Are you a business owner, manager or team lead? How are your employees doing? No really. How are they doing? What are their feelings regarding their current role or position in the company? How is their home life? Is their family doing well? How do they perceive their work-life balance situation? Is it how they would like it? If they could change anything about their job or their current situation in life in general, what would they change? What would they keep the same? When is the last time you as a business owner or manager sat down and asked your direct reports some of these questions. Maybe it has never crossed your mind that this might be important. Maybe it was never modeled to you as an employee and is not deemed as important by others at your workplace so it has just been something you haven’t done. Does it matter? I would argue YES! Let me tell you why.
Chrissy Scivicque, in her article titled, “Why Managers Should Meet Consistently With their Employees” points out that “Devoting regular time to the relationship helps develop a sense of camaraderie, making it easier to discuss and resolve issues…” When you are in constant dialogue with your employees there should be no surprises. Employees should know you well enough that they feel comfortable bringing up any issue they feel is relevant to their job performance, whether it is work related or not. The only way for them to feel this way is if they can tell that you truly care about how they are doing, and not just because you want them to bring in more revenue.
In his book, Scaling Up, Verne Harnish says that, “Having more frequent routines (meetings) makes it easier to attain goals.” Harnish argues for a daily “huddle” of 5-10 min with frontline employees. A weekly 60-90 minute meeting to talk about how their quarterly goals are doing as well as a monthly half to full day management meeting where all managers can come together to solve key issues. Lastly, he advocates for quarterly and annual planning meetings to go over quarterly goals and talk about the company’s long term objectives. Now I know this sounds like a lot of meetings to some but the idea is that having regular meetings with groups of employees eliminates the daily back and forth whether it be through email or in person. By getting everyone on the same page each morning there should be significantly fewer questions relating to day to day activities, which in turn should increase productivity.
Here are 3 tips to help you implement these ideas into your business or team…
1. Start Today!: I want to encourage you to schedule in a 5-15 minute meeting with each one of your direct reports within the next two weeks. Here are a few sample questions you can use if you are stuck…
a. How are you enjoying your job?
b. If you could change anything about it what would you change?
c. How is life outside of work?
d. What is one thing I could do to help?
2. Start a Daily Huddle: Start implementing the daily huddle at your work! Give each employee a short time to share what they are up to and any hurdles they can foresee that day. Tip: start it at an odd time like 8:08 or 8:12. This will help people to show up on time!
3. Legitimately Care: If you are doing this because you read it on a blog somewhere and wanted to try it out, your employees will see right through you. The trick to helping your employees enjoy their work more and ultimately work harder for you is to actually care how they are doing. This takes work on your part because, as we all know, not everyone is as likable as we are. Try and understand that people are who they are for a reason, or multiple reasons. By getting to know them you will be better equipped to help when problems arise.
If you are stuck and don’t know how to begin to implement something like this at your work or this all seems too intimidating, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The great thing is help is just a click away! At OnBoard Coaching we are experienced in helping others learn to communicate more effectively and genuinely. To learn how we can come alongside your organization in this area, or if you have any questions click here.
- Brad Thiessen