What Is a Catch-Up Meeting and Why You Should Do Them

Because daily scrums are never enough. Learn how to run a catch-up meeting and why most managers could benefit from holding them regularly with their team.
Matthew Ritchie
September 7, 2023
6 minute read

Picture this: You just got back from a two-week vacation. Rather than spend hours in Asana, you schedule a quick catch-up meeting with your team. Within minutes, you’re fully caught up on everything they’re doing.

Catch-up meetings are becoming more common in workplaces and spiked during the pandemic

But they’re more than just a one-and-done status update you do with your team.

In this blog post, we’ll answer “What is a catch-up meeting?”, what to discuss during one, and explain the overall benefits for you and your team.

What is a catch-up meeting? 

A catch-up meeting (aka catch-up call) is an informal check-in among two or more team members. Unlike a formal meeting, a catch-up meeting is shorter and focuses on work-related matters as well as an employee’s emotional well-being and mental state in and out of the office.

What is the purpose of a catch-up meeting?

Unlike a daily scrum, a catch-up meeting is more than a quick status update. It’s an opportunity for managers to check in with team members and speak candidly about how they’re doing, identify problem areas, and find ways to support them.

Think of it like a pulse check, giving you insights into your employees’ well-being and workload after just a few minutes of conversation.  

Related: 5 Tech CEOs Share Their Tips on How to Run an Effective Meeting

What are the benefits of a catch-up meeting? 

Catch-up meetings can foster open communication, improve employee morale, and ensure teams are aligned by directly addressing issues, clarifying objectives, and creating a safe space to share and receive honest feedback.

How do you prepare for a catch-up meeting?

Whether you’re meeting one-on-one or with a group, it’s good to notify employees at least a few hours in advance and reassure them you’re holding a catch-up meeting to see how they’re doing.

Although an agenda isn’t necessary, it could be good for both parties to think ahead of time about what they want to discuss.

Related: How to Write a Meeting Summary People Will Actually Read

What do you call a catch-up meeting?

If you’re sending a catch-up meeting invite, keep the event title clear and concise: “Weekly check-in,” “1:1 sync up,” or “Team catch-up” should do.

Where should you host a catch-up meeting?

If you work remotely, host your catch-up meeting virtually through Zoom, Teams, Meet, or Slack—just keep your cameras on so you can fully connect.

If you work in an office, find a relaxed environment that provides enough privacy, like a smaller meeting room or cozy nook away from employees, so your colleague feels comfortable opening up. (If you work in a busy environment, consider taking your catch-up meeting offsite to a nearby coffee shop or park.)

Related: These are the 8 Best AI Meeting Assistants for Summarizing Meetings

What should you talk about in a catch-up meeting?

Once you’ve broken the ice and exchanged a few pleasantries, it’s time to move on from the small talk.

Start by asking how they’re doing. Ask them about their workload, what’s causing them stress (personally and professionally), struggles and concerns, or their mental and emotional state, broadly speaking.

Experts say to focus on what they’re saying and leave any feedback for later, so practice your active listening here.

Next, talk about overall goals and objectives. These could both be short and long-term. Discuss the current status of tasks, issues they may be encountering with people and projects, and whether or not anything needs to be reassigned or if deadlines need to be extended based on their workload.

Finally, offer feedback and discuss how you can provide support. What that means will differ based on your role. But the goal of the catch-up meeting is to get a pulse-check on how an employee is doing, so be thoughtful and practical with your feedback and what you can realistically do to support them.

P.S. Consider taking notes—or let Bloks take notes for you—so you don’t forget anything you discuss.

What do you say after a catch-up meeting?

Once finished, reiterate the main points you discussed, anything you agreed upon, and any next steps. Say it out loud, so any confusion can be cleared up. Consider sending a follow-up email, too (you can copy and paste a meeting summary from Bloks). And, if it’s not a recurring meeting, discuss when you’ll meet again for another catch-up.

Related: Still need help running meetings? Here’s what Elon Musk says to do

How often should you have a catch-up meeting?

Generally, most managers should aim to have weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly catch-up meetings with employees. 

Unless there’s an immediate issue employees need help with, refrain from having daily catch-up meetings, as these can become less productive and impactful over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is another word for a catch-up meeting?

A catch-up meeting is also often called a “catch-up call” or “check-in.”

If your catch-up meeting is more formal and about a current project or initiative, calling it a “status meeting” or “progress meeting” might make more sense. If it's more of an informal chat to see how employees are doing, calling it a “touch base” or “one-on-one” would work, too.

How do I request a catch-up meeting?

