100+ Best Check-In Questions For Productive Teams
Many teams often get lost in the day-to-day of tasks, deadlines, and projects. However, there is so much more to effective team collaboration. Incorporating check-in questions can be a great strategy to keep up with team members and uncover important details.
At the heart of every successful venture is an engaged and motivated team. Smart check-in questions help managers and employees alike to measure moods, discuss doubts and start open conversations.
We've curated a list of over 100 check-in questions designed to break the ice, ignite engaging conversations, and foster a deeper understanding among team members.
Buckle up and get ready to transform your meetings and build better, more connected teams with definitions, 100+ check-in questions and implementation strategies.
What are check-in questions?
Check-in questions are a communication method used at the beginning of meetings, workshops, or team sessions. The questions serve to gauge participants on how they’re feeling, what they're thinking, or where their focus is.
The purpose of good check-in questions is to encourage active participation, build team rapport, and set the tone for the rest of the meeting. Identify issues or distractions that can affect the meeting's productivity, and ensure team members feel heard and understood.
Incorporating check-in questions into your routine can be especially helpful for remote and hybrid teams, who might not have as many daily or in-person interactions.
Why you should use check-in questions
Check-in questions can be a valuable tool for staying in tune with your coworkers. Spot potential roadblocks or bottlenecks and find a helping hand if needed.
Good check-in questions provide an opportunity for everyone to speak, no matter where they’re located or how long they have been part of the team. Great questions also give context for conversations and assignments other attendees might not be aware of.
With more background on someone’s workload, another coworker might be able to help or offer answers. You can have these questions explicitly stated in your meeting agendas or not.
Free resource: Check out our meeting agenda examples to start every meeting productively.
7 Characteristics of good check-in questions
Good check-in questions are part of virtual meeting best practices and should help build a positive team and company culture. Elicit a brief answer from your team members.
You want more than a “yes” or “no” response while also staying away from turning your meeting into a free-for-all storytelling session.
Good check-in questions share several characteristics that boost effectiveness and efficiency in promoting open dialogue and fostering team rapport. Here are 7 key characteristics to implement in your questions:
- Open-ended: Effective check-in questions are usually open-ended, inviting more than a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer.
- Clear and concise: The question should be easy to understand and not overly complicated. Ensure that everyone can engage in the conversation, regardless role or experience.
- Non-judgmental: Create a safe space for honest responses. No one should feel judged or criticized for their answers.
- Relevant: The question should be relevant to the team members and the context of the meeting.
- Encourages reflection: Good check-in questions prompt team members to reflect on their current state of mind, their feelings, or their position on a particular topic.
- Promotes engagement: Stimulate the conversation and foster engagement among team members.
- Positive Tone: While not all check-in questions need to be positive, it’s often beneficial to frame questions in a positive way to foster a supportive environment.
🎁 Free resource: Don't let your voice be drowned out in the noise of the world—take control of your life through the Assertiveness Training Template.
5 Signs of bad check-in questions
Make sure that questions aren’t negatively impacting the meeting to prevent a toxic work culture.
Check-in questions can be a powerful tool to foster connection, but should not become the main act. Avoid these 5 pitfalls to effectively implement this communication strategy:
- Avoid leading questions: Leading questions subtly guide a person towards a particular response, resulting in a sense of pressure.
- Don't make check in questions mandatory: Forcing someone to answer a question when they're uncomfortable can create resentment or discomfort. Allow team members to pass on answering if they wish.
- Avoid personal or sensitive topics: Foster connection and understanding without invading personal privacy unless it's appropriate and consent is given.
- Don't rush: Give team members time to think and respond. When people feel rushed, they might not share fully or honestly.
- Don't dismiss or ignore responses: Make sure that thoughts and responses of team members are acknowledged.
100+ Check-in questions that set you up for success
Check-in questions can adapt to fit your needs. They can be as fun or business-like as you want them to be. You can ask the same question at each meeting or switch up your questions to get different perspectives. We’ll discuss the following categories:
- Daily check-in questions
- Mental health check-in questions
- Team check-in questions
- Fun check-in questions
- Future-oriented check-in questions
Review these 100+ check-in questions and decide what works for your team and meeting.
Daily check-in questions
Daily check-in questions are prompts used at the beginning of meetings or workdays. Think of daily standups.
These questions are best for agile workplaces, remote teams, or among teams that strongly value interpersonal communication and team cohesion. Use them as morning meeting questions to set the tone for the day.
- What do you want to accomplish today?
- Can you mention a work challenge you’re facing?
- Can you list your biggest priorities?
- How can your team support your work?
- What's one word that best describes your mood today and why?
- What's the most interesting thing you've learned or read about recently?
