How To Keep Your Team Engaged

Best practices for maintaining and increasing team member participation and engagement

Both async and traditional stand-ups rely on engagement in the form of check-ins in order to provide usable data and insights for the team. Status Hero uses check-ins for this purpose.

If your team members aren't checking in and your participation rate is low, you won't be able to rely on the data to help you manage better, craft estimates, and determine who's working on what. And team members lose out on understanding the context for their efforts when others aren't participating.

Here are some tips and best practices for keeping your team members engaged:

Set a strong example. If you are a team lead or manager, set an example by filling in your check-in every time, and keeping your own participation rate at 100%. In addition, fill out your check-ins in the style that you expect from your team members. For example, using brief sentences or specific hashtags.

This is for them as much as it is for you. In your next round of 1:1 meetings, communicate the value of the tool to your members and let them know how it benefits them (not you) by:

  • Reducing the number of meetings and interruptions

  • Reducing duplicative efforts

  • Helping them stay connected to their work and team

  • Increasing management's ability to quickly help them out

  • Reducing the number of meetings and interruptions (yes, we said it again because team members really appreciate this one).

Status Hero is an aggregator, not just another tool. Make sure you have activity integrations hooked up. When team members see that you are collecting their activity in one place (e.g., Jira updates, GitHub commits, etc), it signals to them that you and your organization are acknowledging the breadth of their efforts.

React to check-ins. Use the reaction emoji on the dashboard to signal to you team that you are paying attention to what they are writing. 👍

Read between the lines on mood. Team members will often use the mood emoji to signal something they may be uncomfortable writing explicitly in their check-ins. Acknowledge this in 1:1 settings if you can. For example, "I noticed you indicated you were 'disappointed' last week. Anything I can do to help?"

Instantly respond to blockers. Status Hero will alert you by email if someone answers the "blockers" question in their check-in. That means that they cannot make progress without outside help. If you let these requests for help linger unanswered, it's a signal that you're not listening, and they'll stop engaging.

Use the Insights report during 1:1s. The Insights report is a great way to create a comparison view of time periods, and allows you to create a filtered view of check-ins by team member and other variables. When team members understand that their check-ins inform 1:1 discussions, they'll be more apt to take the time to fill them out.

Enable activity as participation. By default, if you connect an integration that pulls in activity (like Jira or GitHub), then team members are automatically counted as participating when they have activity to report. However, some teams turn this setting off. We recommend leaving it on. When team members see that they are automatically getting checked in, they'll usually fill out the form to add context.

Encourage check-in brevity. Status Hero will provide the most value to you and your team when the participation level is high, so we recommend optimizing for short, consistent check-ins that don't take much time to complete. If team members feel they need to write long, burdensome answers to check-in questions, they'll find ways to prioritize other work and participation will drop as a result.