If you’re an employee who wants to ask for a catch-up meeting with a superior or manager, start by identifying the specific reasons for needing the meeting. Then, write a short email asking for a catch-up, provide a brief overview of the topics you want to discuss, and suggest a few possible time slots based on your availability.

Is it catch-up or catch up meeting?

Both “catch up” and “catch-up” can be correct depending on how they're used in a sentence. Catch up (without the hyphen) is often used as a verb (e.g., “Hey Doug! Let’s catch up sometime”), whereas catch-up (with the hyphen) is used as a noun or an adjective. 

If you’re requesting a meeting, “catch-up” (with the hyphen) is the grammatically correct option.

Want to learn more? Visit our blog for more meeting productivity tips and tricks. And if you want to take your relationship-building to the next level, download Bloks.

Whether you’re a sales superstar, in-demand consultant, busy recruiter, or someone who simply needs to schedule a lot of meetings, one thing’s for sure—you’ve probably booked a lot of them over the past two years.

Hybrid work has forced the majority of our meetings online, and while we appreciate being able to wear sweatpants during normal work hours, the time-consuming ballet that is sharing your availability, finding a time to meet, and adding it to your calendar isn’t quite as enjoyable. 

Speaking with everyone from solopreneurs to seasoned professionals, it seems like a lot of people find meeting scheduling software either costly, impersonal, or just plain boring. And Calendly and other alternatives don’t always cut it.

We hear you. 

Everyone is different, and so is how they work. Making good first impressions is important, and you shouldn’t have to pay a premium for them or basic customizations and integrations with your meeting booking system.

Nook Calendar’s meeting proposal feature is already used by tons of high-performing teams for selecting and proposing meeting times outside of their organization. 

Now, we’re making things even easier by letting you build personal pages with shareable calendar-booking links, right in Nook Calendar. Add them to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, website, or messages when finding a time to meet.

We think it’s the best meeting scheduling software out there, and we’re excited for you to give it a try, so let’s get started.

Here’s How to Set Up a Personal Booking Page in Nook Calendar

First off, if you’re new to Nook Calendar—hello! (If you’re already a Nook user, you can skip ahead.)

You’re going to start by syncing your calendar—either from Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook—and entering your work email address.

Once you approve any necessary permissions, you’ll set up your People Bar. Search for any connections and add the people you interact with the most when scheduling meetings.

From there, you can add any additional calendars you want to see (add your personal one, if you like, to further prevent any overlaps when scheduling meetings), integrate with Zoom (so you can launch calls straight from your calendar), and choose your preferred display setting—select Match OS, Light Mode, or Dark Mode.

Launch Nook Calendar, and you’re ready to set up your online meeting scheduler.

Now, the fun begins

You’re going to start by claiming your unique URL for sharing your meeting availability page. 

Your first name appears by default, but really, it can be anything. We recommend using your full name (e.g., /john-smith).

(You can always change your URL in the future, as long as it’s still available.)

From there, you want to complete your profile. 

Your profile pic is automatically pulled in from your Microsoft or GCal account.

But you can add your name, job title, welcome message, and links to social media profiles or professional website, so guests know a bit more about you when booking a meeting. 

Then, you can start setting your weekly availability.

Nook Calendar defaults to traditional time blocks—9–12 a.m. and 1–5 p.m. These are the hours someone can book a meeting from your personal page. Adjust them based on your availability. 

Your timezone is automatically set to your local time, but you can change it if you primarily work with people in a different timezone and it’s better to visualize that when setting your availability.

Choose which calendar you want to accept meetings in—it can only be booked in one, but Nook Calendar will automatically reference your availability in other calendars you’ve synced to prevent double-bookings when someone schedules a meeting.

Now, it’s time to set up some paramaters. 

You can set up your preferred meeting duration in either 15, 30, 45-minute or one-hour increments (or a custom time).

You can also add buffer time to give yourself a break between meetings, or set a lead time of up to 24 hours, so no one can book any last-minute meetings.

And you’re all set! You can preview what the page will look like, then share it with contacts or add it to your LinkedIn profile (we suggest adding it as a secondary URL), email signature, and anywhere else you do business.

Once someone books time in your calendar, you’ll receive an email and get a notification in the Pulse.

If you ever need to make any changes, you can access your personal meeting page in the bottom of the Magic Panel and make any adjustments—either to your weekly availability or personal information.

You can also remove your availability by simply creating events in Nook Calendar and marking them as Busy to block off time and prevent any bookings.

Nook Calendar’s new personal pages for sharing meeting availability are available on Web, iOS, and Android. 
If you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love to hear them. Hit us up in our Slack Community or contact us through Support.