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Run a Successful Touch Base Meeting Using This Template

Run a Successful Touch Base Meeting Using This Template

Haelee Reis
Haelee Reis
Head of Marketing and Program
Haelee Reis

Best-of-breed managers know the value-added impact of touch-base meetings. It’s your chance to build trust, communicate, motivate, and empower the team. These informal get-togethers with individual workers ensure you stay updated on progress while building strong relationships. And employees love the opportunity to have your dedicated attention and share their insights, goals, and challenges.

It’s a win-win for all parties. And according to Gallup, managers who meet regularly with team members experience three times the level of employee engagement than those who don’t.

Touch base meetings are the key to unlocking employee engagement, productivity, and performance. However, getting the most out of those precious minutes is a top priority. A touch base meeting template provides structure. It means you and the employee come prepared and stay on track with fruitful discussions.

You can optimize the effectiveness of your touch-base meetings with PepTalk’s free touching-base meeting template.

Ready to get started?

Let’s dive in with a closer look at these get-togethers and the many benefits on offer.

What is a touch base meeting?

Sometimes called one-on-ones, huddles, or catch-ups, touch-base meetings are regular, scheduled chats with individuals or small groups of workers.

Rather than a stuffy formal meeting, touching base is casual and relaxed. Many managers like to hold them away from the workplace over a shared lunch or coffee. Others prefer the more comfortable surroundings of a Zoom call from home. Whatever you choose, make sure you haven’t booked the boardroom for your get-together. Informality is vital here as it sets the right tone of openness and trust. And it means both parties are at ease and free from workplace distractions.  

The touch-base meeting is the opportunity for your direct report to talk to you about, well, anything really. Use the time to get to know your team members as people. Explore progress on targets and goals. And uncover any roadblocks you can help resolve.

Remember, it’s a two-way conversation. Employees should be able to talk freely about their concerns, ideas, and career goals.

Touch-base meetings are an integral part of the best manager’s toolkit. And with good reason. Let’s break down the fantastic benefits on offer:

  • Build strong relationships: Employees feel valued and appreciated, increasing their motivation and sense of loyalty. And you get to know the team as people, not just workers, forging positive workplace relationships.
  • Monitor progress: You get one-on-one feedback about targets and objectives and better understand the individual's needs. Challenges and roadblocks can be swiftly overcome. And you are better able to identify and respond to professional development needs.
  • Track employee engagement: Regular feedback allows you to gauge employee engagement within the team. Think of it as a pulse check to measure enthusiasm, motivation, and all-round employee experience. Armed with that knowledge, you can develop more effective strategies to improve team engagement.

Why have touch base meetings?

If the benefits listed above don’t convince you, then how about this: Research shows that 56% of workers say a supportive manager is one of the most crucial factors for staying at an organization. 

The employee-manager relationship is vital to business success. Not only does it drive performance and productivity, but it’s also critical to retention. Employees who enjoy positive relationships with their managers are more likely to be happy and satisfied at work. And that translates into increased loyalty and the desire to do their best.

Touch base meetings are a surefire way to build those harmonious, supportive relationships. Ideally, they should be weekly or fortnightly. A longer timeframe will undermine the positive benefits.

An informal setting allows you to build rapport and trust. After all, your direct report is used to you setting tasks and deadlines. Touch base meetings mean you can turn the tables and let the employee have their say. An honest, frank discussion about work has benefits for both sides. And some banter about the big game or the latest blockbuster helps you connect as people.

supportive relationships built within team with a touch base meeting

How to run a touch base meeting?

  • Make it casual
  • Create an informal setting
  • Make an agenda
  • Allow employees to have an input
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Offer to assist employees and show support
  • Motivate and encourage your team
  • Listen and take notes
  • Reschedule rather than cancel

Let’s take a closer look at our list of top tips. 

Make it casual

There’s no place for a suit and tie when you’re touching base. Casualwear provides that relaxed vibe you’re after. And be sure to put your laptop away and silence your phone. You don’t want any distractions getting in the way.  

Create an informal setting

As we’ve seen, informal settings work best. So, ditch the boardroom in favor of a relaxed breakout area. Just make sure it’s private enough to have a frank discussion.

