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Kelly Segal Consulting

First Things First–The Weekly Check In



When I’m hired by an organization to coach new employees as part of their onboarding process, I always start with the same question: Do you have a set, weekly meeting with your supervisor? I used to assume this recurring practice was established on, or near, day #1, until I discovered that the weekly meeting between a manager and a direct report is an onboarding detail often overlooked.


When beginning a job, the first thing you, as a new employee, want to ask your supervisor is: how do we have regular communication? If it isn’t part of management’s supervisory plan to have a weekly check in, be assertive and ask for it.


A weekly meeting ideally happens on the same day and time each week that works best for both schedules. *Important note: if the weekly meeting gets derailed, as it often can in busy nonprofits, be sure you take it upon yourself to reschedule. Although it can feel “pushy” to do so (I was once a new hire! I remember!), definitely do this, as it signals that you take your job seriously, and that in order to do your best, you need input and feedback from  your manager.


Once that meeting is nailed down, it’s the responsibility of the new employee to cultivate and produce a thoughtful agenda. A day or so prior to the meeting, send a draft of your agenda items (and I recommend no more than 3) to your supervisor, and ask if there is anything he/she/they would like added.  A friend of mine who is an executive director of a nonprofit asks reports to use some prompts as a guide. If you need a jumpstart use this:


  • To-do items this week (supervisor fills this out)
  • What I accomplished last week
  • How I know I’ll be successful next week
  • Where I need supervisor’s help


Although I feel like I could write 100 posts on managing up, and its benefits to both the manager and the report, I will just say here that this weekly meeting is the place where a direct report can learn the most, create the most value for the organization, and have the most influence.


If you’ve  been working at an organization where you weren’t presented with the option, and didn’t know to take the initiative to kick off the process–it’s never too late. Do it now. Almost immediately you’ll have more direction and structure in your work.


You’ve already been doing good, the weekly check in can just help you do it better.