Looking after customers, chasing suppliers, paying the bills, updating the website? does this sound like anyone you know?
Many of the business owners I work with are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have time to let their staff know what’s going on. Unfortunately, this can be a recipe for disaster.
If staff don’t know what the business is doing on a strategic level, they’re not going to be able to help out. If they don’t know about the new service you want to develop, they won’t be able to tell customers that it’s on its way, so you’ll miss out on potential sales.
If staff don’t know what each other is doing, you’ll get two people doing the same thing, often in very different ways, or Maggie will assume that Tom is doing it, and vice versa. Or no-one will do it.
Unless you tell staff what your sales target is for the week, how do they know whether they’ve done a good job? And if you want to sell a lot of red things this month because red things have got a better gross profit margin, you need to be able to tell everyone else to sell red, because otherwise they’ll be focussed on the orange things.
Emailing people is not enough
You might think that you’re mentioned the new products or the great margin on red things. But in reality, people don’t remember everything they’re told about, especially in our world of constant emails and potential information overload.
People need to hear the important things from you; you can’t get your passion for red things over in an email.
The power of thanking someone for a job well done is raised exponentially if you thank them in front of everyone else.
Why people don’t have team meetings
- “We were busy that week so we didn’t bother.”
- “Morag was in late, so we skipped the team meeting.”
- “Everyone’s so busy.”
- “We used to have them, and they were really useful, but we got out of the habit somehow.”
Rules of the 10 minute team meeting
Most of the meetings we have in a company are a waste of time. But this one is important. Here are some suggested rules to make it work:
- A 10-minute team meeting takes 10 minutes. No more.
- Have the meeting standing up. People are less likely to blether.
- Talk about the same things each time – maybe you could pick a couple of these to have as regular agenda items:
- Targets – did we meet last week’s target? What are we aiming at this week?
- Special things to look out for, such as red things, or people who are interested in buying the new apricot flavour we’re trialling.
- Things that are going well. This is where you get to say ‘well done’ to people and make them smile.
- Things that are not going so well. Do not identify or blame individuals here.
- Holidays/people who are going to be out of the office.
Try it, and let me know how you get on.
And by the way, if you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh, that’s all very well and good, but there’s only me and the cat in my company”, you could try having a 10-minute meeting on your own (or with the cat) and see if it helps clarify your thinking. I bet it will.
Julia Chanteray is a serial entrepreneur who now supports, advises and mentors growing businesses, as well as speaking regularly on the issues affecting small businesses. You can read more of her thoughts on business at the Joy of Business (www.thejoyofbusiness.co.uk)