In the summer of 2020, Lindéngruppen company Beckers launched employee Check-In Conversations to establish a strong feedback culture throughout the company.
The recent Beckers Employee Engagement Survey indicated that employees wanted more frequent feedback from managers to better understand their role and performance. In response, Beckers decided to establish a strong feedback culture through frequent one-on-one Check-In Conversations between every employee and their manager.
“At Beckers, we strive to continuously invest in and improve our production sites – so why wouldn’t we invest the same way in our people?” says Judith Jungmann, Chief Human Resources Officer at Beckers. “Our objective was to create a simple but focused dialogue format with relevant questions to stimulate employee self-reflection and feedback together with their manager.”
Dedicated information about the Check-In Conversations was created specifically for managers and employees to ensure everyone understood the objectives of the conversations, how they should be conducted and what to do with any outcomes. The objective is for managers to hold the conversations quarterly with each of their employees, and document the conversations digitally in the myBeckers internal system.
“Since the summer, the Check-In Conversations have established an essential feedback channel between managers and their team members,” says Jungmann. “They provide employees with clarity on their role and responsibilities, as well as feedback on their performance and behaviour according to our values. For managers, they give opportunities to listen and gain valuable insights from their team.”
In the first round of the Check-In Conversations, 71 percent of all employees confirmed they had participated in a conversation with their boss on myBeckers, although the real figure is actually higher as some employees do not have access to a computer at work.
“Feedback from employees and managers has been very positive – everyone appreciated the simplicity of the focused five question format and people reported gaining new insights into colleagues they had worked with for a long time,” explains Jungmann. “Our colleagues also like the fact that the conversations will be an ongoing initiative, to provide regular feedback and confirmation for employees that they are developing.”
With many people having no other option than to work from home during the pandemic, conducting digital Check-In Conversations individually with employees have been an essential feedback tool.
“Before launching the conversations, we actually questioned if during a global pandemic was the right time to launch such an initiative,” says Jungmann. “But training 250 managers around the world worked well, and we were able to conduct many in-person conversations in socially distanced meetings with masks during the summer. Even though video Check-In Conversations are obviously not as good as face-to-face meetings, they have provided essential manager-employee interaction – so I think implementing such an initiative during the pandemic has been perfect.”