Team Catch-Up: Do’s and Don’ts

August 17th, 2023
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10 mins to read

Elevate your team catch-ups with these four do’s and don’ts for better communication, building trust, and increased job satisfaction.

What is a Catch-Up Meeting?

A catch-up meeting is an informal “get-together” between team members to, quite literally, “catch-up.” Just like two friends who haven’t seen each other in a while meeting up for coffee and chatting away on life updates and gossip, a workplace catch-up can discuss both work and personal matters and usually involve topics such as project developments, specific goals, and potential challenges. 

The goal of a catch-up meeting is to build trust, facilitate communication and increase job satisfaction. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with work. Oftentimes, employees are encouraged to take the opportunity of catch-up meetings to talk about their feelings, vent, and share honest thoughts. 

Benefits of Catch-Up Meetings

In a more traditional work setting, catch-up meetings are probably disregarded as unimportant, since it is not always work-related. Some may think it best to leave personal matters outside of the workplace. However, this has been proven untrue, as informal employee interactions have shown to be helpful toward team success and collaboration. 

Catch-up meetings help teams build a more solid foundation since it provides team members an opportunity to get to know each other. It humanizes the office and gives employees a reason to be excited to come to work. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into the best practices for team catch-ups…

Team Catch-Up: Do’s and Don’ts 

DO:
1. Break the Ice

Start the meeting with a little icebreaker activity or question to help ease any tension and create a welcoming atmosphere. The most effective meetings are ones where team members feel comfortable and conversations are honest and transparent. 

Here are some fun icebreaker questions to get started:

  • What is one random object on your desk that just makes sense?
  • If you could switch roles with someone in the office for a day, who would it be?
  • If you could have any superpower to enhance your work, what would it be?
  • Who do you want to see the company collaborate with?
  • If you could invite any industry expert, dead or alive, to a lunch meeting, who would it be?

2. Set a Clear Agenda

To optimize your team catch-ups and yield maximum productivity, it is important to establish a clear agenda from the beginning. You might want to consider the timeline of your meeting (i.e. allocating enough time for each segment) and ensure that you are staying organized and the meeting is well-structured. 

Having a clear agenda creates a roadmap for the meeting, allowing team members to know what to expect, stay on track, and make the most of their time. By doing so, you are also respecting your team members’ time and schedules. 

3. Encourage Open Discussions

Create an environment where team members feel comfortable, to be honest, and share their thoughts. Instead of dominating the conversation, allow room for everyone to give input for the most optimal results. 

A team catch-up is a time for everyone to gather and simply share what’s on their minds. Definitely encourage two-way conversations and give the opportunity to talk about anything that is important - for example, you could simply ask “What else is on your mind” or “What do you think?” 

4. Offer Feedback

This is the time to share feedback and offer guidance! Keep in mind that this isn’t a performance review, so keep it light and casual. Open the floor for team members to talk about their current tasks and progress whilst being open to possible room for improvement. 

Be mindful of remaining respectful and honest about each other’s comments. At the end of the day, these ideas contribute to the company as a whole.

DON’T:
1. Overload with Information

A common mistake is turning a casual team catch-up into a serious work meeting. The last thing you want to do is dump a bunch of information and projects during a casual conversation. 

A team catch-up is a chance for you to reconnect with your team and keep the engagement going!

2. Schedule Too Many Meetings

Team catch-ups are great, but scheduling too many of them can lead to burnout. Just like all things in life, balance is key. You would want to ensure effective communication without overwhelming the team.

There is no correct answer as to how often you should run these catch-up meetings as it is completely dependent on your team size and development. Choose a frequency your team feels comfortable and productive with, which could be weekly, biweekly, or monthly. It is also encouraged to be spontaneous with team catch-ups! Just because your meeting isn’t scheduled for another week doesn’t mean you can’t hold one. If you find productivity on the slower end, or your team isn’t as engaged, you could totally do a quick catch-up to check in on your team.

3. Rely on Text Communication

Texting is easy. A lot of the time, we take the easy route and send a quick “How’s everything going?” message and call it a day. While chat platforms are convenient, try not to solely rely on text communication, especially for important discussions. A quick check-in once in a while is fine, but verbal communication, whether in-person or online, can lead to richer interactions and better results. 

4. Be Repetitive 

Strive to keep your team catch-ups fresh and exciting! For example, try out different formats, keep the conversation going by asking questions, and introduce new ideas to maintain team interest. 

Being repetitive will eventually lead to decreased engagement and your catch-ups could become ineffective. You want your team members to be excited! 

Conclusion

Did you know that a fully-engaged workforce can deliver twice the revenue for a company? By implementing the best practices discussed in this blog, you can transform your regular team catch-ups into valuable sessions that foster communication, build trust, and increase job satisfaction. A quick 15-minute team catch-up might just be the missing ingredient for your success.

Erica Lim

Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work. 

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Erica Lim

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