Running a company is virtually like the inner working pieces of a good-sized machine. There are cogs, wheels and all sorts of things that spin, move or turn, while pistons crank up and down, with the simultaneous distribution of oil to keep the parts from grinding with each other and eventually stopping due to high friction heat. One part stops working or snags, and KABOOM! the machine blows up.
How does this relate to business? Your company is made up of employees, services, repair/maintenance personnel, office equipment, IT, quality control, sales, marketing, hiring, etc. Each area and person of your business is a working piece of the “machine”, each moving and changing positions, or moving other particles or people within the system; if one goes off in any way it eventually creates that same grinding and blow up scenario.
So how do we keep the parts coordinated and well-oiled? The most efficient method is to hold regular weekly staff meetings whereby agreements are formulated for the important upcoming week’s functions and production.
Here are some suggestions or ideas on ways to conduct a staff meeting:
- Select a time and place that works so EVERY employee may be present and represented. This is important as all “parts of the machine” should know what the other parts will be doing next. The location should be relatively distraction-free and comfortable and announced to all workers – in writing is best. One might hold these over a lunch hour, having each bring their own food one day a week and eating together while meeting; PLEASE ENSURE TO FOLLOW YOUR EMPLOYEE LABOR LAWS AS THESE VARY STATE TO STATE REGARDING SUCH MEETINGS – in some the employer must pay the employee for this hour if such a meeting is considered “working”.
- Appoint a Secretary to take notes – good ideas, or situations may come up!
- As the company leader and “Machine Oiler” you must decide on an agenda with pertinent topics to cover. At the start of each meeting you should report on such things as: Present production as compared to the same time last year and ways to improve these; goals which have been attained and those you intend to accomplish in the future; any special mentions of stellar production; new policies you might need to implement; problems and how they’ll be handled, etc.
- Come prepared! Have the above prepared in advance; bring your notes and the sequence of items to cover so the meeting goes smoothly. (Ensure you keep to the time allotted and watch not to draw it out– watch how your guys are doing along the way – are they keeping up or dragging along?)
- Focus on and acknowledge all wins and successes of the group. You should definitely ask for and invite these into the meeting. NOTE: These meetings are never “complaint meetings”; they should be coordination meetings meant to bring the group together.
- Complete your executive report, and then verbally circle the room asking each staff to show their production for the previous week as well as to give a short statement of their production plans for the new week.
- Following this you might want a brief period of open discussion and coordination.
Note again that “COORDINATION” is the key word here and should be your entire purpose and focus for the meetings.
Adding a staff meeting each week will not only bolster production, but may also help your company work and feel more like a team. Team spirit is a good thing!
I hope this helps you reap the many possible benefits of such coordinated efforts.
Feel free to write me. I’d really appreciate hearing how this proves out for you and your group and look forward to your feedback.
Craig Ferreira,CEO Survival Strategies, Inc.