Getting into the Groove of Weekly Check-Ins with Clients

Getting into the Groove of Weekly Check-Ins with Clients

May 17, 2022
by jessicadunbar

You may think that keeping work asynchronous is excellent. The usual email and use of Slack let you respond to co-workers and clients when you have a moment. These methods of communication may be the most comfortable activity of each day. 


What can get better than that? 

You can feel even more comfortable and confident with your work over time by communicating with clients through weekly check-in meetings. 

The weekly check-ins can bridge communication pieces together to resolve questions and receive feedback from the client. These check-ins can help introduce big projects and move the needle toward making something out of nothing. What is intangible at the idea phase will become tangible overtime as the project comes to life.

Who Do I Invite?

You can brainstorm critical people based on the nature of the project complexity. Aside from the client, other stakeholders can include the account manager, project manager, business analysts, and subject matter experts as the project timing make sense. 

A Hesitation for Check-Ins

Yet, you may still hesitate about weekly check-in meetings with clients. It is just a weird idea? Look, you've closed this big deal. The client invested a lot of trust in you and awaits amazing results. Be willing to get on a weekly meeting with them even if the updates are kept short and sweet. Chances are you'll build trust and rapport that might be needed later on.

Why may you hesitate initially? First, a meeting can seem like a distraction from “real work.” It can lead you to feel overwhelmed and overworked. You’re focused on the day-to-day and ultimate end results of the project. On top of that, you’ll need to dedicate time to prepare for check-in meetings which can lead to more work for you. 

Secondly, the weekly check-ins can have dynamic components. For example, project stakeholders can join from different geographic locations in-person, via phone call, or by video conference call. Furthermore, a successful meeting requires a good Wi-Fi connection and a solid agenda. Mistakes can happen at any time. Being open and flexible to accepting mistakes is the most important aspect. 

Lastly, if you are a bit introverted, meeting preparation can be stressful. You won’t feel stress the night before, and the meeting won’t be in the back of your mind if you simply avoid it. Avoiding stress often feels better. Though the check-ins are often just for simple updates that do not require too much preparation.  

A Vote YES for Check-Ins

Plenty of benefits exist from weekly check-in meetings with clients. First off, you often have to heara concept at least 7 times to get it the first time (Jojarth, 2016). 

It seems annoying, but repeating is an effective way to gain clarity on project deliverables. Over communicating means less mistakes will happen. Communicating a shift in a priority or decision clearly will be less expensive for everyone. Keep in mind that overcommunication should still be clear, and concise and the same words should be used between project stakeholders. Otherwise, miscommunication and missing information can lead to costly issues later. 

Weekly check-in meetings with clients can help all stakeholders align when there are setbacks or roadblocks. Existing limitations and ideas to move forward can be discussed as the work progresses. More time spent talking with the client builds a meaningful sense of trust. You want trust from all angles.

Making Weekly Check-Ins a Habit

As the meeting organizer, you’ll want to pick the same time and day once a week. Meeting attendees can build it into their schedules that way. As long as you’re consistent, that specific time and day will be reserved. A time block of 20 minutes is great, though keep the whole hour open on your end. A 20-minute meeting will look smaller, and tolerable, on the client’s calendar. If it is a slow period, it’s important to still hold the meeting at least for a 10-minute check in. It creates a lot of value for the attendees to know they have that forum with you every week. 

Sending out the meeting agenda at least 24 hours in advance is great planning. The client and other stakeholders need a chance to understand the main talking points and prepare questions. The meeting agenda can focus on the Week’s Accomplishments and Ideas that are being Brainstormed. The list should be bulleted and brief. Reiterate what agenda items are open for client feedback, and which items are simply for updates. This will keep the meeting on track.

The agenda can be emailed in a PDF attachment. The second and next agendas can be added onto a new page always at the top of your rolling document. This is great for people to revisit meeting updates on their own time via email. 

The Actual Check-In Meeting

The meetings can be structured the same way each time. This will help the clients and other stakeholders know what to expect. You can start off with brief chit-chat though you don’t want to wait too long to get the meeting started. After 2-3 minutes, you can start with a high level update on the project status. It helps people remember and gain context to fully understand what’s going on. Highlighting three items of progress and digging into those details one by one is productive for everyone. 

Next, ask if there are any questions. Typically, clients want to know whether the project is on track and if any action is required from there end. Be ready for those questions. The meeting will not have much meaning if actionable items are not provided to stakeholders attending the meeting, or you can’t answer the questions raised. Once all the questions are answered you can give an overview of what’s happening next week.

Flexibility for Timing.

Flexibility in the weekly check-ins is really based on your client. You can ask what they like or don’t like after going through a few weeks of the meetings. Extending the time is possible if the client prefers longer meetings and it is productive for everyone. 

Keep in mind that you should never be late because it can lead others to follow. Also nipping tardiness in the bud early is encouraged because it can affect meeting attendance in the long-term and cause you unnecessary stress. 

High-level overviews can be. Based on the agenda, some weeks you may have time leftover while other times you finish just in time. Having a “hard stop” is a great approach to respecting everyone’s time. 

Big No-No’s in Weekly Check-Ins. 

  1. Don’t lose control of the agenda. This can happen if a meeting attendee starts giving lengthy general feedback that is not connected to the agenda. You can say that the topic can be discussed offline to get the agenda back on track. 
  2. Secondly, it may not be appropriate to talk about money unless it is for project budgeting purposes. 
  3. Arguing between attendees may happen during a meeting. Different points of view should be welcome, though watch out to not have the agenda sidelined. Additional training may be needed on communicating respectfully, especially when a client is present.Asking those attendees to continue the discussion offline is recommended. 

The Results to Expect

The first meetings may be longer than expected, but they will settle into being shorter. Everyone will get the hang of the routine to become more streamlined overtime. You’ll also feel more comfortable asking questions from clients based on discussions in the meetings. Your clients will trust that their requests can be accomplished. Weekly check-in meetings can help your projects run smoother and track progress efficiently. 


Jojarth M (2016) It's Not Nagging: Repetition is Effective Communication. LinkedIn Pulse.