The staff meeting:
The secret to a growing company is ‘intellectual capital’. Seeking out, hiring and retaining the best in breed. These are your employees. One person can come up with an innovative idea, patent it on your behalf and game on – let the salad days begin for your company.
If you don’t have a written and distributed agenda for the attendees, don’t have a meeting. If no action items come out of a meeting, you have wasted an hour (or more) of your valuable workday. Staff meetings are a wonderful and neutral environment to discuss items of mutual benefit for the attendees.
Finding the optimal work equilibrium for the employee is found in the 6 T model. Time, Training, Talent, Task, Tools and Technology. Think of the 6 T’s as a hexagon, each of the 6 sides proportional. If proportional the employee is most likely a key contributor to the company’s success. If one, or more, of the 6 T’s is either missing or excessive, the shape of the hexagon gets skewed.
This provides ‘a great disturbance in the Force.’
This is not a problem but merely an opportunity to expose gaps. Once identified, management should create a plan to provide solutions to these same gaps and bring the employees’ skills into equilibrium. It will also reduce the anxiety an employee might feel, particularly for those who want to out-perform, yet feel they are missing key criteria to succeed. Finding people, giving them an environment to thrive, the right tools to succeed and appropriate motivation and rewards. Studies have shown everyone has a different and unique reward system. Be it trophies or dinners or public recognition or time off or monetary gain. The list is beyond the scope of this article but it is long and varied. Don’t forget, everybody needs a personal win now and then.
Always set aside some time for greenfield brainstorming. An open and hopefully energetic session to introduce new ideas and maybe even new problems. Don’t forget, in the sales world a problem is in truth an opportunity. Remember, a wonderful nugget can be gleaned from the unlikeliest of sources, or a simple comment can inspire others to add more. This is compound interest at its finest. A common ground where title and position on the organizational chart must have no importance. For managers, the art of listening, and not talking, is an acquired and vital skill. Some of the best speeches in the history of mankind were cleverly interrupted by the speaker with planned periods of silence. Your receptionists for example, are probably the most customer facing individuals in your employ. They have the best seat in the house to observe positive and negative words and expressions of your customers. They have the unique position to make and take immediate action to quell any discontent, or hopefully broadcast good news.
A happy customer tells 2 to 3 people of their experience. An unhappy customer tells 10 people. Let the ideas continue.