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7 Fun Ways to Check-in and Check-out in Your Team Engagement Sessions

A team leader staA group of engaged team members a question being asked a question

As a meeting facilitator, starting the meeting with quick but meaningful check-in and check-out is an excellent way to build a positive relationship with their team members. However, merely asking, 'How is everyone today?' may not be enough to create an authentic connection. 

If team members respond with a quick 'I'm fine' or remain silent, it may feel like a routine activity rather than a genuine interest in their well-being. 

The team lead or manager should invest more time and effort into their check-ins and checkouts during a session to build stronger connections with the team.

What are check-ins and check-outs?

'Check-ins' and 'Check-outs' are practices commonly used during meetings to improve team participation and collaboration. These practices are usually led by the team leader to help the team get in the meeting mindset to feel more at ease and also leave the meeting with a closing note or take away from each participant that sets them up for success.

Check-ins typically occur at the beginning or in between meetings to help team members ease into their roles and get to know one another. This sets a positive tone before the meetings. 

On the other hand, check-outs happen at the end of the meeting to summarize and reflect on the key takeaways from the meeting. In a traditional approach, these practices would be more rigid and formal, which could make the entire purpose redundant. 

However, by infusing creativity into check-ins and check-outs, there is a higher chance of promoting a more positive environment.

Here Are The 7 Fun Ways To Check-In & Check-Out in your Team Engagement Sessions

Before discussing different ways, let's first understand the 1/6th rule. For every hour of a meeting, 10 mins (1/6th) should be kept aside to build camaraderie between the team members. 

Now that it is established, let's see what will proceed.

1. Meaningful welcome questions 

To encourage conversation and get people to know each other during meetings, consider starting each one with a welcome question. It's important to set a time limit to ensure that the meeting ends on schedule and that everyone has an opportunity to participate.

Here is a list of welcome questions that are fun and meaningful, and also helps to break the ice. 

  • What simple things give you the most joy? 

  • What is your favourite movie this year so far?

  • Tell me about a stranger who impacted your life

  • What is your motto in life?

  • The last time you laughed hard?

  • What is the strangest thing you have eaten?

  • What is a place that you want to visit once in your life?

  • What are the best and worst aspects of your home town?

  • What is one thing you recently learned that surprised you?

2. Emoji check-ins 

Virtual meetings have become a frequent occurrence these days. While they are undoubtedly useful in connecting people from different parts of the world, they also present a challenge for team members to develop a deeper connection. 

How to conduct this practice 

In the Emoji-Check system, team members are asked to choose an emoji that best represents their current feelings at the beginning of the meeting. Team heads can then ask members to elaborate on their choices within a fixed time limit. This enables open communication among everyone and helps co-workers empathize with each other. This process can lead to productive discussions as the meeting progresses. 

3. Anecdotal insights and storytelling check-outs 

Team members laughing and sharing stories in a relaxed meeting environment.

Sharing personal anecdotes and stories during check-outs is a great way to add depth and personalization to the session. Encouraging team members to share stories and anecdotes related to the theme of the session allows individuals to connect on a more human level. 

How to conduct this practice

For example, during a meeting on customer service strategies, the manager or meeting head can ask all members to share their personal anecdotes or memorable interactions with customers. 

It's important to ensure that each member is given sufficient time to speak and that everyone gets a turn to share their story before the meeting concludes. 

These stories can provide insights, creative solutions, and even moments of inspiration. It is a fun and sweet way to conclude a meeting, and helps to strengthen team bonds and reinforce key takeaways. provides insights, creative solutions, and even moments of inspiration.

It is a fun and sweet way to conclude a Team Engagement meeting and helps to strengthen team bonds and reinforce key takeaways. 

4. Creative and stimulating questions for mid-meeting check-ins

Long meetings can be exhausting. As time goes on, people may become bored and lose interest, resulting in decreased participation. It is important to maintain the quality of the meeting, and the team leader's responsibility is to recognize these dull moments and implement creative meeting ideas

Here is a list of stimulating questions that can be asked among team members to take a fun break between formal meetings facilitated by the leaders

  • If our team were a superhero squad, what powers would each team member have based on their strengths?

  • Imagine we're stranded on a deserted island. Which three items from this room would you choose to have with you, and why?

  • What fictional character best represents your approach to teamwork, and how?

  • If you could swap roles with another team member for a day, who would it be, and why?

5. Gratitude check-outs

A group of meeting attendees looking at a document

It is always a good practice to end a meeting on a positive note. Showing gratitude to fellow team members, and expressing gratitude for other things in life, is a great way to enhance team morale and strengthen the team's bonding. 

Here are a few gratitude check-out prompts or exercises  you can use for your next meeting

  1. Team Members can acknowledge the teamwork that was put into finding solutions. 

  2. Team members can recognize the individual efforts of the team members.

  3. Team members can acknowledge the support they got from other members or their team heads. 

  4. Team members can point out many learning opportunities they got from this meeting and share them with everyone. 

Members can acknowledge what they are thankful for in their personal lives too. Each member will get a turn to express what they are most thankful for about today's session and their fellow members. This exercise also helps everyone to gain new perspectives and understand their coworkers at a deeper level. 

6. Workout and Fitness check-ins

During workout check-ins, team leaders can encourage their team members to share their fitness or workout goals for the week. This can be a fun and supportive way to promote healthy habits and well-being within the team. 

How to conduct the practice

To integrate this, have a weekly check-in during team meetings. Each member shares their fitness goal for the week and any challenges or successes they've achieved. Also, introduce a team fitness challenge, like a step challenge, to boost physical activity and teamwork.

7. Self-reflection check-outs

This activity involves team members imagining their future selves and reflecting on how the current meeting relates to their personal or professional goals. This check-out exercise is designed to promote forward-thinking, goal-setting, and self-awareness among team members. 

It can also help place emotional intelligence as a highly sought-after trait within the company culture. While we’re on the subject of emotional intelligence, you might also want to check out our post on emotional intelligence training for leaders. members to connect their present actions with their future aspirations.


How to conduct this practice

At the end of the meeting, team members can share their aspirations and goals openly. For example, one can express their desire to become a more confident speaker and be inspired by teammates who are confident speakers.

Another is motivated to become a product manager, highlighting valuable takeaways from meetings. This promotes the ability of members to connect their present actions with their future aspirations.


A close-up of a meeting agenda on a digital tablet, showing fun check-in and check-out activities listed.

Successful team sessions rely heavily on active participation and meaningful involvement from all members. Beginning meetings with thoughtful check-ins and ending with reflective check-outs builds rapport and encourages a positive team culture. 

Check-ins and check-outs provide valuable insights, build camaraderie, and boost morale. They can also be used as creative meeting ideas that make them enjoyable and productive. Incorporating emoji check-ins, storytelling, and fitness goals adds depth and personalization to sessions. 

By investing time and effort into these practices, leaders can create an environment where team members feel valued, motivated, and connected.


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