- What's one thing you're looking forward to today?
- On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your energy level today, and why?
- What is your main focus for today's tasks?
- What was the highlight of your day yesterday?
- Is there anything that you're worried might get in your way today?
- What's one thing you could use help with today?
- What's something you're proud of from your work yesterday?
- What's something you're grateful for today?
- Are there any obstacles that you anticipate facing today?
- How can we as a team make today a great day?
- What's one thing that could be done to improve our work process today?
- What's a positive change you've noticed in our team recently?
- Is there anything you feel stuck on and need some input or help with?
🎁 Free resource: It's time to take control of your hectic schedule and unleash your true potential with our FREE productivity training!
Mental health check-in questions
Mental health is a key priority and dedicated check-in questions can give you a glimpse of your team’s mindset. Keep the professional context of work in mind and avoid any overly personal questions.
These don’t have to be regular morning meeting questions or asked on a daily or regular basis but are important to bring up to spot team members who feel overwhelmed or burnt out.
You can also incorporate mental health check-in questions into one-on-one meetings or more formal situations, like yearly reviews.
- How would you describe your current mindset?
- What tasks are in outside of your comfort zone?
- What has made you feel proud recently?
- How is your workload affecting your mindset?
- What is your main concern right now?
- How are you feeling today, really?
- What's one thing you've done for yourself today?
- Are you finding it easy to relax and switch off from work?
- What's something that's been bringing you joy lately?
- What's something that's been causing you stress or worry?
- Are you feeling more tired or fatigued than usual?
- How are you managing to stay connected with friends and family?
- Do you feel like you have someone you can talk to about things that are bothering you?
- Are you managing to find time for activities or hobbies you enjoy?
- How would you describe your current work-life balance?
- What's one thing you could do to take care of your mental health this week?
- Are there any tasks or responsibilities that are feeling particularly overwhelming right now?
- How are you feeling about your current workload?
- Do you feel like you're able to express your feelings and concerns openly?
- Is there anything we could do as a team to better support your mental well-being?
- What's something positive you've experienced or learned recently?
Check-in questions for groups
Check-in questions for groups serve as conversation starters that allow teams to discuss their collective strengths, challenges, and areas for improvement.
Questions can cover various aspects such as communication, collaboration, team culture, shared goals, and more.
- What's one thing you appreciate about our team?
- What's one way we could improve our communication?
- What's a strength of our team that we could utilize more?
- What's one thing we accomplished recently that you're proud of?
- What's a challenge we've faced as a team, and how did we overcome it?
- How would you describe our team culture?
- What's one thing you think our team could do better?
- What's a team tradition or practice you love?
- What's a recent example of great teamwork you've observed?
- What's one way we could better support each other?
- What's an aspect of our team dynamic you think we could improve on?
- What's something you've learned from a team member recently?
- What's a project we worked on that you felt we collaborated well on?
- How do you feel our team handles feedback and criticism?
- What's a team goal you'd like us to aim for?
- What's a skill or strength you think our team is missing?
- What's one thing we did as a team this week that you think we should do more often?
- What's something you wish people outside our team understood about us?
- What's a way we could improve our team meetings?
- What's something our team did recently that made you feel valued or appreciated?
- What's a quality you admire in one of our team members?
- What's an area where you think our team could use more training or knowledge?
- What's a recent situation where you felt our team was particularly supportive?
- What's something you think our team does really well?
- What's a way we could make our team feel more inclusive or welcoming?
Fun check-in questions
Fun check-in questions are light-hearted, entertaining questions used at the beginning of meetings to foster a positive mood. Break the ice, or help new team members get to know the rest of the team better.
The goal is not only to make meetings more enjoyable but also to encourage team members to learn more about each other in a non-work-related context.
- Share fact that most people don’t know about you?
- If you could have a superpower, which one would it be?
- Are there any surprising facts about yourself?
- What is your favorite movie?
- If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
- What's the most interesting fact you know?
- If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would it be?
- What's your favorite guilty pleasure TV show or movie?
- If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
- What's something you're absolutely terrible at doing?
- What's the strangest food you've ever eaten?
- If you were to write a book, what would it be about?
- What's your favorite joke?
- What's the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
- What's your go-to karaoke song?
- If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- What's a movie or book that you think is overrated?
- If you could teleport to any place in the world right now, where would you go?
- What would your dream vacation look like?
- If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
- What's the weirdest gift you've ever received?
- If you could choose a new name for yourself, what would it be and why?
- If you were a kitchen appliance, which one would you be and why?
- If you could learn a new language right now, which one would it be and why?
