Best practices for maintaining and increasing team member participation and engagement
Modern work requires a proven plan to fend off distractions, combat isolation, and deliver results. Status Hero connects your people to their work and each other with shared goals, automated updates, and live dashboards so you can confidently focus and hit your targets together.
But if team members aren't providing regular updates through check-ins and your participation rate is low, you won't have the leading indicators, actionable insights, and delivery confidence that you need. And team members lose out on understanding the context of their efforts when others aren't participating, impacting transparency and trust on the team.
So here are some tips and best practices for keeping your team members engaged that are based on lessons learned from the thousands of teams using Status Hero every day.
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 your team that you are paying attention to what they are writing. We recommend using 👍 for each check-in and celebrating wins with 🎉 or a supportive comment. Those simple gestures are some of the most effective because they show your team that you're actually reading what they write each day. And the positive feedback from you will help establish the habit of checking in.
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 and retros
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 and retro 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.
Leverage Longer-term Goals and OKRs
Track longer-term goals or OKRs in Status Hero to weave context & vision into your team's daily routine. Collecting updates from goal owners on a regular schedule keeps everyone in the loop and reminded to make continual progress. You'll know at a glance where goals stand, and rich, long-form updates create space for your team members to share deeper context, successes, and lessons learned. Learn the best practices for longer-term goals.