Make an agenda

Prepare and share an agenda in advance. That way, you can both come prepared, and it provides a focus for the discussion.

Allow employees to have input

Encourage your direct report to add their own agenda items. During the meeting, invite them to offer feedback and share their ideas. Remember, effective communication is a two-way street.

Ask open-ended questions

Rather than just a yes or no answer, open-ended questions encourage participation and discussion. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How’s your week going?
  •  What new thing have you learned this week?
  •  How are you tracking on the marketing project?

Offer to assist and show support

Offering advice and assistance boosts employee motivation and morale. It shows you care about the worker and want them to be successful. And if you can't help directly, then connect them to resources or tools that can..

Motivate and encourage your team

Rather than critiquing an employee’s efforts, look for the positives. Showing appreciation for all their hard work is motivating and impacts morale. An incredible 80% of employees say they don’t feel recognized at work. Use your touch-base meetings to dish out some gratitude and inspire the team.

Listen and take notes

Practice your active listening skills. Maintain eye contact, uncross your arms, and clarify or paraphrase. Make sure the employee has your full attention. Keep a record of the discussion and share it with the team member. This shows that the meeting isn’t just a tick-box exercise but has real value. Plus, there may be action points for both parties that can be followed up at the next catch-up..

Reschedule rather than cancel

Our final tip is perhaps the most important. Sometimes stuff gets in the way, and you can no longer keep your scheduled catch-up. A major gripe of employees is that touch base meetings often end up canceled. If something does crop up, then reschedule rather than cancel. You don’t want the employee to think their time with you isn’t a priority.

Successful touch base meeting catch up

Touch Base Meeting Template

Depending on the organization’s size, the average manager can have anywhere between five and 20 direct reports. And that’s an awful lot of catch-ups! A touch-base meeting template makes life simpler for busy managers. It streamlines the process so that you get maximum benefit.

Use PepTalk’s free template to spark fruitful communication and improve the quality of your touch-base meetings. You can also use the template to set the agenda for your meetings and invite the input of your team member.

Our template follows a simple structure focusing on three key areas we’ve called the three Rs: Rapport, Report, and Review. Our template ensures you cover all the areas you need to. And we’ve added a suggested timeframe to keep you on track.

PepTalk’s Touch-Base Meeting Template

Rapport: Build trust and personal connections - 5 minutes

How’s your week gone?

What have been the highs and lows inside and outside work?

Report: Monitor progress of projects, targets, and objectives, provide encouragement and feedback – 15 minutes

Use a simple traffic light system to report on the status of:

Project or target one [insert details]:

Project or target two [insert details]:

Project or target three [insert details]:

Possible follow-up questions:

  • How are you tracking overall?
  • Are there any roadblocks I can help you overcome?
  • What, if anything, feels harder this week about your daily work?
  • What are the next steps to take the project forward? Is there a way I can help?

Review: Address any action points from the previous meeting, and explore areas for improvement or professional development – 10 minutes

  • Review action points from the previous meeting
  • Identify follow-up action from today’s meeting
  • What are your plans for self-development this week? Can I help?

Over to you: Conclude the touch-base meeting by allowing the employee to ask questions or raise concerns.

One-On-One Meeting Template

One-on-one meetings are a variation of touching base meetings. Usually, these are held weekly. Managers often set them up for new team members during onboarding. You may also want regular one-to-ones with an employee that needs extra support. Whatever the case, the purpose of these meetings is similar: To support growth and development and inspire top performance.

Download PepTalk’s one-on-one meeting template and get the most out of your catch-ups.

PepTalk’s One-On-One Meeting Template

  • How are things going this week?
  •  What have been the work and non-work highlights over the past week?
  • How are you tracking against your goals and objectives?
  • What have been the challenges, and can I do anything to help?
  • Do you have all the resources and tools you need?
  • What are your top priorities over the next week?
  • Is there anything from last week's meeting we need to follow up on?

Connect with your team using the Peptalk platform 

PepTalk is here to support your team engagement. Team Check-In and TeamTalks™ help you build authentic connections while driving performance and engagement.

Book a demo today and explore our purpose-built platform dedicated to enhancing the team experience.

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