Future-oriented check-in questions
These group check-in questions are designed to foster forward-thinking and proactive behavior. Encourage team members to think ahead, set goals and anticipate challenges.
Future-oriented questions can be particularly useful in work settings. Help team members stay focused on achieving company goals and objectives, plan for upcoming tasks or projects, and think about their professional development.
- What are your top priorities for the coming week?
- What's one thing you're looking forward to in the next month?
- What's a personal goal you have for the upcoming quarter?
- What's one challenge you anticipate facing in the next week? How are you planning to tackle it?
- What skill do you want to improve or learn in the next six months?
- What's one thing you would like to change about your work routine in the upcoming week?
- What project are you most excited to work on in the near future?
- What's one way you hope our team will grow in the coming year?
- What's a professional goal you're working towards this year?
- What's a change you would like to see in our work process in the next month?
- What's an upcoming event or meeting you're preparing for?
- What's one thing you're hoping to achieve by the end of this month?
- What's a habit you're planning to develop in the next few weeks?
- What's one way you're planning to challenge yourself in the near future?
- What's something you're hoping to learn from your colleagues in the upcoming weeks?
- What resource do you think would most help you in your work in the next quarter?
- What's one thing you'd like to do to help improve our team dynamic in the future?
- What's a book or course you're planning to dive into soon for your professional development?
- What's a future project or task that you could use help with?
- What is one thing you are aiming to improve in your work-life balance in the next month?
- What is one positive change you hope to see in our workplace in the near future?
- What's one upcoming challenge you would like the team's input on?
- What's a milestone you're hoping to reach in your career in the next year?
- What's a leadership quality you're looking to develop in the future?
- If you could achieve one big thing in the next six months, what would it be?
Other ways to engage the team besides group check-in questions
It’s important to do what works best for your team. Sometimes, meetings aren’t the best place for individual or group check-in questions — whether you don’t have the time or your meetings include a large number of people.
Create a water-cooler space
Virtual water-cooler spaces enable team members to share non-work-related things and connect. We use group spaces in Rock for this exact purpose.
This is valuable for us as we work asynchronously, subsequently team members can’t always respond in real-time. Water-cooler spaces allow the team to still bond with others across timezones and create interpersonal relationships.
Conduct recurring polls with your team
While it’s not the same level of interaction as an actual or virtual face-to-face, it’s valuable to have a communal space. Rock’s messaging feature enables you to conduct polls to get a quick read on your team’s opinions and mindset.
Polls can help you get an idea of workload, who is busy, and how people are feeling about their work. Team members can tag tasks or projects that they are having trouble with so you can see exactly what they’re talking about. Teams can respond with messages or emojis to continue the conversation or show their support or lack thereof.
Leverage direct messaging or 1:1 channels to check-in with team members
Keep up with your team individually in your one-on-one spaces and follow up on check in questions for staff meetings. If a team member mentions that they feel overwhelmed or bored, creating and following through on action items can demonstrate that you’ve heard them and you’re addressing their concerns.
To be more effective, convert check in-responses into tasks in your personal space so you can follow up on something. Rock’s task management feature enables you to assign tasks to yourself or others, creating an actionable step.
Taking notes is also a good idea, this can help you track progress of a team member who is struggling or burnt out. You can also make sure that your team’s answers to check-in questions are remembered for future reference.
Nurture team relationships through (virtual) coffee chats
You should always be thoughtful about using time for meetings, and cancel meetings where you add no value to the conversation. Nevertheless, coffee chats can be a great strategy to effectively incorporate check-in questions.
(Virtual) Coffee chats offer a relaxed and informal platform that can be extremely beneficial for checking in with team members, particularly in remote or distributed work settings. Here are some reasons why they can be effective:
- Informal Check-in: Virtual coffee chats can serve as a less structured, informal way to check in on team members' wellbeing, mood, and general job satisfaction. This can help managers or team leads identify any issues or concerns that may not come up in a more formal setting.
- Reducing isolation: For remote and hybrid teams, virtual coffee chats can help reduce feelings of isolation and disconnection by providing regular social interaction.
- Boosting Morale: Boost team morale by providing a break from the routine and a chance to relax and enjoy social interaction.
- Promoting Inclusivity: Virtual coffee chats, especially when scheduled at times that work for all team members, can help promote a sense of inclusivity and belonging.
It’s not “just” a check-in question
Good check-in questions can be a valuable part of meetings. They offer insight into your team’s current mindset, offer team members a chance to be heard, and help your team connect..
If check-in questions don’t fit in your meetings or don’t work for your team, find another way to touch base. Create a water-cooler space, set up coffee chats or engage your team members more through 1:1 spaces.
What’s your favorite check-in question? Let us know on Twitter!