Achieve Together Check-ins

What’s a check-in?

Check-ins are simple but meaningful conversations between employees and managers that will replace annual year-end reviews. These are discussions about work progress, individual goals, performance expectations, special projects, work functions, and plans of action. When employees and managers are both fully engaged, these conversations drive higher performance, agility, and strengthen relationships. 

When do check-ins occur?

Check-in conversations occur three times per year and must be completed within one month of the end of the check-in period. 

Check-in timeline

What should I expect from the check-in conversation?

Managers will facilitate the conversation by using 6 guided conversation starters. Each of these questions map to the Achievement Criteria, which will be used to help managers recommend merit rewards in years when merit funding is available.

  1. What goals did you accomplish this period? In what ways does your work connect to our overall strategy and/or mission? (Goal Accomplishment & Job Mastery)

  2. What do you like best about your work? (Goal Accomplishment)

  3. How have you supported others work and/or collaborated with others on your work this period? (Collaboration)

  4. How have you innovated to seek efficiencies or improve work outcomes? (Innovation)

  5. How have you fostered diversity, equity, inclusion and/or belonging on our team and campus? (Inclusion & Belonging)

  6. What can I do as your supervisor to better support your success? What additional knowledge, resources, or tools are needed to successfully do your job? (Development Planning & Manager Support)

These questions are conversation starters that support effective check-in practice. Each of these questions should be addressed in every check-in. They are not meant to constrain your conversation delivery, so managers should feel empowered to ask the questions in ways that are most comfortable and relevant. However, employees deserve the opportunity to be prompted on each.

After the check-in conversation, notes from the conversation on each question will be documented in the online Achieve Together tool and used to inform performance levels and merit rewards. 

Through the check-in conversation simulation in the in-person practice labs, employees and managers can practice using additional questions that help employees go deeper into any of the topics. 

What is the recommended check-in process for managers/supervisors and their direct reports?

Before

Manager/Supervisor
Direct Report
  1. Plan how you will apply coaching skills to the check-in conversation, especially how to help your direct report talk about their performance, to listen-in to an individual's work experience, and to help them be successful. Prepare how you will discuss work that is on track, accomplishments, and opportunities for improvement.

  2. Review the Achievement Criteria to consider current and future states of work, and what you can do to support your direct report's acquisition of knowledge, skills, and support needed to be successful.

  3. Start and share an Achieve Together documentation form for the check-in period on your performance dashboard. Once opened, the form will be automatically available in your employee’s inbox.
  1. Reflect on the current state of work, where it's going, what's needed for success, and the quality of your work experience, including the relationship with your manager. Prepare how you would like to discuss what’s on track, major accomplishments, and opportunities you have for improvement.

  2. Use the check-in questions that map to the Achievement Criteria as a guide for preparing to talk about your work performance (collaboration, goal accomplishment, inclusion & belonging, innovation, and job mastery).

  3. After the supervisor starts and shares the check-in form, it will arrive in your inbox ready for edits. You can access the form on your Achieve Together Online Dashboard as well.

During

Manager/Supervisor
Direct Report
  1. Use the check-in questions that map to the Achievement Criteria performance indicators to encourage the employee to focus on current progress.

  2. Use terminology that makes sense in your everyday conversations, rather than a rote reading of the check-in questions. The goal is to have a meaningful conversation, not a formal interview. 

  3. To go deeper into the conversation, use open-ended questions to check for clarity and explore the employee's work experience. Seek to understand through finding agreement and explore discrepancies. Discuss work that is going well and on track, accomplishments, and opportunities for improvement. Use the 4-step coaching model to explore, discover, plan, and act.

  4. During the conversation, jot down key information to input in the Achieve Together online documentation tool following the check-in.

  5. Be sure to check-in on goal accomplishment expectations for the next four months. Ensure alignment with team, unit, and campus strategies.

  1. Use the check-in questions that map to the Achievement Criteria performance indicators to discuss your current work progress and experience, in addition to future performance planning. These questions are pathways to go deeper on topics, issues, and themes, and not to limit the extent of the conversation.

  2. Be open to feedback, partner in problem-solving, and take ownership over your achievements and areas for improvement.

  3. Spend time discussing additional knowledge, skills, and support needed for success at UC Berkeley. 

  4. During the conversation, jot down key information to input in the Achieve Together online documentation tool following the check-in.

  5. Check-in on goal accomplishment expectations for the next four months.

After

Manager/Supervisor
Direct Report
  1. Review key highlights of the conversation from your perspective and document in the Supervisor Comments section of the form, noting accomplishments, work that is going well and on track, and opportunities for improvement. 

  2. Document any updates to goals that were discussed during the check-in conversation. These updates are to reflect the next four months of goal completion expectations.

  3. Save and finalize your notes and comments to complete your part of the form.

  4. Ensure you have 1on1s scheduled between check-in conversations to exchange feedback, and to connect on work expectations, goals, priorities, what's going well, areas for improvement, and needed support for success. 

  1. Review key highlights of the conversation from your perspective and document these in the Employee Comments section of the form. 

  2. Review goal updates made by your supervisor based on what was discussed in the check-in conversation. Connect with your manager if there are questions or concerns. 

  3. Save and finalize your notes and comments (signifying you reviewed the content in full) to complete your part of the form.

  4. Ensure you have 1on1s scheduled between check-in conversations to exchange feedback, and to connect on work expectations, goals, priorities, what’s going well, areas for improvement, and support you need for success.

Download the Recommended Conversation Process

Visit the Training & Resources page for additional resources.