What is it?
The health check cycle is meant to ensure the team is in good morale and mentally and physically healthy.
The health check must held between a “checked” and a “checker”.
The “checked” can be any employee, in any area.
The “checker” must be a neutral party, that is, someone that is not on the same vertical as the “checked”. This person must also be someone as close to upper management as possible, or a side role with power to change things, like HR.
So that a connection can be formed on a personal level, it’s recommended that the same health check pair is kept, that is, if John (checker) performed a health check with Alice (checked), the same should happen next time and from then on, unless Alice asks for a different person, which she should be free to do.
During a health check, certain safeties must be in place:
- The Health Check is a safe space where everything can be said
- Everything said during the Health Check stays there, unless asked and consent by the “checked”, such as in cases where actions must be taken
- Backlash isn’t tolerated in any way, shape or form
Any topic may be discussed during the health check, be it personal, professional or just chit chatting.
Why do we do it?
The health check is the opportunity for the employee to express concerns that may be considered taboo, and for leadership to identify current or future pain points in their team, and solve those before they become a problem.
This also creates a space where employees may share sensitive information they may not want to share with their team or direct leadership.
How do we do it?
During the meeting, the checker takes notes while actively listening, with as little personal filtering as possible.
Those notes included any relevant comments, work or personal related, and also any actions that must be taken in accordance with the checked.
At the end of the meeting, those notes are sent in an email with the checked as the only recipient.
At the next meeting, this email is recovered and the checker iterates over each item, acknowledging comments and updating the status of action points, and confirming with the checked that progress has been made.
After that, the meeting follows the default route, with a new email being generated at the end.
Ideally, the health check must be performed monthly.
An on-spot health check is also recommended when disruptive changes happen, like a senior member being let go, a change on benefits or salaries and the like.
A health check may also be requested at any time by any employee.
A minimum of 30 minutes is recommended.
To ensure the participants aren’t drained, a maximum of 1 hour is recommended.
Starting the Conversation
Hey [CHECKED], welcome!
This is a health check session, where you are free to talk about anything you want. This hasn’t been scheduled for any specific reason, it’s just something we do on [RECURRENCE].
Let me start by ensuring you that this is a safe space, and anything said here won’t be taken elsewhere. No backlash will happen from matters discussed here, and actions will only be taken if you ask and/or give consent for.
I have some questions that may help us to get started. Feel free to answer or not, and to bring your own questions.
How have you been feeling lately working for [COMPANY]?
Is there anything bothering you on your professional or personal life that you feel like sharing?
Do you feel comfortable working around your co-workers?
How did [DISRUPTIVE CHANGE] affect you?