team.
Your team members have submitted their 15Five 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 your questions, as well as company-wide questions and 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 team members leave you feedback, they are relying on you to leave them feedback. When you review your team members' 15Fives, 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 (link/explain more). Let's break down the 15Five check-in to understand how you can use them to communicate with your team members.
Your team member'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 other direct reports is lower than normal. Comment on their responses to dig deep into 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 15Five check-in gives you a peek inside what your team is working on. We recommend that you encourage your team members to set three priorities every week. Any objectives or key results that are assigned to your team members will appear on their 15Five 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 your feedback to their specific goals, tasks, and the work they do every day.
Reflection questions sit directly underneath Priorities and Objectives, helping you tie your feedback to employee work progress. Managers can ask questions that are specific to your team or by person. 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 employees 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.
Just as we strongly recommend completing check-ins weekly, we also encourage weekly 1-on-1s to increase communication and visibility between you and your team. Initially, you could even include a question in their 15Five 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 team member's 15Five before your 1-on-1 so you know the progress they're making on their main work goals. That way you can avoid spending time on basic status updates and, rather, focus the time you have on what matters most, like prioritizing specific roadblocks and challenges. 1-on-1s are also a place where spending time interacting with your team's 15Five check-ins pays off. 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 team member should use the 'Add to 1-on-1 agenda' option on their 15Five 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 around your talking points, go ahead and add an action item to your agenda, as well. You can assign action items to yourself or your team member, depending on who is going to be responsible. Encourage your employee to move action items and talking points from your 1-on-1 into their check-in for the next week.
Having regular 15Five check-ins with your direct reporters makes review time a whole lot easier. During a Best-Self Review cycle, you fill out a manager review of your direct reporter. In some cases, they'll also be asked to fill out an upward review of you. As you're filling out your review for your team member, data collected from their 15Five check-ins is conveniently available as a reminder of their progress and growth. Use those resources (Wins & challenges, Objectives, Past 15Fives, 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 reporter can engage in deeper reflection. Since communicating with your team and sharing feedback is a continuous process, you'll meet with your direct reporters to discuss your reviews, and then they'll continue to fill out their weekly check-ins until your next review. Keep the feedback coming!
Leverage reporting to get greater insight into the feedback your team is sharing. 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 dash 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 support them.
Run a custom report on Priorities to get clear on tasks that your team members are working on. Priorities are employee-driven to-do lists, and you can run a report on them to see what percent of tasks are getting completed, perhaps giving you an indicator step in or a reason to celebrate. For longer-term goal tracking, report on Objectives to see the progress your team is making on their bigger goals.