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Weekly Team Meetings Can Take Fifteen Minutes

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Weekly Team Meetings Can Take Fifteen Minutes

Do you struggle to get through your weekly team meetings without rolling your eyes or looking at your watch?

For many business owners and managers, the weekly team meeting has become a curse instead of a positive and energising start to the working week. If you would like a short, sharp and relevant team meeting which benefits everyone, then please read on.

One of my clients was frustrated with her Monday morning team meeting. It was taking half an hour to an hour and achieving very little except everyone stating the work they were doing for the week. She didn’t want to devalue the team environment but felt the meeting was a waste of everyone’s time.

I suggested she change the meeting to fifteen minutes and focus on two sole purposes:

  1. Outline the key priorities and targets for the week.
  2. Provide an opportunity for anyone to ask for the help or advice they need to complete their work.

To support this change in strategy, we developed a shared document in Excel which each person, including my client, had to complete by 3.00 pm Friday afternoon; ready for the Monday morning meeting. Everyone in the team had to outline their key tasks for the following week. The owner reviewed these, developed her overall key business priorities for the week, as well as any questions she had for staff which would be raised in the meeting.

It was each person’s responsibility to update the document by the 3.00 pm deadline. If they didn’t, there was a consequence; the ‘offender’ had to pack and unpack the dishwasher for the week. If they continued to not complete this required task; this would be discussed at a performance meeting.

All staff had to read the document prior to coming to the Monday morning meeting, so they knew what everyone else was working on, to determine if help was required, either by them or for them.

The following changes were implemented for the team meeting:

  • Limit of fifteen minutes.
  • Focus on key decisions and actions required rather than information sharing.
  • Create opportunities to ask for help in a supportive team environment.
  • Introduce accountability, responsibility and consequences.

Do you have this frustration in your business? Would this strategy or something similar work for you? Think of the productivity hours (wages) saved by cutting down a weekly meeting from one hour to fifteen minutes.

Steve Jobs said, “Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

So, remember Steve Jobs’ philosophy: Apply the ‘simple stick’ to everything you do, in business and in life. Encourage ‘big’ thinking but ‘small’ in everything else, and resist the urge to apply corporate thinking and language to a Small Business.

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